Smoked fish and klezmer are two sure signs of a happy Jewish occasion. But as author Thane Rosenbaum discovered, klezmer provides more than a soundtrack for simchas.
In his 2002 novel "Golems of Gotham," a ninth-grade violin prodigy named Ariel raises the spirits of the dead with her impassioned playing of rarely heard klezmer tunes to spellbound crowds outside of Zabar's, the smoked-fish mecca on Upper Broadway.
One day after the worst blizzard in seven years hit New York City, the Queens Jewish Community Council was open for business, ready to assist the elderly or otherwise needy who may be having a rough time coping with the snow.
"We specifically wanted to be there in case people would call and say I don't have food," said council director Manny Behar. "It's happened in the past. But this time we didn't get any calls like that." In fact, it was all quiet all day at Beharís Forest Hills offices.
Barbed wire and a dove are two images used by the East Jerusalem YMCA/YWCA in a new brochure, part of a "Free Palestine" campaign, that is highly critical of Israel.
But the Y might not be able to bank on a more tangible resource, the American dollar sign, for long. The YMCA of the USA, a national umbrella organization that has provided financial support for the East Jerusalem Y, has dropped a broad hint that it will cut off funds unless the anti-Israel agitating ends.
Did Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati buckle under to a gay basher this week or take constructive action in response to his diatribe?
That was the question being asked after the institution canceled classes Tuesday afternoon at almost the same time the protester, the Rev. Fred Phelps, announced plans to picket the campus to protest the Reform movementís recognition of same-sex civil marriages.
Another Jewish hero was lost two weeks ago, this one on the ground, only a few miles from Ground Zero, where his uncle perished on Sept. 11.
Just a few days before Col. Ilan Ramon was killed in the Shuttle Columbia disaster, Saul and Sue Zucker of North Massapequa, L.I., who lost a son, Andrew, on 9-11, learned that their 20-year-old firefighter grandson was killed while driving to school in Brookville, L.I.
When Dan Gillerman was in the fifth grade, a reporter for the school newspaper asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.
"I want to be Israel's ambassador to the United States," Gillerman recalls replying.
Last month, Gillerman, 58, who was born in Tel Aviv and still has a home there, became Israel's ambassador to the United Nations.