Ruben Franco, the chairman of the New York City Housing Authority who is reportedly on the verge of being fired, has earned high marks within the Jewish community during his tenure. "He's a real mensch," said Isaac Abraham, a Satmar chasidic activist closely involved in public housing issues in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. "He has been great in resolving many differences between the Jewish community and the Latino community."
It was a year of bluster and blunder, ascent to higher office and descent to name-calling. This year's collection of political stars includes big-spending Democrats, a loose-lipped senator, irresponsible Council members and an attorney general whose motto of "never say die" probably killed his career.
Fueled by boredom and loneliness and lured by the dazzle of blackjack tables and slot machines, an increasing number of Russian immigrants are taking daylong excursions to Atlantic City, such as those that ended in deadly crashes over the past week.
While the American public continues to look kindly on Sen. Joe Lieberman — with his religious observance either a non-issue or looked upon favorably by Christians — Jews on the right and left continue to make him a target of their religious and/or political agendas.
Are these negative stories on Lieberman fair game, or efforts to embarrass him? And why are they coming primarily from Jewish media?
How to reach young, unaffiliated Jews and bring them into the fold? It’s been the Jewish community’s No. 1 question for years.
Now, one of the Jewish world’s wealthiest and most influential philanthropists thinks he has an answer.
And the emphasis is more on culture than religion as a gateway to Jewish life.
Gone are the days when Jewish federations portrayed themselves as synonymous with and fully representative of the communities they served.
Reflecting a scaled-down sense of hubris and heightened notion of Jewish peoplehood, the new executive vice president and CEO of UJA-Federation of New York is calling for more linkages between the federation and such “gateway” institutions as synagogues, JCCs, camps and Hillels to create “caring, inspired” communities.
Seeking to answer the religious pluralism symposium question — “Can We Jews Get Along?” — three leading rabbis of different denominations posited a cautiously hopeful response. Despite strong ideological disagreements, they addressed the need to work toward change within the nexus of religion-state relations in Israel.
After more than two months of concern and uncertainty about the future of Yeshiva University’s high school for boys, the board of trustees of the university Tuesday approved the continuation of the school on its Washington Heights campus, and pledged to strengthen it academically and financially.The decision, based on the recommendation of two committees, is a victory for advocates of the 80-year-old high school, some of whom may be wondering what the fuss was all about in the first place.
A few days into his post as acting president of the new national entity for Jewish communal activity, Stephen Solender apologizes to a visitor for not knowing his way around the organization’s headquarters in the block-long old Port Authority Building on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea. His large office has no artwork on the walls and the bookshelves are bare. In conversation, he even stumbles a couple of times over the organization’s new name, the United Jewish Communities
If diplomacy is the art of accenting the positive, the distinguished speakers at a formal dinner Tuesday evening commemorating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s admission to the United Nations deserved the highest diplomatic marks. One would hardly have known from listening to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, or former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Abba Eban that for most of the last five decades Israel has been treated as a pariah in the world body.