News

Witness: Yeshiva Faked Documents For Grants

12/04/1998
Staff Writer
The former dean of a Brooklyn-based yeshiva the government charges was fictitious and stole millions in federal subsidies testified in federal court Tuesday that he helped fake documents to obtain state accreditation in order to receive grants from the state and U.S. Department of Education. Abraham Berkowitz was testifying in the trial of four chasidic men — three from the upstate village of New Square and one from Brooklyn — charged with stealing millions of dollars from federal and state benefit programs during a decades-old conspiracy.

ADL Poll Not Black And White

12/04/1998
Staff Writers
Prominent black leaders and activists had mixed reactions this week to a new survey by the Anti-Defamation League in which African Americans were four times more likely than whites to harbor attitudes the ADL termed “most anti-Semitic.”

For Modern Orthodox Rabbis, Wye Is OK

11/27/1998
Staff Writer
In response to sharp criticism by some right-wing Orthodox rabbis who charged that the Wye accords violate Jewish law, a group of Modern Orthodox rabbis this week issued a counter statement saying that last month’s deal between Israel and the Palestinians is indeed religiously legal. The group, Shvil Hazahav, gathered the signatures of 28 Modern Orthodox rabbis to support an unequivocal statement asserting that the Wye deal does not violate Jewish law, or halacha.

‘Dreaming Of What Might Have Been’

11/20/1998
Staff Writer
Several hundred New York City Jewish community leaders and elected officials gathered last Thursday night to commemorate the third anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. The two-hour memorial for the Israeli leader who risked his life for peace was unfolding even as the drums of war rumbled once again in the Middle East as the late Rabin’s good friend, President Bill Clinton, was deciding on military action against Iraq.

‘A Prince Of The Game’

11/20/1998
Staff Writer
Most young boys learning to play basketball at the Jewish Community House in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, in the early 1970s were trying to shoot jump shots like former New York Knick superstar Willis Reed. Or “shake and bake” like Earl (The Pearl) Monroe. Or play defense like Walt “Clyde” Frazier. “Bradley from the corner. Yes!” That was the oft-heard exclamation from a happy 12-year-old who just launched a successful shot from the corner of the gym like his hero, “Dollar” Bill Bradley.

The Brawl About Paul

11/13/1998
Staff Writer
He’s the most famous and controversial convert in Jewish history. And he’s also been widely misunderstood these past 2,000 years, say people who study his work. So yet another effort was made last week to shed light on the contribution or obstacles presented by Paul of Tarsus to Jewish-Catholic relations.

A Code For A New Age

11/13/1998
Staff Writer
Clinton and Lewinsky. The general manager of the New York Mets. Teens shaving their heads and piercing their tongues. High schoolers killing their classmates with guns. Popular culture in America is not providing a pretty picture to those interested in teaching their kids ethics and morals. But how should they be taught? Whose ethics? And what are morals, anyway?

Sinatra And The Jews

11/13/1998
Staff Writer
In Pete Hamill’s wonderful new riff on Frank Sinatra, we learn about the enormous positive impact “Old Blue Eyes” had on the immigrant Jewish community and other ethnic newcomers to America in the years following the Depression.

White House Pressure On Conversions?

02/27/1998
Staff Writer
There will never be a “religious” solution to the bitter “Who is a Jew” issue in Israel — despite intense pressure from the White House. But there still could be a “technical solution.” That’s the undiluted opinion of Rabbi Avraham Ravitz, leader of Israel’s Orthodox right-wing United Torah Judaism party, which holds four seats in the Knesset.

Reclaiming Heschel

01/09/1998
Staff Writer
He was accused of being too political. Others said he was too spiritual. Certainly he melded the ancient wisdom of the prophets with a modern sensibility to become the symbol of Jewish social action in America during the turbulent 1960s. When Abraham Joshua Heschel barely escaped Nazi Europe in 1940, the 33-year-old scholar began teaching at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. There he found himself disregarded as a chasidic traditionalist out of step with the Reform movement’s modern, non-observant world.
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