When she debuts Thursday in NBC's "Coupling," perhaps the raciest show on network TV, Rena Sofer will have come a long way since her days as a yeshiva girl in New Jersey.
Based on a British show by the same name, "Coupling" centers on the sex lives of six young Manhattanites. Sofer's character, Susan, is "a beautiful and sexy go-getter with an uninhibited attitude toward life and the world of romance," according to network publicity.
It's not by chance that a group of Jewish cops who went to Israel earlier this month returned on Sept. 11.
"We chose that date purposely," says Detective Sam Miller, president of the Shomrim Society, the organization of Jewish police officers. "We wanted to show that we weren't intimidated, weren't afraid to fly on that date."
Many of the members were no strangers to danger, having served in some of the city's toughest precincts and, in one case, as an FBI agent. Miller is currently a hostage negotiator.
Among klezmer and chasidic music circles, reedman Howie Leess was known as "the mountain goat."
The saxophone player "created harmony lines that were so apropos and actually adventurous, he climbed the tune like a mountain goat," said the pianist Pete Sokolow, who first met Leess in the 1960s when they played together in Jewish ensembles like Sy Kushner's Mark III and the Epstein Brothers Orchestra.
"He had ears like nobody's business," Sokolow recalled this week.
At first, 15-year-old David Gokar of Brooklyn and his parents were hesitant about the prospect of him spending the next three years at a high school in Israel.
But after attending a presentation that stressed the high caliber of the education (as well as the 98 percent graduation rate among the 9,000 Jewish teens from 32 countries who had enrolled since the program started 12 years ago) David signed up and became one of the first six North Americans admitted to the Elite Academy program.