News

Remembering The Six Million

04/20/2007
Staff Writer
On Monday time stood still in Israel. For two minutes the sirens sounded, traffic stopped, and heads were bowed in memory of the Six Million martyrs of the Holocaust. Every year Yom HaShoah is marked by public displays of mourning and private recollections of loved ones who perished in occupied Europe. The theme of Yom HaShoah this year was “bearing witness,” a recognition of the diminishing numbers of Holocaust survivors. About 250,000 of them live in Israel, and 10 percent of that group dies each year.

At Home, Again, In Timisoara

04/13/2007
Staff Writer
Timisoara, Romania — Among the nearly 200 Jews who attended the pair of seders in the Jewish community building here last week were members of the local community, a visiting family of Israelis and one man with New York City roots. Rafael Schwartz lived in Brooklyn and New Jersey for nearly 20 years.

An Unorthodox Pesach Celebration

04/13/2007
Staff Writer
When you think of Passover, you don’t usually think of bungee jumping, yoga sessions and reggae music.Unless you were at Nitzanim beach, near Ashkelon, this week. That’s where the ninth annual New Age festival, Boombamela, took place during three intermediate days of Pesach. Inspired by the Hindu Kumbh Mela festival, Boombamela draws ten of thousands of Israelis, most of them in their 20s, for 18-hour-a-day seminars with imported Indian gurus, performances by rock bands, and nude beaches. And sesame sumo bouts, roller skate courses and karaoke.

Vice President Visits Israel

03/26/2008
Staff Writer
Vice President Dick Cheney’s trip throughout the Middle East last week found him in Israel on Easter — he joined thousands of pilgrims at a service in Jerusalem — but his visit there was no holiday. During his three days in Israel, Cheney met with Israeli and Palestinian officials, voiced the Bush administration’s continued support for the Jewish state, urged all sides in the Middle East peace process to make further concessions and criticized two belligerent governments in the region.

‘Heroic’ Seders

04/29/2005
Staff Writer
Grodno, Belarus — Tsilia Brido remembers her early Belarus Passover in her Polotsk hometown, her grandfather leading the seders in Hebrew, women from the neighborhood baking their matzahs in her family’s large wood stove. “It was before the war,” she says, referring to World War II. Belarus was the first of the former Soviet Union’s republics to be invaded by the German army. Brido remembers the seders ending after 1941, first under the Nazis, then under the communists.

At 100, He’s Still Giving

04/22/2005
Staff Writer
On a Friday in January 1973, Jesse Perlstein retired from his job as a district manager for the Robert Hall men’s clothing chain. The following Monday morning he walked to the Samuel Field Y, a few minutes from his home in Little Neck, Queens, and signed up as a volunteer. The next morning he walked to the Marathon Jewish Community Center, his synagogue a few minutes away, again to volunteer. Thirty years later, Perlstein is still donating his time.

Finally, Shul Web Sites Coming Of Age

10/14/2009
Staff Writer

Gil Mann can’t recall what the old Beth El Synagogue Web site used to look like. “I don’t think it was heavily used,” he says. And it certainly wasn’t pretty.

When Beth El, a 1,200-family synagogue located in St. Louis Park, Minn., began to think strategically about its future two years ago, a fresh Web site was a crucial component of the emerging plan.

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