News

After The Fall

08/17/2007
Staff Writer
When John Ruskay met with a major donor to UJA-Federation of New York Monday in the man’s Midtown office, multiple screens on his desk flashed with stock prices and minute-by-minute financial updates. Their first order of business was to talk about the volatility currently wreaking havoc in the hedge fund, credit and mortgage markets.

A Vehicle For Education

10/27/2009
Staff Writer
Hazon, the New York-based Jewish environmental organization, is using a yellow school bus to send a green message. Actually, 11⁄2 yellow school buses. In a kick-off ceremony last week outside the United Nations, in honor of Jewish Social Action Month, a “Topsy Turvy Bus,” two chassis fused together, began a three-month journey across the country. The biodiesel-fueled bus, staffed by a few Hazon members, will stop at synagogues and Jewish schools and other Jewish institutions between New York and California to deliver its environmental message.

Not Your Grandfather’s Beit Midrash

10/20/2009
Staff Writer
Like thousands of men have done for hundreds of years, Rachel Druck is studying the prohibitions of Yom Kippur these days. In Aramaic, in the Talmud, in a yeshiva.

Interfaith Concert For South Africa

10/20/2009
Staff Writer
A first-time visit to South Africa, newly free of apartheid in the mid-1990s, was an eye opener for Rev. Linda Tarry-Chard. Rev. Tarry-Chard, minister for interfaith relations at Riverside Church on The Upper West Side, was shocked by the poverty and the still-inequitable living conditions she saw in the townships where many of the country’s black citizens lived.

Telling Two Stories With One Voice

10/13/2009
Staff Writer
Bill Tingling, founder of a Brooklyn-based literacy project that teaches public school students the fundamentals of journalism, was looking for a new way to discuss prejudice a few years ago. Have the students — mostly from the minority community — interview Holocaust survivors, suggested an Irish friend of Tingling.

An Author Whose Sources Are Disappearing

10/13/2009
Staff Writer
Pundits have warned for decades that water — or the scarcity thereof — may be the issue that brings the Middle East to the brink of war, more than ideology or territory. Israel, Jordan, and Syria and the Palestinians are united by common, fast-disappearing sources of water, and a desire to control those sources.

Remembered In Granite

10/06/2009
Staff Writer
Nearly 300 Jews who died 10 to 20 years ago without money, without mourners at their graveside, without a marker on their grave on Staten Island, got a gravestone the other day. On a cool, overcast Sunday morning, a crane unloaded 266 granite markers from Georgia at Staten Island’s Mount Richmond Cemetery. Over the next month, they will be set up at their respective graves as the latest installment of the 18-year-old Leave a Mark project of the Hebrew Free Burial Association.

Emanu-El Broadcast Needs A New Home

10/06/2009
Staff Writer
The rabbis and cantors of Temple Emanu-El have for decades kept an eye on the clock on the bima near the end of Friday night worship services. Since 1940, WQXR Radio — and before that, WHN — carried a live broadcast from the sanctuary starting at 5:30 p.m. and ending exactly at 6 o’clock.

Remembering Marek Edelman

10/06/2009
Staff Writer
The best advice I ever received about a forthcoming interview concerned a septuagenarian cardiologist in Warsaw. I was about to interview Dr. Marek Edelman, the last-surviving commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, in 1993 for a series of stories commemorating the event’s 50th anniversary. A Polish Jew who knew him told me what to expect: Dr. Edelman would give me some time, but if he felt bored he’d probably walk away without warning.

Open Door Policy In Queens

09/30/2009
Staff Writer
The corner of Main Street and Jewel Avenue in Kew Gardens Hills is “on one hand a lousy location,” says Marvin Gruza, who has lived in the Queens neighborhood 20 years. Loud buses go by every few minutes. “On the other hand,” he says, “I’m in the perfect location.” A perfect location for doing chesed.
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