What does a Brooklyn yeshiva have to do with the president of Uzbekistan?
Plenty, if you ask Pearl Kaufman, executive director of Be’er Hagolah Yeshiva, an oasis of Jewish learning for 1,000 kids from the former Soviet Union, located just off the Belt Parkway in the Starrett City section.
Be’er Hagolah, Hebrew for “well in the diaspora,” planned to give President Islam
Karimov its “international leader award” at a gala Plaza Hotel reception Wednesday night.
In a historic decision that will likely widen the secular-religious gulf in the Jewish state, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that people converted in Israel by non-Orthodox rabbis must be officially recognized as Jews by the Israeli government.
The court did not address the question of whether Reform or Conservative conversions were valid according to Jewish religious law. In practical terms the ruling leaves the Orthodox rabbinate in charge of lifecycle events such as weddings and funerals.
There will be no kosher meals. No Jewish holiday observances. And many — perhaps even most — of the students won’t be Jewish. But if philanthropist Michael Steinhardt has his way, New York City’s first publicly funded school devoted to Hebrew language and culture will open its doors in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, in September 2009.
Although he lives in a borough with a sizeable Muslim population and leads a congregation of Bukharian Jews, a community that hails from a mostly Muslim region of the former Soviet Union, Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov says that, until Sunday, he never visited a mosque.
Moreover, his congregants expressed concern for his safety when they learned he would make the visit, says the rabbi, who leads Kehilat Sephardim of Ahavat Achim, a synagogue in Kew Gardens Hills.
Steven and Esther Accardi, with their two young children, will soon be leaving their Rockland County home and jobs to join a group of 531 American Jews from across the country who are making aliyah, en masse, next month.
That the tab, in part, is being picked up by Evangelical Christians (some of whom want to bring Jews to the Promised Land to hasten the Second Coming of Jesus) apparently doesn't faze them.
A population shift of dramatic proportions is changing the face of New York's Jewish community as Russians and the Orthodox (many of them poor) now comprise nearly four in 10 Jews in New York City, according to the 2002 New York Jewish Community Study.
While the overall Jewish population in the city, Long Island and Westchester has remained stable in the last decade at 1.4 million, the makeup of the 643,000 households in which they live is radically different than in 1991, suggesting major changes in the city's political landscape and the Jewish community's funding priorities.
The case of the Monsey mohel who may have infected three newborn boys with the herpes virus is prompting some to wonder if the field requires greater oversight.
The three boys contracted herpes simplex virus 1, the type which in adults usually causes only a mouth sore, but can overwhelm a newborn’s system. One of the babies, who was circumcised in October, died ten days later. He and his twin brother tested positive for the virus. The third is a Staten Island boy who also tested positive after being circumcised by Fischer in late 2003.
Mira, a sergeant in the Red Army during World War II, moved from unit to unit, treating wounded soldiers. Yakov served as a captain, stationed by the navy in several places. Emanuel, an officer, was stationed at the front.
If they were still in the former Soviet Union, they would take part in a national celebration last week of Victory in Europe Day, a holiday commemorating the end of what was called in the USSR “The Great Patriotic.”