News

Taking A Crack At Mah Jong

06/07/2002
Staff Writer
What happens when East meets West? When they meet on the Lower East Side, they play mah jong. Or mah jongg. About 700 participants in the second annual Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Block Party, sponsored by the Eldridge Street Project, learned on Sunday that the game has two spellings. And two sets of rules. "The Western version has one 'g.' The Chinese spell it with two," says Rebecca Faulkner, a staff member at the project, whose aunt, Sheila Solomon, right, came from upstate Suffern to try her hand at the tiles game.

A Pass On Anti-Semitism

06/07/2002
Staff Writer
Was bigotry a winner on Long Island? Some members of the Jewish communities in the Five Towns area think so, after a successful high school football coach who was accused of making anti-Semitic threats against a Jewish junior varsity coach last season received a vote of confidence from the administration and the Jewish coach's future remains unclear. Rumors about Jewish support for the head coach have divided part of the Jewish community, some observers say.

The Power Of A Smile

05/31/2002
Staff Writer
Gershon Resnik, a Canadian-born New Yorker, knows some French, Italian, Hebrew and Yiddish, but the other day he greeted Israeli children in fluent Chihuahua. With a red rubber nose, floppy pants and a big grin, he walked on stage (in Haifa, in a northern neighborhood of Jerusalem, in a West Bank city) holding a hula hoop. "I'd bark at the audience and try to get them to bark back at me," before jumping through the hoop, Resnik says.

An Exercise In Unity

05/24/2002
Staff Writer
Dr. Ada Berkowitz has demonstrated for Israel, last month in Washington. She has marched for Israel, earlier this month in the Salute to Israel Parade in Manhattan. Next week she will run for Israel, closer to her Queens home. Berkowitz, a pediatrician, will take part in the Run for Israel sponsored by Young Israel of Jamaica Estates on Memorial Day: Monday, May 27, 10:30 a.m. in the Cunningham Park area.

Crises Manager

05/24/2002
Staff Writer
Steve Schwager took a few days' vacation last week before starting his new job. "And I spent a full day on the phone, and on-line," on business, he says: the needs of world Jewry can't wait. Schwager, 54, who was named executive vice president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee this month, takes over at the organization that helps keep Judaism (and in many cases, Jews) alive in South America and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and other Jewish communities that lack their own resources.

OSI Targets Queens Man

05/17/2002
Staff Writer
For most of the nearly six decades since the end of World War II, an SS training base 20 miles east-southeast of Lublin was, for the general public, a relatively minor footnote in the history of the Holocaust. In recent years, however, Trawniki has assumed a higher profile.

Genealogy An On-Line Hit

04/26/2002
Staff Writer
What a difference a "k" makes. Gary Mokotoff, a Jewish genealogist by vocation and avocation, had over the last 22 years created a family tree spanning seven generations and 1,000 names. He had traced the history of relatives, knew where many of them lived and what kind of lives they lived. But there were some gaps in his personal roots research: like details about the arrival at Ellis Island of his great-grandparents from Poland on the eve of World War I.

Rabbi Walter Wurzburger, 82

04/26/2002
Staff Writer
Rabbi Walter Wurzburger, a philosopher, college teacher, pulpit rabbi, and leader of interfaith and intrafaith activities, died April 16 at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He was 82. Rabbi Wurzburger lived in Lawrence, L.I., where he retired as spiritual leader of Congregation Shaaray Tefila in 1994.

Comic Coexistence

04/26/2002
Staff Writer
The stand-up comic was doing his routine at a Long Island temple one recent Sunday afternoon, but his material wasn't routine for the folks in The Community Synagogue in Port Washington. Ahmed Ahmed was talking about racial profiling, about the suspicious questions of security personnel at airports ... about life in the United States since 9-11 as an Arab. As an Arab American, to be accurate. "I was a little bit nervous before coming here," said Ahmed, 31.

Today's Lesson: Genocide

04/19/2002
Staff Writer
In this post-9-ll period, Americans can learn about genocide every day in the media. Now some study it at the Ph.D. level as well.
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