The pluralism wars that have proved so polarizing in Israel are being played out in another arena locally: a Brooklyn federal courtroom. Attorneys for the state of New York and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are seeking to defend the constitutionality of the state's 117-year-old kosher laws, which are being challenged by a Long Island butcher.
Up in an attic are faded photos of old Joe Kushner ó young and dashing Joe Kushner in the picture ó on a wide, sloping Catskill lawn, near tall flowers by the casino porch. It is a 1930s August. You can feel the heat, the languor, the clockless afternoon of a hotel summer. Kushner, in light jacket and white ducks, stands behind his drum kit, hair slicked, sticks in hand.In another photo, heís with his klezmer band on that same lawn.
A Brooklyn rabbi who supported Patrick Buchanan for president in 1989 is turning his back on the arch-conservative commentator because of his refusal to mend fences with Jews.
"It was counterproductive for me to spend my time putting out his fires," says Rabbi Yehuda Levin. "He stands for a lot of things that irritate my community."
Three years ago, the leadership of a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Westchester began looking for help in developing a strategic plan to help them better meet the needs of their members. Then someone mentioned UJA-Federation’s management assistance program (MAP).
“It was one of the best things we ever did,” Colin Goldberg, president of The Hebrew Institute of White Plains, said of the 11-month program in which congregational leaders participated with leaders of seven other synagogues of every denomination.
Israel is currently engaged in an intellectual civil war between historians who see Zionism as a heroic enterprise and post-Zionist historians who say that Jewish schoolchildren ought to know the family secret: Israel wasnít immaculately conceived but born of ìinfamy and sin,î as Haíaretz reports (Sept. 16).
When real estate broker Abe Podolsky approached the owners of Dagan's Kosher Pizza about relocating to Mill Basin, the negotiations took on all the drama of a major-league scout trying to sign a star pitcher.
"He offered us a long lease, good rent, whatever we want," recalls Ayala Dagan, who had operated her pizzeria on Ralph Avenue in Canarsie for 16 years.