News

Dedicating A New Year At YU

09/18/2009
Staff Writer
Anew year, a new semester, a new building. This week was a week of many beginnings at Yeshiva University. Coinciding with the start of the academic year and on the eve of the High Holy Days, Yeshiva University opened the Glueck Center for Jewish Study, the first new edifice dedicated at the Washington Heights institution’s Wilf Campus in two decades.

The Politics Of Repentance

09/18/2009
Staff Writer
Two theological underpinnings of the approaching High Holy Days season have become more topical this year: apology and forgiveness. Classical Jewish thought, formulated by scholars like Maimonides centuries ago, consider those twin acts as preludes to the Ten Days of Repentance, direct apologies for the previous year’s slights a prerequisite for Divine forgiveness. In “No Enemy to Conquer: Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World,” British journalist Michael Henderson argues that apologizing and forgiving have a value on both a personal and political plane.

Assessing Barack And Bibi

09/18/2009
Staff Writer
Less than a year into new administrations in Washington and Jerusalem, diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel are bleak, but not that bleak, Middle East experts in an academic conference here agreed this week. The participants in “U.S.-Israel Relations: In the Era of Obama and Netanyahu,” held at the Schottenstein Cultural Center in Manhattan, said the continuing pressure on Israel by the Obama administration to halt the expansion of settlements in the Palestinian territories is not likely to improve the relations.

Reform Giant Gottschalk Succumbs

09/18/2009
Staff Writer
Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk, a Holocaust refugee who as a longtime leader of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion oversaw the growth of the rabbinical school’s four campuses and strengthened the Reform movement’s ties with Israel, died Sept. 12 in his Cincinnati home following a recent automobile accident. He was 79.

‘If You Stream It, They Will Come’

09/18/2009
Staff Writer
Lisa Gilbert, a native of Cincinnati who now lives in Manhattan, listened to the rabbi’s sermon and the choir’s singing at her family’s Cincinnati congregation on the High Holy Days last year. From her New York apartment. Online. Gilbert, a 30-year-old research analyst, watched the live streaming Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services of Congregation Beth Adam, on the humanistic synagogue’s Web site, because she had attended several congregations after moving here and did not feel welcome or comfortable at any one of them.

High Holy Days Come To Kabul

09/25/2009
Staff Writer
The entire Jewish community of Afghanistan celebrated Rosh HaShanah this week in a small side room of the lone synagogue in Kabul, the country’s capital. His name is Zebulon Simantov. Simantov, 57, a one-time owner of a small jewelry-and-carpets store in Kabul, returned a decade ago to Afghanistan, his homeland, after spending time in Tajikistan and Israel.

Federation Loses A Pillar In Joseph Gurwin, 89

10/02/2009
Staff Writer
About 80 prominent members of the Palm Beach Jewish community gathered one night early this year, a few months after the extent of their losses in the Bernard Madoff investment scandal became known. The meeting was in the home of one member for a fundraiser on behalf of UJA-Federation of New York. Without prompting, Joseph Gurwin, a part-time member of the community who had lost millions of dollars to Madoff, spoke for a few minutes.

A Class Clown Eyes The A-List

10/02/2009
Staff Writer
Stand-up comic Ray Ellin was performing at a New York comedy club a few days after Rosh HaShanah. It was his usual act — some family stories, some bantering with the audience. As usual, he asked people in the crowd where they came from. “Germany,” said one couple. That’s raw meat for a Jewish comic. “I wish you,” Ellin said, “a year of health and happiness — and reparations.” “It killed — killed,” Ellin says. The crowd roared.

Sephardic Leader Leon Levy Dies At 84

10/13/2006
Staff Writer
eon Levy, a son of Turkish Jewish immigrants who became a philanthropist and leader of several major Jewish organizations in the United States, died Sept. 19 in Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital of heart and lung failure. A resident of Jamaica Estates, Queens, he was 84.

Is Y's Open Door A Barrier?

10/13/2006
Staff Writer
Shortly after Linda Moses and Arthur Gurevitch, a young couple on the Upper East Side, enrolled their 5-year-old son in an art class this fall at the 92nd Street Y, they discovered that the Y's Sunday Young Artists class was starting on Sukkot. Moses and Gurevitch, "somewhat observant" Conservative Jews and participants in Y programming for two decades, had assumed that the art class, as in past years, would skip Sukkot, which was last Sunday, and Simchat Torah, this Sunday.
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