Last Wednesday night, when much of the Jewish community was still bolting bagels and lox to break the Yom Kippur fast, about 50 Jews were taking in the art and music of Umbanda, an eclectic religion unique to Brazil, at a downtown gallery.
“We tried to provide a creative post-Yom Kippur experience,” said Alex Minkin, 39, a creator of Ticun Brasil, the group that hosted the party. He works by day as a consultant.
At age 13, Zak Kukoff of Thousand Oaks, Calif., would watch his autistic younger cousin sit alone on the playground. “It’s not that students didn’t want to be her friend — they just didn’t know how,” he said. “It hurt me to see.”
Looking for a little Israeli culture but don’t want to leave your house? Well, how about streaming an award-winning Israeli movie with your choice of snack: popcorn or bamba (Israel’s snack of choice, peanut-butter puffed goodness). Make it the ultimate movie night with one of the Israeli classics like “Sallah Shabati” or even a film in movie theaters right now.
For the first time, the U.S. Court of Appeals has found that a case may be brought against a foreign national railroad in a Holocaust-related case that seeks billions of dollars.
Late last month, the court in Chicago refused to dismiss a suit against the Hungarian State Railroads (also known as the MAV) brought by Hungarian victims of the Holocaust who claimed the railroad must compensate them for the property it took from them in violation of international law.
There was good news this week for Israel from the United Nations of all places. Some of it was official, some not.
Israel received an invitation Monday to join the Western European and Others Group in Geneva effective Jan. 1. That paves the way for it to join the UN Human Rights Council it cut ties with in March 2012 to protest what it said was that group’s anti-Israel bias. The group had condemned Israel 46 times in its five-year history — far more than any other country in the world. (See Editorial on page 6.)
For almost a month, Rabbi Phyllis Sommer of Am Shalom Synagogue near Chicago has known that her 8-year-old son Sammy will die. So right after Thanksgiving, she decided to join a group of her colleagues who have signed up to shave their heads in solidarity with “Superman Sam,” as he has been known since he was diagnosed with leukemia, and other children with cancer.
Jewish-Christian intermarriage is a fertile area for demographic research, as the recent Pew Research Center survey amply shows. But as comedian Steve Solomon knows, it is also a durable subject of humor. Solomon will appear in his latest one-man play, “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, and I’m Home for the Holidays” this Sunday, Nov. 24 at 3 p.m. at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College ($30; 718-951-4500).