For several weeks each winter, between Chanukah and Purim, the Weissberg Commons area of Yeshiva University’s Belfer Hall becomes an enormous book fair. More than 15,000 people — families and singles, children and seniors, Orthodox and non-Orthodox — browse through tables and shelves crammed with discounted books and DVDs and educational software offered for sale during The Seforim Sale sponsored by the Students of Yeshiva (SOY).
Tu b’Shvat, the Jewish new year of trees, a minor holiday on the Hebrew calendar, is traditionally celebrated in Israeli forests with mass tree-plantings, and in some diaspora communities with kabbalistic seders and the eating of symbolic Israeli fruits, right.
While the last several thousand Falash Mura — Ethiopians with Jewish roots — in Africa await entry into the Promised Land, Ethiopian Jews already in Israel took to the country’s streets last week to protest what they consider growing signs of racism.
The framed posters on the walls of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, now part of history, were the face of social activism in this country a generation ago.
During the height of the Soviet Jewry movement in the 1970s and ‘80s, the signs demanding that the USSR grant its Jewish population the right to live and leave as Jews were carried in protest demonstrations around the United States and mounted on the walls of synagogues and Hillels and other Jewish institutions.
Before Jan. 20, 1942, the name Wannsee meant luxury in Germany.
It was the name of a lake with a bordering beach in a Berlin suburb, where the country’s upscale citizens vacationed.
Since that date, the name means tragedy.
An infamous conference of 15 top Nazi officials, who came together that day to make “necessary preparations in regard to organizational, practical and material measures requisite for the total solution of the Jewish question in Europe,” took place at 56-58 Am Grossen Wannsee, across from the beach.