In Rabbi Eric Ertel’s pursuit to help Israel, it was P. Diddy who jogged his mind on how he should do it.
The rabbi, educational director at Aish NY, wasn’t quite sure how to get started in his efforts to assist the country he had lived and studied in for several years. Then he read about the rap star running the New York City Marathon last year to raise money for local educational programs.
If you were walking the blue-carpeted aisles of the Javits Convention Center this week, sampling the items at the 16th Kosherfest food and food service trade show, you noticed some familiar names. Empire. Osem. Gold’s. Jackie Mason — as in Jackie Mason’s Cheesecake.
And you also saw some relatively new names, like Lilly, Carol Ann, Rosie, Aunt Gussie and Steve’s Mom — women’s names.
Shlomo Shulsinger, a Jerusalem native who came to the United States with his family as a teenager and became a pioneer in the Hebrew-speaking summer camping field, died Oct. 19 in his hometown after a long illness. He was 92 and was buried on the Mount of Olives.
Mr. Shulsinger — who was known to his campers simply as Shlomo — founded Camp Massad in Far Rockaway, Queens, and developed the day camp into three overnight camps in the Poconos. The camps closed in 1981.
Mr. Shulsinger retired in 1977, returning with his wife, Rivka, to Jerusalem.
Vanessa Hidary, a performance artist best known for her work with Russell Simmons’ hip-hop Def Poetry Jam, tells the story of the man she met at a bar who remarked that she “doesn’t look Jewish.”
Hidary, aka the “Hebrew Mamita,” a fixture on New York’s on-the-edge cultural scene, shared her thoughts on the man’s shallow remarks during her performances before avant guard audiences.
There was more spin in the news last week — this time the politicians weren’t doing it, the U.S. Postal Service was.
In what has become an American philatelic tradition, the postal service issued a Chanukah stamp in time for the winter holiday season, which joins stamps issued in recent years for Christmas, Kwanzaa and a pair of Muslim holidays.
Elana Minkove decided a few months ago that she wanted to use her graduate degree in social work to do some good works in her spare time.
Niti Minkove, her mother-in-law and the director of volunteers at the Bronx Jewish Community Council, suggested Elana perform those virtuous deeds in Co-op City. That Bronx area is where Betty Katz lives.
Finally, a fund-raising idea that’s not half-baked.
Students from a small day school in western Massachusetts this week made a challah that will go on display at an agricultural festival, then enter the Guinness Book of World Records.
The “Challah of Fame” is 40 feet long and weighs 120 pounds.
It’s not your zayde’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut.
Next Monday, New York’s Jewish community will hold its annual Israel Independence Day celebration, as usual, with singing and dancing. But the music will be contemporary, authentically Israeli.
“No ‘Hava Nagila,’ ” says Tzameret Fuerst, co-chair of the event and a founder of the half-year-old Dor Chadash organization that is the main sponsor of the celebration.
The dancing will be hip — probably no hora.
Military service is in the Perl family’s blood.
Pvt. Otto Perl spent nearly a year in the Austrian army from 1937 to 1938. His father had been an officer in that same army in World War I, and two of his uncles had served in WWI.
Perl, a tailor, was 22 in early 1938 when he was discharged a few months before his homeland was annexed by Nazi Germany. A Jew, he was arrested and sent to the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps for a year. He survived the forced labor and beatings and frigid weather.
Santa Clara, Cuba — For a decade after the Cuban government loosened its restrictions on religious practice, Salvador Levy and his wife Zoila Perez attended the Jewish community’s seders here, usually held in a member’s home.
Last year, for the first time, they came as Benjamin ben Abraham and Ruth ben Abraham.