Despite efforts by Jewish groups to provide kosher-for-Passover food to as many as 2,000 Jewish troops involved in the Iraq War, several Jewish soldiers and chaplains complained to The Jewish Week that there is not enough for the eight-day holiday that begins Wednesday night.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) said he heard some of the same complaints but has been rebuffed in his efforts to get the Air Force to fly more Passover provisions to Kuwait and Iraq.
Mark Asher Evnin wanted to improve himself, and the world, too. At 18, after graduating from Vermont's South Burlington High School in 32 years, the well-liked student athlete and only child of Mindy Evnin joined the Marines.
So while his friends were taking freshman college courses, Mark was in basic training: much to his mother's chagrin.
"My son, a Jewish Marine, how bizarre," Evnin told The Jewish Week Tuesday. "We come from a professional Jewish family, rabbis, cantors and biochemists."
While insisting there is no particular cause for alarm, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly sought to assure the Jewish community Tuesday that extra security measures would be in place for Passover.
They also called on the public to go about their business as usual, reporting anything suspicious via a police hotline.
Even as American and British troops continued fighting in Iraq, British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in the United States this week in part to press the Bush administration to finally release the "road map," a Palestinian-Israeli peace plan leading to a Palestinian state by 2005.
Israel's new foreign minister, Silvan Shalom, also arrives this week to meet senior administration officials. The road map is expected to be a prime topic of discussion.
Maj. David "Bull" Gurfein, a Long Island native who re-enlisted in the Marines after 9-11, is carrying with him in the battlefields of Iraq a small chunk of concrete from the remains of the World Trade Center.
"It was 9-11 that triggered his desire to go back, especially after he went to Ground Zero," said his mother, Vivien. "He showed his [military] card and the police and firemen there handed him some pieces of concrete. He was weeping when he saw what happened there. ... They said to him, 'Go get 'em.'"
About a half-dozen elderly Jews come to the East Concourse Luncheon Club every day by city bus. ìThis is the Waldorf of senior center soup kitchens,î says Ida G., one of the diners. ìThere are places closer to me, but this is excellent, home-cooked, like a mother would cook,î though itís been a long time since anyone has seen their mom.