It was billed as a rally to protest Gov. George Pataki's proposed funding cuts for programs in naturally occurring retirement communities.
But last Thursday's event felt more like a political rally for Pataki's Democratic nemesis, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
As the war on Iraq entered its first Shabbat, reactions from area synagogue pulpits ranged from staunch support to somber reflections and prayer.
At the progressive-minded Conservative B'nai Jeshurun on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Rabbis J. Rolando Matalon and Marcelo Bronstein abandoned their weekly discussion before the Torah reading to read an anti-war essay by the late Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
A state Supreme Court ruling last week has set off a scramble for the second-most powerful job in city government.
Several key City Council members are insisting they are solidly behind Speaker Gifford Miller in his legal battle to stay in office. But just in case the court rejects Miller's appeal of the ruling, which would force him out in December, there is plenty of behind-the-scenes maneuvering to fill the void.
Israel managed to stay virtually out of the picture at the last City Council meeting, when members approved a resolution opposing the U.S. war against Iraq.
The final vote was 31-17, after members passionately argued for and against the heavily modified bill.
But although that the anti-war movement has been inundated with anti-Zionism, and members of the Council have not hesitated to criticize the Jewish state, there was only one veiled reference to Israel during the hour-long debate.
A local Conservative leader says his movement has been left out of the loop as state legislators and Gov. George Pataki set out to draft new kosher-consumer legislation to replace the law struck down by federal courts because it favored Orthodox standards.
"We have reached out to [Assembly Speaker Sheldon] Silver's office and Pataki's office as well as Attorney General [Eliot] Spitzer's office, indicating that we have not been part of this process," said Bruce Greenfield, president of the Metropolitan Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
The off-duty cop whose car killed an immigrant couple on their way to work in Brooklyn on March 4 was drunk, according to test results released by the cityís medical examiner.
Rifka and Anton Goldenberg, who worked together at Reisman Brothers kosher bakery in Bensonhurst, died at the scene of the early morning crash, as did Michael McGibbon, a three-year veteran of the police force.
Test results showed that McGibbon had three times the legal alcohol limit in his blood at the time of the crash.
He's still undecided about his own future prospects, but former Public Advocate Mark Green is back in the political limelight: as a local booster for Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry.
"I'll be one of several co-chairs for Kerry," Green, who narrowly lost the 2001 mayoral race to Republican Michael Bloomberg, told The Jewish Week.
One of the cityís best-known Jewish politicians, Green could be an ethnic asset to Kerry, who recently disclosed his own Jewish ancestry.
When the city's Districting Commission earlier this year approved a plan that split Brighton Beach in two, some say it weakened the political power of Russian-speaking new immigrants in south Brooklyn.
But the long-term effect may be the opposite.
Galvanized by what many feel was a raw deal, Russian-Jewish activists more than ever are making themselves heard, exhibiting a "don't tread on me" attitude that is as classically New York as it is alien to the mores of Moscow, Kiev or Minsk.
Is it an out-of-control Purim gag, or a case for the "X-Files?"
In either event, word of a talking fish in the upstate village of New Square is making a big splash in the chasidic world. Thousands are people are hooked on the story, says Jewish radio maven Zev Brenner, who devoted his "Talkline" program on WMCA-570 AM last Saturday to the subject.
A couple who found a better life in New York after immigrating from Ukraine more than 30 years ago were killed early Tuesday morning on their way to work at a Brooklyn kosher bakery.
Anton and Rifka Goldenberg died at the scene on 24th Avenue in Bensonhurst when their car collided with a vehicle driven by Michael McGibbon, 28, an off-duty policeman, who was also killed. The accident took place at 4:48 a.m.