Paris: On a pair of aisle seats in the ornate ballroom of City Hall here, with a white-haired cantor intoning in the background and an Israeli flag hanging on the front stage next to the colors of France, Sylvain and Ninette Smadja talked about life for Parisian Jews in recent weeks.
In the weeks before Passover, the thoughts of many Jewish families turn to the guests they'll invite to the seders and the holiday dishes they'll shlep out of storage.
Some New York Jews will think about appliance cords and electrical outlets.
As part of its mandate to educate the Jewish community about fire safety, The Ahava Project will distribute Passover-related safety warnings at several local Jewish day schools prior to the first seder on April 16.
The suitcase is a fraud.
It is small and leather and tattered, sky blue, and Yossi Wassa, sitting on a dark stage, hugs it to his chest. Ethiopian music plays lightly in the background, and Wassa, thin with dreadlocks and open-necked cotton shirt, begins speaking. He talks about his days as a child in a Jewish family in northern Ethiopia, his 430-mile trek by foot and donkey to Sudan, his memories of the Operation Moses airlift to Israel in 1985, his arrival at an absorption center in Netanya.
But he came to the Promised Land empty handed.
The suitcase is a prop.
Add the Solomon Schechter High School of Long Island thermos to the rally cap and other comeback superstitions.
With the Lady Lions trailing the Waldorf School by 10 points at halftime of last week's conference championship game, Leora Gueron brought out the flagon of Lipton tea for the parents in attendance at the Portledge School in Locust Valley, L.I.
On Purim, a holiday of costumes, many Jews deliver their shaloch manot, packages of food sent to at least two people, while dressed in their yom tov regalia.
This year some of Miriam Adani's friends will perform the mitzvah in bulletproof vests.
Adani, founder of the independent Yesh Sachar Lefeulatech organization (Hebrew for "There is Reward for Your Action") that sponsors classes and other activities at the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem, is organizing shaloch manot deliveries for all the Israeli soldiers serving in the West Bank, Gaza and the Lebanese border.
Barbed wire and a dove are two images used by the East Jerusalem YMCA/YWCA in a new brochure, part of a "Free Palestine" campaign, that is highly critical of Israel.
But the Y might not be able to bank on a more tangible resource, the American dollar sign, for long. The YMCA of the USA, a national umbrella organization that has provided financial support for the East Jerusalem Y, has dropped a broad hint that it will cut off funds unless the anti-Israel agitating ends.
The nation's Jewish communities are on high alert this week after the Bush administration upgraded the country to "orange alert" (the second-highest warning) in response to potential terrorist attacks by al Qaeda in the United States.
In New York, the Jewish Community Relations Council warned several thousand area synagogues, Jewish schools, community centers and hospitals to upgrade security for their buildings' ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems in case of a chemical or biological attack by the Islamic terrorists.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Visitors are a rare sight for Setegn Mantegbosh. To reach her home, a mud hut off a main road in the eastern part of Ethiopia's capital, you walk down a dirt path in a warren of mud structures, go left, right, then left again. Watch your step: a rare rainstorm in the country's dry season has turned the trail into muck.
This morning, some Western visitors come.
The next stop for a New Jersey town's legal battle against an eruv erected by a group of Orthodox residents may be the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Tenafly Borough Council voted 5-1 last week to petition the high court to hear its case against the Tenafly Eruv Association, two months after the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to rehear the case.
Israelis may have developed a reputation for their machismo, their brawn, but Frank Luger wants it known they have plenty of brainpower, too.
The semi-retired physician from Budapest by way of Montreal, who made aliyah six months ago, is trying to establish an Israeli chapter of Mensa, the international high IQ society. After arriving in Israel, Luger was baffled to find Mensa missing there.