Rabbi Charles Savenor has been appointed executive director of the New York Metropolitan Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, effective in mid-July.
Rabbi Savenor, 39, is associate dean and director of admissions at the Rabbinical School of the Jewish Theological Seminary and a former international president of United Synagogue Youth. He succeeds Bruce Greenfield, who was fired in March following allegations of financial improprieties at METNY.
Impressed with the outpouring of letters of support to New Yorkers following the 9-11 attacks, a local rabbinical student studying in Israel has organized a similar effort for Israelis. In three months it has triggered 13,000 cards of support.
"I won't give up if you don't give up," said a handwritten card from a youngster named Moshe.
"Dear Israel," wrote 8-year-old Jared from New York, "I watch the news every day. I pray for Israel when I walk from my house to my school and sometimes I cry. I wish I could come to help, but I'm only a kid."
As Adam M. and nine other Israeli soldiers walked toward the Palestinian West Bank city of Ramallah in the dead of night, a burst of gunfire shattered the stillness.
"They ambushed us as we approached," he recalled. "Those in front heard people speaking Arabic, and they opened fire on us when we were about 25 feet from an apartment building. We hit the ground and everyone returned fire."
It has been 66 years, but Isabella Svetlosanova still vividly remembers the Nazi siege of her hometown of Leningrad that began in September 1941, and of fleeing at the age of 4 with her mother in a military convoy.
“We had to leave my father behind in a makeshift hospital,” the Brooklyn resident recalled in an interview conducted through a translator. “He was very sick — very weak from hunger,” surviving as they all did on a daily diet of melted snow and just four ounces of bread.
As Rabbi Jerome Epstein left the synagogue in the Ethiopian city of Gondar Tuesday morning, a dozen children were pounding on the door of the closed food pantry next door.
The children, ages 4 to 7, had come to the pantry as they had for months, apparently “too young to understand that the cupboard is now bare,” said Rabbi Epstein, executive vice-president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
A bottle of wine, a slice of cheese and a package of frozen vegetables are now at the center of a new federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of revised New York State kosher laws.
These foods and others, according to non-Orthodox standards, are inherently kosher and thus do not need a kosher seal. That was the belief of the two Commack, L.I., butchers who in 2000 successfully challenged the state’s century-old kosher laws. The new law, they believed, required only that they post a sign stating the name of their kosher supervisor.
With the return Wednesday of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed by Hezbollah terrorists in 2006, Israelis turned their attention to negotiations to free Cpl. Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured two years ago by Hamas and its allies.
But a new round of negotiations mediated by Egypt that were to begin this week in Cairo was unexpectedly called off by Hamas Monday, reportedly to try to force Egypt to reopen the Rafah crossing connecting Egypt and the Gaza Strip before coming to the bargaining table.
A large New York public relations company that represents Agriprocessors, the embattled giant kosher slaughterhouse, could use some positive p.r. of its own this week.
5W Public Relations, which also represents Pastor John Hagee and several right-wing Israeli groups, gained unwanted notoriety for itself with its admission that it posted fraudulent messages on the Internet to promote Agriprocessors.
New York area rabbis are praying for a warm winter.
With heating oil and natural gas prices up about 60 percent over last winter, some area synagogues are now imposing fuel surcharges on members, increasing dues and consolidating events in order to close their buildings and lower the heat a few nights each week.
And the annual Kol Nidre appeal — used in the past to raise money for new programs — will now be used by some synagogue presidents to solicit donations to keep the lights and heat on.