About a decade ago, Rabbi Manfred Gans, spiritual leader of Congregation Machane Chodosh in Forest Hills, accompanied a congregant, a recent widower, to the man’s late wife’s grave in Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, L.I. The congregant, Jack Kremski, and his wife, Anna, were Holocaust survivors, natives of Czestachowa, in Poland.
On the eve of the first anniversary of his inauguration as chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Arnold Eisen remains optimistic about the movement, acknowledging its problems but enthusiastic about the course he has helped set for its future.
The chairman of an organization of blind Jews contends that the major publisher of Jewish religious material for the blind and visually impaired has de-emphasized the publication of Braille prayer books.
Harold Snider said the publisher has neglected the religious material in favor of large print books for recreational reading already available through the Library of Congress.
Snider heads the National Federation of the Blind in Judaism, which he says has 50 members.
Each day this week, Rabbi Jacob Goldstein of Brooklyn, chief chaplain of the New York National Guard, recited morning prayers at a sukkah erected in the plaza facing the main doors of Saddam Husseinís main presidential palace in Baghdad.
"It's a six by eight sukkah and it is there for all to see," he said by phone from Baghdad. "So there I am every morning, benching lulav and esrog," he added referring to the ritual objects used in prayers during Sukkot.
The so-called Geneva Initiative, a peace proposal unveiled this week by former and current Israeli lawmakers and Palestinian officials, is designed to demonstrate to the Israeli public that "there are decent people on the other side, that there is what to talk about, and basically whom to talk to."
That was the assessment of Colette Avital, a Knesset member from the Labor Party who at one time participated in the effort to formulate the proposal. She insisted that at no time was it an attempt to replace or circumvent the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, honored on successive nights this week here by prominent Jewish organizations, spoke forcefully of his support for Israel and commitment to rid his country of anti-Semitism. And though sometimes described as haughty, he sounded nothing like that on Monday night when he said he was unworthy of receiving the Elie Wiesel Foundation Humanitarian Award and spoke of his self-doubts in making difficult national decisions.
The powerful roadside bomb that blew apart an American armored diplomatic vehicle in the Gaza Strip killing three Americans and injuring a fourth Wednesday is likely to undermine efforts to bring international peacekeepers or monitors to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Even 60 years later, Philip Bialowitz of Queens is haunted by the Nazi killing factory at Sobibor, Poland.
"I still have sleepless nights," Bialowitz, 74, confides. "I still see the killings. You could see the smoke miles away. They killed my two sisters and a niece at Sobibor. My niece was 8 years old and knew she was going to die."
He says that when he first arrived at Sobibor, someone asked if he came with his family.
Much to the chagrin of the Israel's Foreign Ministry, an Israeli group is planning to display at a Jewish expo here in December the skeletal remains of Egged bus No. 32, blown apart by a Palestinian suicide bomber in Jerusalem a year ago killing 19 and wounding more than 70.
A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Jonathan Peled, said Zaka, the Orthodox organization of volunteers who retrieve body parts after terrorist attacks, "approached us and asked us our opinion" about such a display at the biannual Jewish Expo Dec. 20-22 at the Javits Center.