New York

New Challenge For Rego Park Shul

Staff Writer
Seeking a strategy for survival in a changing demographic landscape, members of the Rego Park Jewish Center may soon look to a mechitza as the answer to their prayers. The 65-year-old Conservative congregation, which has lost more than half its members in the past five years, is considering a shift to Orthodoxy to remain viable.

Fallout Over Rutgers ‘Satire’

Staff Writer
Organized by the campus Hillel chapter, a coalition of students at Rutgers University is planning to take control of a campus humor publication after it ran a widely panned satirical Holocaust cartoon on its cover. “Students on a grassroots level have to step up and take charge,” said Andrew Getraer, Hillel director at the state-funded college in New Brunswick, N.J.

The Perils Of Passover

Staff Writer
Leaders in Orthodox neighborhoods will organize centrally located, controlled fires for chametz burning next Passover, hoping to avoid incidents like the one in Brooklyn last week in which five people were burned. Amid unusually blustery weather on April 5, a fire company in the Borough Park section reportedly put out 125 dangerous fires set by residents partaking in the ritual of incinerating non-leavened food on the eve of Passover.

Spiritual Aid For Fast-Breakers

Staff Writer
Fasting on Yom Kippur is one of the most widely observed rituals among Jews. Based on recent surveys, more than half nationally and as many as 72 percent locally will abstain from eating this Saturday. But for those unable to partake in the fast because of medical reasons, having a meal on the Day of Atonement can be a difficult, guilt-ridden process. That’s particularly true in the case of those recovering from eating disorders, for whom a day without food may lead to a relapse, but who might not consider their illness severe enough to forgo the fast.

Race In NY Now Seen Tightening

Staff Writer
With Sen. John Kerry’s lead in New York dwindling to single digits according to two new polls, the heavily Democratic state may emerge as a surprise battleground in the final stretch of the election. And if Jews, who have made up as much as 17 percent of likely voters here in recent races, support Republican George W. Bush as heavily as some believe, they could play a larger role than usual in deciding how the state’s 31 electoral votes are cast.

New Chapter In Busch Saga

Staff Writer
Along the busy streets of Borough Park where Gidone Busch spent his final days, the events that led to his death five years ago have been analyzed again and again: a barely dressed man with a tallit and a hammer; two visits by the police; 12 gunshots; a dead man in a driveway.

Facing A Mixed Legacy

Staff Writer
As the 10th anniversary of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s death nears, his family and followers are working on a tribute to the charismatic man whose guitar-strumming, story-telling and bear-hugging approach to Judaism inspired a worldwide spiritual outreach movement that continues to thrive. But the first international conference on his legacy may be tempered by past allegations — some dating back decades — that the pioneering rabbi harassed or abused women, although no such accusation was brought publicly while he was alive.

Pressing The Domestic Agenda

Staff Writer
Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon got his share of applause when he praised President George W. Bush at the Anti-Defamation League’s East Side offices Monday morning. He was also confronted by a questioner who called Bush “the worst president ever in the White House” because of his administration’s style of diplomacy.

Beyond The Convention

Staff Writer
Heavily Democratic New York may not be a battleground state in this or any other presidential election, but as the Republicans roll into town for this week’s convention, the newly minted New York regional director of the Republican Jewish Coalition is thinking well beyond November. For Greg Menken, exchanging business cards is as important as gathering votes or checks.

Unwelcome Spotlight On Touro

Staff Writer
Amid a tale already bristling with competing allegations of victimization — one by New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey and another by a former aide — the ambitious and rapidly expanding Touro College is also depicting itself as a bystander in the unfolding saga at Trenton’s statehouse.
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