New York

Jewish-Muslim Dialogue: The Risks And Rewards

07/14/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Rabbi Burton Visotzky, professor of Midrash and interreligious studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, was on foreign but familiar ground recently. A veteran of interfaith discussions with Muslims around the world, he was among three rabbis — the others were Jack Moline of Alexandria, Va., and Gerald Serotta of Chevy Chase. Md. — who took part in a panel discussion at the Islamic Society of North America’s 46th convention in Washington, D.C.

Askenazied!

06/23/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Linda Askenazi, happily working at the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, didn’t plan to apply for an opening as executive director of Brooklyn College’s Hillel chapter. But when an insider told her “They wanted a rabbi” and it had to be a man, Askenazi got annoyed and applied. Once hired at Hillel, Askenazi didn’t plan to stay there very long. Two years, she thought. Twenty-five years later — thousands of students and countless we-met-at-Hillel-shidduch-stories later — she’s leaving.

Ancient Texts, Modern Social Justice

06/09/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
American Jewish World Service, the 24-year-old, New York-based organization that sends volunteers to “alleviate poverty, hunger and disease among people across the globe,” has increased its Jewish content in recent years. AJWS provides its volunteers a more intensive Jewish background through educational workshops and a curriculum that stresses Jewish sources for its ecumenical work.

For These Hard Times, Lessons In Resilience

06/02/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
During the Great Depression Sidney Kronish was, like countless Americans, out of work. He hunched over a typewriter for hours in his family’s cramped Bronx apartment, eventually mailing hundreds of job application letters. Other days, he took the subway to employment offices along Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. “No job was beneath me,” he says. After a series of menial jobs, he found his career in teaching. A keen sense of self-sacrifice, and a family he leaned on for support, kept him going, Kronish says.

These Inspectors Stay Out Of The Kitchen

05/12/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
A young rabbi walked into one of Michael Gershkovich’s kosher restaurants on the Upper West Side a few weeks ago, asked for the owner, then began a sales pitch. The rabbi was selling not a product, but an idea — a new form of free kosher supervision that certifies not ritual standards, but compliance with the Torah’s brand of ethics. Gershkovich, a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef who owns Mike’s Bistro and Mike’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, was convinced.

A Voice For The Homeless Of Gush Katif

05/12/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Like many of the 8,000 Israelis who were evacuated by the Israeli Army from Gaza in August, 2005, Dror Vanunu who lived in Gush Katif and served as a spokesman for the evacuees, is now based in temporary quarters, a pre-fabricated home in Nitzan, near the Mediterranean coast between Ashdod and Ashkelon. He was in New York recently as part of a lobbying and public relations mission.

Balancing Hate, Renaissance In Poland

05/05/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
A native of Patchogue, L.I., Rabbi Michael Schudrich has worked overseas much of his adult life. The chief rabbi of Poland since 2000, he earlier served with the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation there, and also worked in Japan. In Poland, he is a witness to the Jewish community’s post-communist revival.

A Hebrew School Asks, What Dropouts?

04/28/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Houston — In one second-floor classroom of Congregation Emanu El, a young Chabad rabbi is teaching a class on Jewish values. Down the hall, a newspaper editor from a Reform family is leading a civics discussion. In another classroom, a Reconstructionist rabbi and her students are talking about basic Jewish principles. More remarkable than the diversity of the teachers at the largest Reform religious school in Houston is the makeup of the students. All are high school-aged. All are in religious school because they want to be there.

NEW: Jet Fans' Dilemma: Pigskin or Shul

04/14/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
The New York Jets home season will start off poorly this year for some Jewish fans. And at least one of them insists that the Jets knew about a scheduling conflict with the Jewish calendar and did not take action until now.

A Hyundai Day School?

04/13/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
A no-frills day school is the third proposal by parents in New Jersey’s Bergen County this year to offer intensive but affordable Jewish education. The initiative, outlined last week at an “exploratory meeting” in Englewood, would establish a day school with an annual tuition below $10,000, larger class size than at most day schools, and fewer costly expenditures like extracurricular activities and state-of-the-art technology.
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