James Tisch, the new president of UJA-Federation of New York, hopes to increase fund-raising to the community’s premier charity by simplifying its goals and message.
“We are a philanthropy designed to help Jews in need — in New York, Israel and around the world,” said Tisch during an interview last week in his office at the Loews Corp., where he is president and chief operating officer.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, recently traveled to Turkey for meetings with government leaders there. Last week, a new, more moderate military chief of staff took over in Turkey, and all eyes will be focused on Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu to see if he will continue to control the influence of Islamic fundamentalism there. On Monday, Turkey’s prime minister, Mesut Yilmaz, will be making his first state visit to Israel.
Claiming that recent incidents of anti-Semitism within the Police Department have been “swept under the carpet,” the organization representing Jewish police officers is promising to take a more aggressive stand in rooting out bias.
“This has gone unnoticed for too long,” says officer Stuart Portner, president of the 2,800-member Shomrim Society. “We think that more attention needs to be paid to anti-Semitic [acts].”
In the lobby of the Coffey Community Center on Manhattan’s East Side, Judy Klemperer gingerly picked up a black prayerbook from a large pile lying in a laundry bin and wiped off the ashes.
“It’s all wet and warped,” she said, shaking her head sadly. “It won’t be used again.”
She then placed it into a large plastic garbage bag. Someone wrote down the dedication on the inside cover for future reference.
The Orthodox rule barring Jews from entering Christian churches has once again triggered a denominational flap among Jewish clergy that threatens a scheduled Sept. 9 interfaith service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on behalf of New York’s poor.
It could also signal the end of the New York Board of Rabbis as a group that includes all Jewish rabbis.
At issue is a letter sent out by the New York Board of Rabbis — perhaps the last Jewish group around that boasts Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis as members.
After a rocky first year, the much-heralded UJA-Federation Unity Campaign designed to help the Conservative, Orthodox and Reform movements raise money for their own projects in Israel has raised nearly $10.5 million in pledges and organizers said they have begun to pull their act together. This effort comes at a time of a booming economy that has helped 36 federations across the country achieve record high levels of donations.