The oldest kosher restaurant in New York history will soon be history.
Ratner's, a center of gastronomic Jewish life on the Lower East Side since 1905, which added a non-kosher, open-on-Shabbat nightclub to its Delancey Street site in 1997 and turned its Sunday-morning brunch from kosher to "kosher style" two years ago, will close the restaurant (still called Ratner's) by the end of the year. The nightclub-lounge, named Lansky's for Meyer Lansky, the late Jewish gangster and one-time Ratner's customer, will likely remain open.
by Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Since a spaceship orbits the earth once every 90 minutes, is an astronaut required to pray three times in each rotation, and observe Shabbat for an hour and a half after every six orbits, or nine hours?
Though they sound like details in a work of half-baked Jewish science fiction, they've become real questions as the first Israeli astronaut prepares to lift off on a NASA Space Shuttle mission.
How does the State of Israel figure into the crisis for the soul of Islam?
These questions are raised, and more importantly answered, in an important double edition of Bill Moyers' critically acclaimed "NOW" weekly news show airing July 12 on PBS.
Impressed with the outpouring of letters of support to New Yorkers following the 9-11 attacks, a local rabbinical student studying in Israel has organized a similar effort for Israelis. In three months it has triggered 13,000 cards of support.
"I won't give up if you don't give up," said a handwritten card from a youngster named Moshe.
"Dear Israel," wrote 8-year-old Jared from New York, "I watch the news every day. I pray for Israel when I walk from my house to my school and sometimes I cry. I wish I could come to help, but I'm only a kid."
Michael Gruber, who was accused of serving as an SS guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany during World War II, returned to Austria last week, two years after a Manhattan Immigration Court ruled that he should be deported. Gruber, 86, a retired auto body worker who lived in New City in Rockland County, is a native of Croatia with Austrian citizenship.