New York

If OU Leader Stays, Critics May Leave

Editor and Publisher
Angry and frustrated over what they consider to be the Orthodox Union’s failure to act properly and decisively — namely, to terminate its executive vice president, Rabbi Raphael Butler, during the organization’s biennial convention last weekend — a New Jersey group of parental leaders of the OU’s youth arm this week prepared to withdraw from the national body and launch an alternative organization.

Sharpton To Jews: Help Me In Sudan

Staff Writer
Seeking broad support for his initiative to fight slavery in Sudan, the Rev. Al Sharpton is turning to Jewish philanthropists for help and challenging communal leaders to end their ban on meeting with him, asserting that Jews and blacks should work together for this cause.

Bleak Mideast Forecast

Editor and Publisher
To say that Mort Zuckerman is pessimistic about the Arab-Israeli conflict is a mild understatement. Speaking as a panelist at a forum last week on the lessons of the intifada, the publisher, real estate magnate and probable next chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said “we are headed toward an extraordinarily difficult time,” the “most dangerous period since the 1973 war.” Zuckerman predicted “the violence will escalate until something happens on the Arab side” to make it stop.

Restitution Group Stands By Singer

Editor and Publisher
Despite the sudden dismissal of Israel Singer from the World Jewish Congress, which he helped steer for 35 years, the leaders of a major Holocaust restitution group he presides over this week said they are standing by him.Responding to charges made by WJC President Edgar Bronfman that Singer, his longtime chief lieutenant and confidante, “helped himself to cash from the WJC office — my cash,” Julius Berman, chairman of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, asserted that as president, Singer has never been involved in the financial decisions of the Claim

Can It Happen Here?

Associate Editor
The horrific stories of children mass-murdering their classmates has, until now, arrived with postmarks from obscure towns ó Littleton, Colo., Pearl, Miss., Jonesboro, Ark., Springfield, Ore., Paducah, Ky. ó whose very names bespeak a psychological and geographic distance from our hometown Jewish schools. But the fallout from the most recent school massacre has stimulated a discussion among Jewish teachers about whatís been happening ìout there,î and just how close is the madness, really?

Occupied Territory

Associate Editor
Beneath the angst among American Jews about how we, of all people, can relate to whatís happening in Kosovo, and how much we, of all people, are doing to alleviate the horror, many Israelis are saying that we, of all people, should be slower to jump atop a propaganda bandwagon in which refugees are pawns.

Once There Was A Time

Associate Editor
If you ever loved and crashed with a broken heart, you understand: Long after the story is over, you go back to those places where something special happened. What is Zionism, after all, but after 2,000 years, going back to that place where Godís love wasnít hidden, a place before exile? For others, that place is a New England town meeting, a Civil War letter, a minor league field. For liberal Jews, too, there was a time, when black-Jewish relations made beautiful sense, when the impulse was biblical and the names were Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney, not Cato and Rosenbaum.

Amazing Grace

Associate Editor
I used to enjoy your articles,î says Lavi Greenspan, ìbut now that Iím blind I canít read them.î That and flying a rocket is all he canít do, and heís getting along just fine. Greenspan, 28, who lost his sight nearly 18 months ago after the ìsuccessfulî removal of a benign pituitary tumor destroyed his optic nerve, has since graduated Fordham Law, passed the bar, traveled to Israel by himself, and is about to graduate Yeshiva Universityís rabbinical school.

Silk Purse From A Sow's Ear

Associate Editor
Memorial Dayís gone and summer is icumen in. The fair season kicked off with the Westchester County Fair, at Yonkers Raceway (through June 13). Vendors, carnies and barkers will be on the road from one fair to another, from this weekís heat through the cool of October harvest.Grangers and 4-Híers in the Catskills and Hudson Valley are prepping their cows, geese and swine for blue ribbons in Orange, Ulster, Dutchess and Delaware counties, culminating in late summerís fortnight at the New York State Fair (Aug. 24-Sept. 7).

Pilgrimís Progress

Associate Editor
The June morning is perfumed with freshly mown grass in front of Cape Cod homes near the Queens-Nassau line. The lawns are dark green from being watered, and the sidewalks are dark from the water, too. The streets are wide, quiet. The sun beats down on the borderline of summer. The rebbe of Lubavitch sleeps in the Old Montefiore Cemetery that begins where the backyards end. It doesnít much look like a chasidic holy site, but neither does the Congo, Marrakech, Katmandu, Mexico, Connecticut or Shanghai, and there are Lubavitchers now in all of them.
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