Editor’s Note: Gabriella Kamran is the first recipient of The Norman E. Alexander Award for Excellence in Jewish Student Writing. The national contest, sponsored by the Jewish-American Hall of Fame and The Jewish Week Media Group, seeks essays by teens on Jewish Americans who have made significant contributions to humanitarian causes, social justice, medicine or science. It honors Norman Alexander, a prominent businessman and philanthropist who was a founder of The Jewish Week.
A native of Staten Island, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld has served for a decade as spiritual leader of Ohev Sholom: The National Synagogue in Washington, D.C., which bills itself as the city’s oldest Orthodox congregation. The rabbi, who was ordained by Yeshiva University and served for five years as associate rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, has helped revive Ohev Sholom by conducting a high-visibility outreach to unaffiliated Jews. He also teaches a regular class on Judaism at the U.S. Senate.
Noting that a character’s first recorded words in the Bible reveal a great deal about his personality, Rabbi David Wolpe pointed out at a Jewish Week Forum here last week that as a youngster, the future King David’s first words in the Book of Samuel are, “What will be given to the man who slays Goliath?”
Steven Fine, a professor of Jewish history at Yeshiva University and director of the school’s Center for Israel Studies, figured an article he published last year in Biblical Archeology Review about ancient tombstones in the Holy Land, would resonate with other archeology buffs.