One hundred and two people stood on the stage at a ballroom in the Grand Hyatt hotel in Manhattan last week, during a break in the dinner marking the 20th anniversary of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation. The foundation, which concentrates its work in the Jewish community, serves as a registry for life-saving donations of bone marrow, blood stem cells and umbilical cord blood.
Of the men and women in the photograph, 94 are donors or recipients; the other eight are foundation board members.
Students at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion began serving meals, on an ad hoc basis, to needy people in Greenwich Village in the early 1980s, making the Monday night soup kitchen a formal institution in 1988.
Every week — no matter the weather, no matter what holiday occurs that day, no matter the state of the economy — a few dozen volunteers from the Reform seminary, and a cadre of other volunteers, welcome and serve more than 100 “guests.”
In his native Tashkent, capital of the now-independent Soviet republic Uzbekistan, Aron Aronov built up a collection of Jewish items from Uzbeki life that he would show visitors to his apartment. He couldn’t bring the artifacts in his limited luggage space when he came to the United States in 1989, so he shipped the stuff ahead, at great personal expense.
Some five dozen middle school students — half of them Jewish, half Catholic — compared their respective faiths’ beliefs and collaborated on the construction of Pesach-themed poster boards at the Anti-Defamation League’s recent Model Interfaith Seder.
At shmura matzah bakeries, where the “guarded” unleavened kosher-for-Passover product is made, thoughts of the seders start around Chanukah.
By November, the wheat harvested in June — under supervision, to ensure that it does not come into contact with water and possibly become chametz — and ground into flour soon afterwards, is kneaded with water and baked.