A day after the arson fire at a Hauppauge, L.I., synagogue last week, a congregant at the neighboring Dix Hills Jewish Center rushed up to the rabbi to ask about security for the High Holy Days.
"He said security was being beefed up and that there was nothing to be worried about," the congregant, Elaine Greenwald, said later of her conversation with Rabbi Howard Buechler. "I trust that when the rabbi tells me that, we're doing all we can."
The existential problems of synagogue worship, let alone the more terrestrial problems of religious illiteracy, alienation, displeasure with sermons, and annoyance with cantors, has basically been solved by American Jews: 89 percent simply stay away.But on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur there is no avoiding the culture clash: Nearly 60 percent of American Jewry jam into pews across the land, an influx of nearly three million Jews who would otherwise be gone.
The police shooting of a hammer-wielding man in the Orthodox enclave of Borough Park exploded with political ramifications this week, threatening to erode support for Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in one of his staunchest bases.
Hundreds of chasidim on Monday and Tuesday nights took to the streets, many of them criticizing the officers who killed 31-year-old Gary (Gidone) Busch in a hail of bullets after he charged at them with a claw hammer.
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the city cannot deny a permit for the so-called Million Youth March. Black elected officials are distancing themselves from the march, scheduled for Saturday, and encouraging young people to stay away. Last year most denounced organizer Khallid Abdul Muhammad's rhetoric as anti-Semitic while supporting the march because of the issues it portended to address.
Insiders and observers say Harlem leaders have a variety of incentives to contribute to the march's failure, including the following:
Harry met Sally there. Avant-garde artists exhibit their paintings on its walls. Haute couture models sashay on its fashion show runways.
And next week, for the first time, the shofar will sound in the Puck Building, a Manhattan landmark in SoHo.
Aish New York, the local branch of the Jerusalem-based Aish HaTorah yeshiva, will host High Holy Days beginner's services in one of the building's ballrooms.
Oswiecim, Poland: Under sunny skies tinged with a hint of autumn, dozens of Jewish men and women from Long Island gathered in a courtyard near the site of Judaism's greatest tragedy to fulfill the tradition's last commandment.
It was from this same small courtyard 57 years ago that Jews from this Polish town, which the Germans called Auschwitz, were forcibly massed and deported to nearby concentration camps, to be used as slave laborers or sent to their deaths.