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.
They were stars of the new music world, or would soon be. Their inclusion in the 1927 festival in Baden-Baden, Germany, meant great things would happen. In less than a decade, they would all be in the United States, sought by the Nazis, who banned their music.
When Roger Bennett offered 54 accomplished young writers and artists a chance to comment on a portion of the Torah, each of them “leaped at the opportunity, like Michelangelo painting the Sistine chapel.” It all began at a networking event for Reboot, a Jewish outreach organization Bennett co-founded in 2002.
When Mitt Romney chose the Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate in last year’s presidential election, Ayn Rand, the atheist Jewish author whom Ryan credited with inspiring him to seek public service, was also suddenly vaulted to public attention. Rand, a political philosopher and best-selling novelist, glorified individualism and capitalism over governmental power and collective responsibility.
For 30 years, Hank Sheinkopf has been offering his advice to candidates and his analysis of the political landscape to the media. Now, he’s also fielding questions about halacha and offering comfort to the spiritually afflicted — as a newly ordained Orthodox rabbi.
Sheinkopf was granted smicha on July 5 from Rabbi Yitzchak Yehuda Yaroslavsky of Kfar Chabad, the Lubavitch enclave in Israel. Since the rabbi speaks no English, Sheinkopf completed his exam in Hebrew, which he has been studying at home on the Upper West Side.