News

Taking A Shot In Beijing

08/22/2008
Staff Writer
The weekly e-mail messages that Temple Shaaray Tefila on the Upper East Side sends to its members usually concern such congregational news as worship services and adult education classes. This week, the news was about a member’s visit to Beijing — Sandy Fong finished 21st in the Summer Olympics 50-meter rifle shooting event. Fong, 18, who returned home this week to begin her freshman year as a pre-med student at Princeton University, competed in the Games for the first time, six years after she began learning the sport.

No ‘Quarrel’ With Dark Shabbat

08/29/2008
Staff Writer
A prominent Off-Broadway producer decided last year that she would stage a production of “The Quarrel,” a play about the meeting between estranged friends — one, an Orthodox rabbi; the other, a secular writer — after years of separation. Daryl Roth, producer of five Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, wanted Reuven Russell, an actor-comedian who has portrayed the rabbi on and off for a decade at small theaters in the New York area, to play the role again. Russell, who himself is Orthodox, stipulated that he would not do it on Shabbat.

Reptile Romance In Jerusalem

08/29/2008
Staff Writer
How do you get a 55-pound turtle out of her shell — her social shell, that is? You turn her into a living skateboard. That’s what they did at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo the other day. Arava, a 10-year-old African Spurred Tortoise, arrived a few months ago from a petting zoo in southern Israel. Paralyzed in her hind legs for undetermined reasons, she was depressed, lethargic and immobile, even by turtle standards, zoo officials said. She had no suitors.

A Triple Play On The Bima

09/05/2008
Staff Writer
Over the last 18 years Rabbi Anchelle Perl has officiated at some 300 bar and bat mitzvah celebrations at Congregation Beth Sholom Chabad in Mineola, L.I. But last week was a first. The Matuszak triplets, brothers Alec and Ian, below left and right, and their sister Sydney, below center, marked their religious coming of age together. Alec and Ian have cerebral palsy. Using walkers, they stood on the bima, made the blessings for their aliyot, read sections of the week’s Torah portion and delivered short speeches of thanks.

Jesse Makes Push For Iranians' Freedom

06/18/1999
Staff Writer
It was 8:15 on Saturday morning, and Rabbis Shmuel Fuerst and Moshe Unger of Chicago were dressed in their Sabbath best: beaver-pelt shtreimels, or Polish-style hats on their heads; long black silk caftans draping their bodies; and thin white socks over their black knickers. But last Saturday morning, these two bearded, ultra-traditional Orthodox Jews were not walking to synagogue on the city's heavily white North Side; they were riding in a car driven by a non-Jewish friend to meet the Rev. Jesse Jackson on the city's mostly black South Side.

Starting Aliyah With A Blast

09/12/2008
Staff Writer
The month of Elul, which precedes Tishrei and the High Holy Days, is accompanied by a shofar blast in many synagogues during morning services. Some new Israelis got a personal concert on Monday. Adam Mayer-Deutsch, above left, part of a delegation of 235 Jews from North America who made aliyah under the auspices of the Jewish Agency and the Nefesh B’Nefesh program, blew the shofar as part of a welcoming ceremony on the Ben Gurion Airport tarmac.

COJO Official Gets 2 Years

06/11/1999
Staff Writer
A senior official of what was Brooklyn's largest Jewish community council was sentenced to two years in jail and fined $25,000 last week for misappropriating more than $300,000 in government funds.

'Right-Wing' Plane To Fly

05/14/1999
Staff Writer
After waiting and uncertainty, it appears that at least some Israelis will get super-cheap air fares to Israel to vote in national elections May 17, courtesy of subsidies from U.S. supporters of Israel's right. Chai L'Yisrael, a Brooklyn-based group operating from the Borough Park Democratic Party offices of Assemblyman Dov Hikind, has begun calling thousands of people to tell them their $180 round-trip tickets are in the mail.

Inside The Satmar School Scandal

04/23/1999
Staff Writer
Peering out at the reporters and TV cameras clamoring around the entrance of his religious girls school in Brooklyn last week, Rabbi Hertz Frankel's mind raced as they demanded he comment on his crime. It was a serious crime, a federal felony involving no-show teachers, fund diversions, false job titles and clear breaches of the separation of church and state. It was one Frankel had quietly pleaded guilty to the previous week.
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