For all the Shoah’s omnipresence in our American and Jewish civic religion, Yom HaShoah itself has been less successful at becoming a synagogue-based, or family-based, holy day. The only consensus is the ritual of lighting yahrtzeit candles... and then what?
Holy days are supposed to be, by simple definition, a day that is holy.
In the belief that there is an "untapped potential" in terms of synagogue volunteers who wish to help the Jewish poor in their communities but don't know how to start, UJA-Federation is encouraging its agencies to team up with synagogue volunteers. It recently awarded $750,000 to facilitate eight such partnerships.
Police are investigating the theft of two Torah scrolls, taken about a week apart, from two synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Both Torahs were discovered missing as much as a month ago but were reported stolen only recently, police said.
A Torah stolen March 24 from the Riverdale Jewish Center on Independence Avenue wasn't reported until April 12, a police spokesman said.
Martin Small, 84, is haunted by nightmares and flashbacks of the Holocaust. “He’ll wake up at night screaming that he is running from the Nazis,” says his wife, Doris, also a survivor who escaped to England from Berlin with other children in 1939.
Retelling the story of the exodus to freedom will have a special meaning this Passover for two elderly former Soviet Jews, both of whom became American citizens recently with the help of citizenship courses funded by UJA-Federation.