When John Ruskay, the executive vice president and CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, receives an honorary doctorate at the Jewish Theological Seminary this week it will be a homecoming of sorts for him. Ruskay, 64, was a rabbinical student at JTS for a year after graduating from college in 1968, and served for eight years as vice chancellor (the first non-rabbi to do so) from l985-l993.
In a rare moment of quiet for the busy executive, he reflected on his seminary days, his personal Jewish journey and career in communal life.
During the Great Recession of 2008, the Israeli economy weathered the worst effects of the global economic crisis and continued to grow, according to a new paper authored by Tamar Almor, a professor of business strategy and entrepreneurship at the College of Management Academic Studies in Rishon Lezion, Israel. The Jewish Week spoke with Almor, who attributed Israel’s economic strength to its high-tech industry, which features small companies that are nimble and innovative.
Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who will not seek a fifth term in 2012, hasn’t announced his future plans. But as a prolific author and prominent observant Jew, Lieberman, 69, says he wants to do “a little bit of missionary work,” promoting Sabbath observance as a divine gift and lifting the mystique about what an observant Jew can and cannot do within the confines of the day of rest. Simon & Schuster will publish “The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath,” written by Lieberman and David Klinghoffer in August.
The Holocaust, whose memory usually serves as an honored shared point for the Jewish community, sometimes is a point of contention for haredi Jews, who say they feel excluded from mainstream histories of the period. Those histories, and exhibits in Yad Vashem, emphasize the exploits of secular partisans and pay less attention to religious Jews who resisted the Nazis by studying Torah in ghettoes and keeping the commandments in death camps.
Jews around the tri-state area will clear store shelves of kosher-for-Passover goods over the next week — if there are any still left. From matzah to macaroons, supermarkets are offering a wide array of goods for the weeklong holiday, which is why A&P Supermarkets — and its banner stores Pathmark, Waldbaum’s and Food Emporium — are eager to reach this market. To that end they recently hired Barry Eizik to fill a newly created role as kosher category manager, and work to expand and improve the chain’s kosher offerings.