After being told in a phone call from her surgeon that she again had breast cancer and that it had spread to her lymph nodes, Judy Lazar of Manhasset became hysterical. “I was angry and petrified. And I was scared,” she recalls. “I kept saying, ‘I’m not having chemotherapy.’ My husband, Joel, who is terrific, didn’t know what to do with me.”
So he called the home of the family’s rabbi, Abner Bergman of Temple Judea of Manhasset. The rabbi’s wife tracked him down at a meeting.
At a time when private Jewish foundations are doling out perhaps more money on their own than the entire Jewish federation network in North America, the Jewish community is set to strike back.
Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the United Jewish Communities’ announcement last week, overshadowed by the appointment of Stephen Solender as president of the newly reorganized social service network, was the establishment of a national foundation to bring America’s most wealthy into the communal tent.
After an expensive, national six-month search, leaders of the United Jewish Communities, American Jewry’s newly reorganized social service and fund-raising organization, discovered what Dorothy learned years ago in “The Wizard of Oz”: There’s no place like home.
The organization announced on Tuesday that Stephen Solender, 61, executive vice president of UJA-Federation of New York for the past 13 years and acting president of the UJC for the past six months, had been named president.
At the same time the kosher food industry is experiencing record growth, the Orthodox Union’s kashrut division has undergone a major transformation as it keeps up with the burgeoning demand of companies seeking the organization’s well-known OU endorsement.
A $35,000 UJA-Federation grant will help start a Hillel program this semester for an estimated 5,000 New York-area students attending Albany colleges.
In announcing the grant, officials said UJA-Federation was recognizing the importance of college years for Jewish identity development — even if it means reaching beyond its geographic boundaries.
Three years ago, the leadership of a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Westchester began looking for help in developing a strategic plan to help them better meet the needs of their members. Then someone mentioned UJA-Federation’s management assistance program (MAP).
“It was one of the best things we ever did,” Colin Goldberg, president of The Hebrew Institute of White Plains, said of the 11-month program in which congregational leaders participated with leaders of seven other synagogues of every denomination.
Without fanfare, nearly $60 million in Nazi gold that was hidden for 50 years at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York and the Bank of London in England is finally being put to good use. Since July, 600 needy Holocaust survivors in Britain have received $600 in cash, and thousands of needy East European survivors have received medicine and medical supplies.
“This is the first time that funds from Nazi gold bars have been paid out to victims of the Holocaust,” said Elan Steinberg, executive vice president of the World Jewish Congress.
In pressing ahead this week with its demand that the French government release all 2,058 paintings looted by the Nazis, the World Jewish Congress provided details on the theft of one of those paintings — information it gleaned from the National Archives in Washington.
When it began eight years ago, UJA-Federation’s Fashion Rescue was a sale of women’s clothing in a ballroom of a New York City hotel. This year’s event, which begins at 10 a.m. Sunday, will include the sale of clothing for women, men and children — and will be held in Madison Square Garden.“The event became so huge that we have outgrown just about all available space in New York,” said Robert Bronstein, a co-chair of the event with Louise Chazen.