Democratic gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer's selection of Harlem state Sen. David Paterson to be his running mate (the first such Jewish-black Democratic ticket since Paterson's father, Basil, ran for lieutenant governor on a ticket headed by Arthur Goldberg 36 years ago) was seen by Jewish leaders as a move that might help the state's neediest.
A day after the arson fire at a Hauppauge, L.I., synagogue last week, a congregant at the neighboring Dix Hills Jewish Center rushed up to the rabbi to ask about security for the High Holy Days.
"He said security was being beefed up and that there was nothing to be worried about," the congregant, Elaine Greenwald, said later of her conversation with Rabbi Howard Buechler. "I trust that when the rabbi tells me that, we're doing all we can."
If the supporters of the Likud Party have their way, the Golan Heights will be on the lips of every Jewish New Yorker next month.
"Have the Golan on your table for Rosh HaShanah," is the theme of a new campaign the American Friends of Likud is launching to encourage New Yorkers to drink wine from the vineyards of the Golan Heights on the Jewish New Year. It is to remind New Yorkers of Likud's position against Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights in any peace treaty with Syria.
Programs to combat domestic violence and drug abuse in the Jewish community were among the items in the state's $73.3 billion budget adopted last week by the state Legislature.
"Drug abuse is becoming an increasing problem in the Jewish community," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), who noted that he helped secure for Ohel Children's Home and Family Services in Brooklyn a $50,000 federal anti-drug grant, as well as several hundred thousand dollars in state money.
When Efrem Epstein was in the 11th grade at Ramaz, a Jewish day school in Manhattan, he told his father that he had not read the entire Bible.
"How can I graduate without having read it all?" Rabbi Jerome Epstein recalled his son saying. "I said that I had read a lot of it, but that I, too, had not read it all.
"So he said that from that day on he would a chapter a day. I thought it was a fad, but 21/2 years later he finished it and then started reading it again. He has now been through it three times; I started doing it myself in early 1997."
Birthright Israel, the ambitious and controversial project to provide a free 10-day trip to Israel for diaspora youth, is planning to send as many as 7,000 college students in January and February: even as organizers await the financial backing they counted on for the $300 million enterprise.
James Tisch this month completed the first year of his three-year term as president of UJA-Federation. He recently reflected on his tenure in a conversation with The Jewish Week.
Jewish Week: Has this year been fulfilling?
With its focus on Jewish poverty here and in the former Soviet Union, UJA-Federation's annual fund-raising campaign raised $129.5 million for the year ending June 30. Combined with donations to the capital campaign and planned giving and endowments, the philanthropy brought in $228.8 million: $25 million more than a year ago.
The outpouring of support (an increase of 11 percent) shattered all records, except for times when Israel was at war with its Arab neighbors, according to Stephen Solender, the organizationís executive vice president.
With evidence suggesting that Ashkenazi Jewish women are five to 10 times more likely than other women to be born with a mutant gene associated with breast cancer, Columbia Universityís College of Physicians and Surgeons is preparing a booklet to help such women decide whether to undergo genetic testing.
"There are legal and social issues that a woman may wish to consider," said Sherry Brandt-Rauf, associate research scholar at the schoolís Center for the Study of Society and Medicine.
The city's Planning Department revealed last week that more and more former Soviet Jews are immigrating to the city not as refugees but for family reunification and on lottery visas, a fact that has been observed on the streets of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.
As a result of these changes, Kenneth Gabel, executive director of the Shorefront Y in Brighton Beach, said his board has established a master policy committee to study demographic, service and market trends in south Brooklyn.