Following word that a case of St. Louis encephalitis had hit Borough Park last week, top city officials flocked to the Vizhnitzer yeshiva there, where they briefed community leaders on efforts to contain the deadly mosquito-borne virus.
The officials included the commissioner of the Department of Health, Neil Cohen; the director of the mayor's Office of Emergency Management, Jerome Hauer; the mayor's chief of staff, Tony Carbonetti; and the police commissioner's chief of staff, Richard Sherer, as well as high-ranking officials from the 66th Precinct.
Rabbi Samuel Cohen, executive vice president of the Jewish National Fund for 20 years, died this week of pneumonia in Mount Sinai Hospital. He was 66.
A resident of Lawrence, L.I., Rabbi Cohen was credited with enhancing the image of JNF before leaving in 1997 in the wake of a controversy over how the charity was spending its money.
"He was a dedicated Jew ... a very good administrator," said Sam Bloch, former director of the World Zionist Organization publications department. "There is hardly any Jewish charity he did not support."
The Yiddish accent, some Jewish jokes, Jewish history at his fingertips: Robin Williams plays the role of a Jew well. Ask him about his latest movie, in which he plays one Jewish role (Jakob Heym, ghetto prevaricator) and he will tell you about Jews in Poland in 1997.
While recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor earlier this month, Cardinal John O'Connor composed his annual New Year's letter to his many friends in the New York Jewish community.
In fact, the 79-year-old leader of New York City Catholics has been sending heartfelt holiday greetings twice a year (on Rosh HaShanah and Passover) to Jewish leaders for at least 10 years.