A fire that heavily damaged the second floor ballroom of Temple Israel in Great Neck early Tuesday was sparked by sawdust that spontaneously ignited, according to fire officials.
“Last night they were sanding the floor and the contractor put sawdust in a closed container in a corner of the room,” explained Victor Fuentes, chief of the Great Neck Alert Fire Department. “There was a spontaneous combustion from the sawdust and the chemicals [from the floor].”
Interviews with a dozen New York-area rabbis Tuesday afternoon revealed that many were still undecided whom to vote for in the Democratic primary just hours before the polls closed.
But there appeared to be a growing belief that many Orthodox and some Conservative Jewish Democrats would cross party lines in November to vote for Arizona Sen. John McCain, should he be the nominee, because of what they perceive as his strong, pro-Israel stance.
In the wake of the arrest last week of Rabbi Israel Kestenbaum in a police Internet sex sting operation, the director of a Los Angeles-based residential treatment program for Jews with addictive and behavioral disorders believes a similar program is needed here and has offered to assist.
“If we can share what we have learned in our 16 years of existence, we would be glad to help,” said Harriet Rossetto, director of Beit T’Shuvah, believed to be the country’s only residential program for Jewish adults.
Morton Kornreich was remembered this week as a Jewish communal leader whose vision and talent enabled him to serve as the first chairman of the newly merged UJA-Federation of New York and to later help refocus The Jewish Week, of which he was a founding board member.
Mr. Kornreich, who died last Tuesday in Boca Raton, Fla., of pulmonary fibrosis, had homes in Florida and White Plains. He was 82.
Norman G. Finkelstein’s book, “The Holocaust Industry,” alleges that Jewish leaders have exploited the Holocaust for profit and that they have used it to silence critics of Israel. In a second book, he seeks to discredit Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz’s defense of Israel. And in still another, he was the first to claim that a widely respected book defending the Jewish state, “From Time Immemorial” by Joan Peters, was nothing more than a hoax.
For the first time, the U.S. military is providing Jewish servicemen and women with complete kosher-for-Passover meals for all eight days of Passover.
“This year the military has gone way above anything it had done before to make sure that Passover and its religious components will be observed by anyone who wishes to observe them,” said Rabbi Jacob Goldstein, chief chaplain of the New York National Guard. “The Jewish community should not feel that Jewish service members” are being neglected.
A new computer program designed to identify the living owners or heirs of dormant Swiss bank accounts appears to be working, according to those monitoring the process.
“We are finding more matches of claimed accounts to actual accounts, so we are able to make more awards,” said Greg Schneider of the Conference on Jewish and Material Claims Against Germany.
Harold Tanner of Scarsdale, the immediate past president of the American Jewish Committee, became the surprise nominee to chair the major American Jewish umbrella organization after the nominating committee failed to reach a consensus on the four candidates first interviewed. Sources familiar with the process said that the seven-member nominating committee of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations reached out to Tanner and his supporters last Thursday and asked that his application be submitted after it deadlocked.
Terri Schiavo might still be alive had she been in a hospice in New York State rather than Florida.
A Queens Supreme Court justice, citing state and Orthodox Jewish law, ruled last week that a feeding tube is not medicine and must be inserted into a patient who cannot swallow unless the patient had provided explicit instructions to the contrary.
In death, 14-year-old Jacob Greenberg of Merrick, L.I., may save lives.
The ninth-grader at the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway and some friends were tossing around a football last week on the school’s front lawn when he collapsed. The school nurse administered CPR, and a nearby Hatzalah ambulance crew arrived within minutes and tried to revive him using a defibrillator.