Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: A British Invasion of Spirituality and Wisdom

05/17/2010 - 20:00

Rabbis aren’t usually rock stars, but British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks isn’t your average rabbi. A one-of-a-kind spiritual leader — and this week’s Top Jew — Rabbi Sacks consistently attracts overflow crowds all around the Jewish world. Last month, he thrilled attendees of a standing-room-only Shabbat weekend at Lincoln Square Synagogue with his insights, intellect and scholarship. His new book “Future Tense: Jews, Judaism and Israel in the 21st Century” is a must-read. Here are a few highlights:

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Piping Up For Israel

05/17/2010 - 20:00

What’s that sound coming from the courtyard? 

Bagpipes? No, it can’t be. It’s not even St. Patrick’s Day.

And yet, there they are, standing near the patchy lawn behind their Washington Heights apartment building — an Orthodox Jewish couple, playing the bagpipes.

Sam and Sandy Benson usually practice their unusual instrument in Fort Tryon Park, but on Fridays, when time is short and the food is in the oven, they just come downstairs to play. 

“Shabbos siren”: The bagpipe sounds of Sandy and Sam Benson announce coming of Shabbat in Washington Heights. Yoni Oppenheim

ISRAEL Game: Funny Or Offensive?

Comedy Central blinks after game labeled anti-Semitic.
05/17/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

A female robot with the acronym I.S.R.A.E.L. that marauds a middle-class suburban neighborhood killing children — over-the-top satire or below-the-belt anti-Semitism?

Child-killing Comedy Central robot named I.S.R.A.E.L. has drawn the ire of Jewish watchdogs.

City: No Kosher Litmus Test For Meals On Wheels

Commissioner says despite rising cost of kosher meals, reports of rationing are untrue.
05/17/2010 - 20:00
Assistant Managing Editor

The commissioner of the city’s Department for the Aging has disputed a report that elderly recipients of Meals On Wheels have been asked to prove they are Orthodox to qualify for the more expensive kosher food.

“No rules have changed, no funding has changed. I have no idea what created this rumor,” said Lilliam Barrios-Paoli. “There should be no extra hoops that people have to go through.”

UJA-Fed. Reduces Funds For Recession Program

Connect to Care’s budget trimmed, but charity says ‘services being kept whole.’
05/17/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

UJA-Federation of New York’s signature response to the recession, a program that has helped some 22,000 people with a wide range of unemployment-related services, has itself fallen victim to the budget axe.

The charity’s board of directors has approved a 12-month, $4 million budget for Connect to Care in the fiscal year that starts July 1, down from the $6.8 million that was allotted for the initial 15-month period in 2009-10.

But UJA-Federation officials stress that “no client will see any difference in services.”

Justice Sought Against French Railroad

05/17/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Holocaust survivors met with officials on Capitol Hill to discuss legislation that will help them pursue a lawsuit against a French railroad company.

Leo Bretholz and Mathilde Freund were both refugees from Austria living in Vichy, France during World War II.

Is Netanyahu Alienating Israel’s Friends in Europe?

05/17/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) – On the day last week that Israel gained admission to the prestigious Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel's continued control over the Palestinians was eroding its global standing.

Perfidious Son: Aaron David Miller Rejects the Peace Process

05/16/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Depending on your view of the Middle East and the Obama administration, Aaron David Miller is either a hero or a turncoat.

Pat Buchanan Slams Obama Over Kagan

05/15/2010 - 20:00

(JTA) -- Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan slammed President Obama for nominating a Jewish woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mumbai Chabad to Open Museum to Victims

05/15/2010 - 20:00

(JTA) -- Mumbai's Chabad Jewish center, where six Jews were killed in 2008, will open a museum.

A small memorial and educational center will be opened at the five-story complex, the French news agency AFP reported.

The fifth floor of the building reportedly will be set up the way it was when Chabad emissaries Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg and their son, Moshe, lived there, according to the report, citing the Mumbai Mirror newspaper. The bullet holes will be left as well.

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