by Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Though it may come as a surprise to the folks in charge of collecting the Yom Kippur pledges, religious people are the most charitable donors in the country.
A new study by Independent Sector and the National Council of Churches shows a direct relationship between being religiously inclined and being a generous philanthropist.
Eyal Nayowitz was a member of the Torah Academy of Bergen County basketball team seven years ago, but he wasn't playing that October afternoon at Westchester Hebrew High School when he was introduced to Cheryl Bausk, a student at the Mamaroneck school. He was recovering from minor hand surgery; he showed up at the game as a spectator; his friend Elon Soniker thought Eyal and Cheryl might like each other.
Soniker's judgment was good.
The Museum of Modern Art's temporary move from Midtown to the former Swingline staple factory in Queens binds the venerable arts institution to New York's immigrant history. Swingline's founder, Jack Linsky, came to America from Russia as a boy and within three decades had revolutionized office work.
Unlike thousands of World Trade Center workers on Sept. 11, Abe Zelmanowitz had easy access to an escape route from the doomed twin towers.
But the 55-year-old Brooklyn resident, an Orthodox Jew, refused to leave behind a disabled colleague. He remained on the 27th floor of the north tower, even after firefighters reached them, and even after the south tower collapsed.
Now, a Brooklyn yeshiva wants to make sure the Torah values Zelmanowitz embodied are imparted on others.
First there was bad news, in a hospital, a few months ago: Yoav Aburas, 3 years old, had cancer. Then there was good news, in a dream: Yoav saw himself holding a white Torah scroll that would heal him.
He told his parents. And he told them again.
"Nobody listened because it was a dream," says Rabbi Simcha Scholar, executive vice president of Chai Lifeline, the organization for children with life-threatening illnesses that found a sefer Torah for Yoav two days after receiving his request.