New York

A Havurah Grows In Brooklyn

12/16/1999 - 19:00
Staff Writer
'Chag sameach," said the rabbi, standing at a baby grand piano, surrounded by a living room packed with children and parents. "Happy holiday!" "Chag sameach," shouted the three dozen kids, seated on the floor around the rabbi. It was the Sunday night of Chanukah. The rabbi was Miriam Ancis, 1987 graduate of Hebrew Union College. The site was a brownstone in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, downtown, in the shadow of Williamsburgh Savings Bank.

A Place For Everyone

04/06/2000 - 20:00
Staff Writer
By the time Jonathan Nierenberg walked into the Young Israel of Woodmere one recent Saturday morning for shacharit in the main sanctuary, the men's section, seating about 375, was nearly full. He was a few minutes late: his 3-year-old son, Benji, had tripped on the way. In the coatroom Nierenberg exchanged Shabbat greetings with congregants arriving for a second shacharit down the hall in an already crowded study hall: and with members coming for the "Not Just for Beginner" introductory service in the gymnasium/social hall.

The Lie That Nourishes

09/23/1999 - 20:00
Staff Writer
In an unnamed Polish ghetto in 1943 or 1944, a former potato pancake restaurateur is feeding the Jews hope instead of food. Jakob Heym has (he says, falsely) a hidden radio, punishable by death at Nazi hands. He fabricates and whispers, at his forced labor job, reports of the advancing Red Army, boosting the spirits of the doomed ghetto residents. And he tells Lina, an 8-year-old orphan he has surreptitiously taken under his care, happy-ending fairy tales. Jakob is a liar. And Robin Williams, the master of thespian overkill, is an understated Jakob.

Holocaust Humor, Take 2

09/16/1999 - 20:00
Staff Writer
The Yiddish accent, some Jewish jokes, Jewish history at his fingertips: Robin Williams plays the role of a Jew well. Ask him about his latest movie, in which he plays one Jewish role (Jakob Heym, ghetto prevaricator) and he will tell you about Jews in Poland in 1997.

JNF Exec Samuel Cohen, 66

09/16/1999 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Rabbi Samuel Cohen, executive vice president of the Jewish National Fund for 20 years, died this week of pneumonia in Mount Sinai Hospital. He was 66. A resident of Lawrence, L.I., Rabbi Cohen was credited with enhancing the image of JNF before leaving in 1997 in the wake of a controversy over how the charity was spending its money. "He was a dedicated Jew ... a very good administrator," said Sam Bloch, former director of the World Zionist Organization publications department. "There is hardly any Jewish charity he did not support."

High, Holy & Hip

09/02/1999 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Harry met Sally there. Avant-garde artists exhibit their paintings on its walls. Haute couture models sashay on its fashion show runways. And next week, for the first time, the shofar will sound in the Puck Building, a Manhattan landmark in SoHo. Aish New York, the local branch of the Jerusalem-based Aish HaTorah yeshiva, will host High Holy Days beginner's services in one of the building's ballrooms.

Moscow Rabbi Inspired By U.S. Outrage

08/19/1999 - 20:00
Staff Writer
The chief rabbi of Moscow, in the United States during the shooting attack at a Jewish community center near Los Angeles last week, was distressed by the anti-Semitic incident, but encouraged by the forceful reaction of American political leaders. Russian leaders are silent about recent outbreaks of anti-Semitism in Moscow, he says.

Web Of Roots

08/12/1999 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Afew dozen people showed up when Bruce Kahn gave his first speech on on-line Jewish genealogical research in 1993. The setting was the annual Conference on Jewish Genealogy, sponsored by the Jewish Genealogical Society (JGS). Kahn, then a research scientist at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, N.Y., and a founder of the city's JGS branch, predicted that the Internet would revolutionize genealogical research. "People thought I was crazy," he says.

Brighton Beach Memories

08/12/1999 - 20:00
Staff Writer
It's a thank you that has lasted 55 years. In 1944, the Niedziolka family, Catholics, who lived on a small farm in eastern Poland, took in four members of the Charatan family and two other escapees from a nearby concentration camp, all Jews. For 14 months, until the Russian Army came, the Niedziolkas fed the six and protected them in a hidden bunker under a barn.

Rabbi David Seligson, 92

08/12/1999 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Rabbi David Seligson, former spiritual leader of Central Synagogue in Manhattan and a leading figure in the Reform rabbinate, died this week in Manhattan. He was 92 and lived the last two years at the Jewish Home and Hospital in Manhattan. Rabbi Seligson served at Central Synagogue for 25 years, becoming rabbi emeritus upon his retirement in 1972. After serving as an Army chaplain during World War II, he joined Central Synagogue in 1945. He became senior rabbi in 1950.
Syndicate content