As the Orthodox community grapples with increasing drug use, attention is shifting to the question of who will provide much-needed prevention and treatment services.
There is no problem identifying groups to attack the problem. There are an estimated eight to 12 grassroots and professional agencies, most of them Brooklyn-based, taking different roles in the frum war on drugs.
They range from a grassroots mother's support group to professional counseling to a "kosher" pool hall in Flatbush where at-risk kids can hang out in a supervised setting.
Sen. Charles Schumer pleaded with Orthodox leaders here this week not to prejudge Hillary Rodham Clinton's positions on Israel, predicting that "her voting record will be just like mine."
Speaking with board members of the Orthodox Union at their Manhattan offices Monday night, the freshman Democrat, who has a strong pro-Israel record, urged the leaders to give the first lady and likely Senate candidate a chance to more fully explain her positions, rather than oppose her because of her statement last year in support of Palestinian statehood.
Along the peaceful streets of Riverdale on a sunny summer afternoon, signs of Jewish life are everywhere. Kosher shops and restaurants abound on Riverdale and Johnson avenues, and seven synagogues and the Riverdale Y are bursting with activity in this suburban-flavored, hillside Bronx enclave overlooking the Hudson.
Yet synagogues, kosher shopping or even housing stock do not hold the key to Riverdale's Jewish future, community leaders say, as much as a single unremarkable building on the corner of Independence Avenue and 237th Street: Middle School 141.
A former Westchester couple and their Torah scroll, each with roots in Russia, have new homes now. Edward and Renee Mendell, former residents of New Rochelle and South Salem, settled in London, Renee’s hometown, after Edward retired from the pharmaceuticals industry in 1986.
They recently donated their own sefer Torah, which they serendipitously acquired in Israel, to the Jewish Family Congregation in South Salem. The couple, who have sold their home in New Canaan, Conn., near the Westchester border, are co-founders of the Reform synagogue.
A Vatican representative accused Israel of a "blood libel" against a World War II-era pope, and blamed the Jewish state for mounting tensions between Jews and the Catholic Church, shocking an audience at a conference on anti-Semitism in Tel Aviv, and prompting interfaith leaders to say severe damage has been done to the Jewish-Catholic dialogue. Rev.
Come September, several dozen Orthodox Columbia University students, men and women, will be paid to learn Torah near their Upper West Side campus. The yeshiva will be housed at Ramat Ora, a revitalized Orthodox synagogue on West 110th Street, several blocks from the university's main campus on West 116th Street.
Already, 47 Columbia undergraduates have enrolled for the intensive, 10-hour-a-week program offering classes in Talmud and Torah, in addition to their regular secular studies during the academic year. Men and women will study separately in the program.