New Orleans -- Vice President Joe Biden was the ideal Administration representative to address the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America at its opening plenary here on Sunday, and he handled the role with enthusiasm.
The speaker who followed him didn’t fit the Federation-cheerleader mold, offering a careful blend of support and critique in his presentation.
Isn't it interesting how Jewish groups with a lot to say about almost everything have been so conspicuously silent about the politically charged debate in Washington on regulatory reform intended to prevent a recurrence of the financial meltdown whose impact is still being felt – by many Jewish organizations, as well as countless individuals?
When people enter the Masbia soup kitchen in Borough Park, they approach a wooden podium of the sort used by a maitre d’.
But no reservations are required at Masbia, currently the city’s only kosher soup kitchen, and clients are simply asked to sign their name before filling their dinner plates.
While in the past they may have been asked to present a letter of reference from a rabbi or community leader to show that they are in need, these days that restriction has all but fallen by the wayside.
Next month, hundreds of rabbis and community leaders in Portland, Ore., will gather with counterparts from other faiths for skill-building workshops related to the social-justice priorities of their congregations.
“We’ll be looking at how to confront hunger in our backyard,” said Bob Horenstein, community relations director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland.
Trying to raise three kids on a salary of $37,000, Aileen often faces tough choices about how to divide up her paycheck. After spending $1,100 a month for rent in a three-family home in Queens, $550 on day care for her 4-year-old and paying for other necessities she has little left over to cover incidental expenses.
"There's $100 left at the end of the month for me and my children," said Aileen, who asked that her last name be withheld to protect her privacy.
At the first seders of this second Depression I’m looking for a seat next to Bobby McGee. We’re celebrating holy freedom but for too many, on a temporal level, “freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” Too many of us have taken a hit. Freedom this week means opening doors when no one is knocking, looking into the night, seeing Elijah in the shadows, waiting for the wandering angel of the down-and-out, watching his cup for ripples of a sip.
"It has been a blessing," the 42-year-old Suffolk County mother of four says of her monthly package of food and sundries from an anonymous group of Jewish nursery school children, their parents and teachers.
Noting that she takes home only $579 a month working 30 hours a week as a data processing employee, she adds: "It's very difficult to make ends meet."
Proposed Cuts Worry Senior Housing Providers
Selma S., a Jewish woman in her late 70s who lives in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, depends on an array of social and medical services provided by the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty and other agencies.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.