During the Great Depression Sidney Kronish was, like countless Americans, out of work. He hunched over a typewriter for hours in his family’s cramped Bronx apartment, eventually mailing hundreds of job application letters. Other days, he took the subway to employment offices along Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. “No job was beneath me,” he says. After a series of menial jobs, he found his career in teaching.
A keen sense of self-sacrifice, and a family he leaned on for support, kept him going, Kronish says.
For a period in the modern history of Israel, the country’s presidency, largely a figurehead position, was the province of academia, filled — after Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first president, a scientist and Zionist leader — by men who became president from largely apolitical professions, a poet and historian among them.
The last man like that died on Saturday.
Sonia Sotomayor has ruled on only a limited number of cases directly involving the Jewish community or Jewish issues during her 17 years as a federal judge, but her record seems reassuring, according to legal experts and representatives of Jewish organizations.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated Sotomayor, from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to succeed Associate Justice David Souter, who is stepping down from the Supreme Court when its current session ends this summer.
In Israel, it’s known as Yom Yerushalayim, the annual commemoration of the day, Iyar 28 on the Hebrew calendar, when the capital of the Jewish state was suddenly unified during the Six-Day War in 1967.
In Israel, it’s become a quasi-religious holiday with political and messianic overtones; a time for singing and dancing, rallies and counter-rallies.
On the Sea of Galilee, a boat ride. In Moscow, a parade. In Australia, bonfires from Perth to Melbourne. In South Africa, Bedouin-style braais, as barbecues are known there.
In Israel, the U.S. and other Jewish venues, festive haircuts and weddings and picnics and other spirited celebrations.
On Lag b’Omer, the 33rd day of the period between Passover and Shavuot, a period of semi-mourning because of a divine-sent plague that took the lives of 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva 2,000 years ago during the first 32 days of the Omer, joy is a mitzvah.
Suddenly, there’s a Siddur War brewing.
Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, one of the Upper East Side’s major Modern Orthodox synagogues, will receive a major shipment in the next few weeks — 500 copies of a new prayer book.
A young rabbi walked into one of Michael Gershkovich’s kosher restaurants on the Upper West Side a few weeks ago, asked for the owner, then began a sales pitch.
The rabbi was selling not a product, but an idea — a new form of free kosher supervision that certifies not ritual standards, but compliance with the Torah’s brand of ethics.
Gershkovich, a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef who owns Mike’s Bistro and Mike’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, was convinced.
Mira, a sergeant in the Red Army during World War II, moved from unit to unit, treating wounded soldiers. Yakov served as a captain, stationed by the navy in several places. Emanuel, an officer, was stationed at the front.
If they were still in the former Soviet Union, they would take part in a national celebration last week of Victory in Europe Day, a holiday commemorating the end of what was called in the USSR “The Great Patriotic.”
Like many of the 8,000 Israelis who were evacuated by the Israeli Army from Gaza in August, 2005, Dror Vanunu who lived in Gush Katif and served as a spokesman for the evacuees, is now based in temporary quarters, a pre-fabricated home in Nitzan, near the Mediterranean coast between Ashdod and Ashkelon. He was in New York recently as part of a lobbying and public relations mission.
A prominent mock trial competition is a mockery this year, some voices in the Jewish community say.
The Anti-Defamation League, prominent Washington attorney Nathan Lewin and several Jewish newspapers have protested the recent decision by the National High School Mock Trial Championship not to accommodate the Shabbat requirements of a Boston day school that qualified for the 2009 competition, which was held this week in Atlanta.