New York

Vote Shelved On Gay Unions

05/08/1998
Staff Writer
The Reform rabbinate has begun developing a list of members willing to perform same-sex marriages after its leaders decided to shelve plans to vote on a resolution sanctioning rabbinic officiation of such unions.

Reform Divided Over Gay Unions

04/28/1998
Staff Writer
Will Reform rabbis endorse officiating at same-sex marriages? A draft of a yet-unpublished report by a committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis says there can be kedushah (sanctification) in gay marriages, but a growing number of Reform rabbis seem to oppose adopting a resolution to that effect at their June convention.

Return Of The Natives

04/24/1998
Staff Writer
Yeheskel Davidian of Flatbush is bitter about his decision to emigrate from Israel to the United States 28 years ago and can’t wait to go back. “It cost me my life,” he said. “Everybody thinks America is the place to make money; it’s not.” Menachem Grossman of Dix Hills, L.I., became so disenchanted with his homeland that he became an American and gave up his Israeli citizenship.

The Costly World Of Kosher

04/03/1998
Staff Writer
Although food prices have remained relatively steady in recent years, kosher food prices have soared — 6 percent in the last year alone, according to surveys conducted by the city Department of Consumer Affairs.

Queens Survivor Near Swiss Deal

03/27/1998
Staff Writer
Estelle Sapir of Queens, whose 52-year fight to gain access to her father’s Credit Suisse bank account epitomized the plight of Jews denied access to the Swiss accounts of Holocaust victims, is on the verge of reaching a six-figure settlement with the bank, The Jewish Week has learned. The settlement would be the first approved by the court involving a plaintiff in the class-action lawsuits filed by Holocaust survivors and their heirs against Swiss banks for allegedly hoarding money deposited by Jews who were later murdered in the Holocaust.

The Son Also Rises

03/27/1998
Staff Writer
He was to be, in his words, the “heir to the throne” as spiritual leader of the Park East Synagogue after his father’s retirement. But when forced by the congregation’s board in the spring of 1993 to choose between tony Park East and his quixotic notion of starting a congregation where none had existed before — Westhampton Beach, L.I. — Rabbi Marc Schneier chose the challenge of the unknown.

‘Treated Worse Than Cattle’

04/14/2000
Staff Writer
Ina (Catharina) Polak did not know until 20 years ago that an honorary El Salvadoran diplomat, George Mandel Montello, had saved her family from almost certain death at the hands of the Nazis by issuing them Salvadoran visas. Until last week, one of Montello’s son, Enrico, had never met any of the thousands of Jews his father saved. When the two met at a UN reception honoring righteous diplomats, Montello was nearly moved to tears as he heard Polak’s story and saw the actual visa his father had signed for her, her sister and their parents.

Heir, UJA-Fed. In Property Dispute

02/26/1999
Staff Writer
When Muriel Horowitz transferred the deed of her million-dollar Great Neck home to UJA-Federation in 1992, it allowed her to live there for the rest of her life and for her son, Sandy, to be given a reasonable amount of time to remove her belongings after her death. She died last March 3 and on Monday, a judge in Mineola, L.I., will be asked to define what constitutes a reasonable amount of time.

Foxman: Turkey’s Balancing Act ‘Misunderstood’

09/04/1998
Staff Writer
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, recently traveled to Turkey for meetings with government leaders there. Last week, a new, more moderate military chief of staff took over in Turkey, and all eyes will be focused on Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu to see if he will continue to control the influence of Islamic fundamentalism there. On Monday, Turkey’s prime minister, Mesut Yilmaz, will be making his first state visit to Israel.

Back To Basics

09/04/1998
Staff Writer
James Tisch, the new president of UJA-Federation of New York, hopes to increase fund-raising to the community’s premier charity by simplifying its goals and message. “We are a philanthropy designed to help Jews in need — in New York, Israel and around the world,” said Tisch during an interview last week in his office at the Loews Corp., where he is president and chief operating officer.
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