The death notice in the Buffalo News for Dr. Barnett Slepian last week advised that his funeral service would be limited to immediate family and friends.
Nearly 1,000 mourners came to the service in a Jewish chapel in a Buffalo suburb.
“It was packed,” says Rabbi Robert Eisen, in whose synagogue Slepian, 52, an obstetrician-gynecologist who performed abortions, worshiped last Friday night. The doctor was fatally shot in his home shortly after returning with his wife from services.
Some kids growing up in south Brooklyn in the 1960s had heroes such as Mickey Mantle, John F. Kennedy or The Beatles. For Madison High School graduate Chuck Schumer, it was his grandfather Jacob, a Polish immigrant.
“My real hero is my grandfather,” Schumer said fondly during a recent interview.
It was a quiet, touching moment, free of the increasing nastiness of the campaign trail, in which Schumer, the veteran Democratic Brooklyn congressman, is locked in a contentious, too-close-to-call battle to unseat longtime Republican U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato.
The front page of The New York Times “Week In Review” section (Oct. 25) offered a sensitive appreciation of the Israeli team’s performance at Wye Plantation: “Yes, they were making it hard with their near walkouts and last-minute demands.
A rabbi once honored as Chaplain of the Year has pleaded innocent to charges of smuggling drugs into the federal prison he served. Rabbi Eli Gottesman, 73, of Ogdensburg, N.Y., was arrested Oct. 7 at the checkpoint of Ray Brook prison when a routine search of his briefcase revealed a shampoo bottle containing several balloons filled with cocaine and marijuana.
The Baal Shem Tov never belonged to the big-city Jews in suits or the yeshiva prodigies in fedoras. He was ordained in the hard-luck seminary God reserves for His favorite students. Orphaned at 5, a widower in his 30s, a migrant, a destitute tutor, a shochet, he slept in the shadows, in the company of Carpathian highwaymen, thieves and peasants.
When a couple in his congregation told Rabbi Gordon Freeman of their infertility and asked for spiritual help, the rabbi confessed that he had not realized all of the ramifications.
“They said they wanted to deal with it in a ritual manner,” recalled the spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Walnut Creek, Calif. “They wanted to know how our tradition could help them deal with it. They had already gone to therapists.”