Making A Better Place

Staff Writer
With her 10-year-old son at her side, a disabled widow from Long Beach told a hushed group of 500 UJA-Federation lay and professional leaders that the local Jewish community center has "been there for us in the very darkest of times." "I have an immune disease called fibromyalga," explained Harriet Cohen, 46, at the annual Long Island General Assembly in Roslyn, which provides UJA-Federation-funded organizations an opportunity to display their activities.

At Hicksville seminar on acceptance, Solomon Schechter High students learn 'you can't take words back.'

Staff Writer
Nicole Simon, a 10th-grader at the Solomon Schechter High School in Hicksville, was shocked and hurt recently when she boarded the school bus and a seventh-grader called her a "nigger." "I didn't know what to do," said the West Hempstead student. "The older kids on the bus had told him that to be cool at high school it was cool to say nigger. I was never called a nigger before. I was appalled."

'Undoing Damage' Of Welfare Reform

Staff Writer
Saying the last 18 months have been one of the "saddest chapters in our country's history," the executive vice president of UJA-Federation detailed his organization's struggle to deal with the impact of welfare reform. "I can report to you the panic that ensued" as legal immigrants here more than five years realized they would lose Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and food stamps, Stephen Solender told a recent UJA-Federation-sponsored legislative breakfast.

Cracking The Glass Ceiling

Staff Writer
Citing a "glass ceiling" in Jewish communal life that has prevented women from advancing to leadership positions in national Jewish organizations and large city federations, the newly created Trust for Jewish Philanthropy has announced that its first initiative will be to tackle the gender gap. To help the project get off the ground, the philanthropist Barbara Dobkin, who founded and chairs Ma'yan, the Jewish Women's Project of the JCC of the Upper West Side, said she and her husband, Eric, are donating $1 million in seed money.

Solving The Restitution Mystery

Staff Writer
Holocaust survivors dealing with the sometimes mystifying restitution process now can get help in filling out the forms. The newly created Holocaust Compensation Assistance Project will offer the assistance on claims for the German Slave and Forced Labor fund and the Swiss bank settlement, as well as other free legal help and support to survivors and their families.

Americans: What Pullout From Gaza?

Editor and Publisher

While Israeli society is deeply concerned about the prospect of a civil war over the government’s planned pullout from Gaza and part of the West Bank this summer, nearly six in 10 Americans are unaware of the proposed disengagement.And in a sign that efforts to improve Israel’s image need to be stepped up, Americans have no idea the Gaza pullout was initiated by Israel to improve the prospects of peace with the Palestinians.

Connecting The Jewish Education Dots

Editor and Publisher
Jewish educational opportunities have grown — and grown more complex — in the last 15 years, according to a new study of the field that emphasizes the need to build links within communities between formal and informal programs, between families and schools, and between communal agencies that too often compete rather than coordinate.The 36-page report, “Linking The Silos: How To Accelerate The Momentum In Jewish Education Today,” was done by a research team headed by Jack Wertheimer, provost and professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary,

Israeli MIA Family Suing Syria

Editor and Publisher
Almost 24 years after Zachary Baumel, an American-born Israeli soldier, went missing in action during the Lebanon war, his family has filed suit against the government of Syria for imprisoning their son and cutting off all contact with him.Baumel’s fate is unknown, but Dr. Stuart Ditchek, a childhood friend of Baumel’s in Brooklyn who has led the advocacy on his behalf, told The Jewish Week that the suit, believed to be the first such legal action against Syria, is an effort not to gain financially but to gain information about Baumel and seek his release, dead or alive.

If OU Leader Stays, Critics May Leave

Editor and Publisher
Angry and frustrated over what they consider to be the Orthodox Union’s failure to act properly and decisively — namely, to terminate its executive vice president, Rabbi Raphael Butler, during the organization’s biennial convention last weekend — a New Jersey group of parental leaders of the OU’s youth arm this week prepared to withdraw from the national body and launch an alternative organization.
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