The city's Planning Department revealed last week that more and more former Soviet Jews are immigrating to the city not as refugees but for family reunification and on lottery visas, a fact that has been observed on the streets of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.
As a result of these changes, Kenneth Gabel, executive director of the Shorefront Y in Brighton Beach, said his board has established a master policy committee to study demographic, service and market trends in south Brooklyn.
With evidence suggesting that Ashkenazi Jewish women are five to 10 times more likely than other women to be born with a mutant gene associated with breast cancer, Columbia Universityís College of Physicians and Surgeons is preparing a booklet to help such women decide whether to undergo genetic testing.
"There are legal and social issues that a woman may wish to consider," said Sherry Brandt-Rauf, associate research scholar at the schoolís Center for the Study of Society and Medicine.
In a development that has Jewish educators looking inward, more than half of all fourth-graders in New York City area Jewish schools failed to meet state standards for reading and writing, according to statistics on private schools released last week.The passing rate of 48.6 percent for Jewish schools was slightly higher than the 41 percent for Catholic schools.
The head of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's Senate exploratory committee is vehemently denying a published report last week that chasidim are being pressured to cough up campaign contributions, or lose the grants and programs on which many of their communities depend.
Observing that more and more grandparents are quietly paying their grandchildren's Jewish day school tuition, UJA-Federation has announced a program under which grandparents can underwrite not only their grandchild's Jewish education but those of other youngsters: at no additional cost.
"We really want to make what is happening more formal and to make it financially beneficial for grandparents," said Alisa Rubin Kurshan, executive director of Jewish Educational Planning and Continuity.
The Board of Trustees of the City University of New York has become a "rubberstamp" panel that will not debate serious matters of higher education, but carry out the will of the mayor and governor, says Edith Everett, who spent 23 years as a trustee.