Another Jewish hero was lost two weeks ago, this one on the ground, only a few miles from Ground Zero, where his uncle perished on Sept. 11.
Just a few days before Col. Ilan Ramon was killed in the Shuttle Columbia disaster, Saul and Sue Zucker of North Massapequa, L.I., who lost a son, Andrew, on 9-11, learned that their 20-year-old firefighter grandson was killed while driving to school in Brookville, L.I.
Did Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati buckle under to a gay basher this week or take constructive action in response to his diatribe?
That was the question being asked after the institution canceled classes Tuesday afternoon at almost the same time the protester, the Rev. Fred Phelps, announced plans to picket the campus to protest the Reform movementís recognition of same-sex civil marriages.
When Dan Gillerman was in the fifth grade, a reporter for the school newspaper asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.
"I want to be Israel's ambassador to the United States," Gillerman recalls replying.
Last month, Gillerman, 58, who was born in Tel Aviv and still has a home there, became Israel's ambassador to the United Nations.
For Jewish soldiers in the combat zone, the Days of Awe have replaced shock and awe.
Rabbi Jacob Goldstein, chief chaplain of the New York National Guard, arrived in Kuwait from New York this week bringing with him four Torahs, five lulav and etrog sets for Sukkot, challahs, honey cake and other supplies to enhance the High Holy Days that begin this weekend.
At first, 15-year-old David Gokar of Brooklyn and his parents were hesitant about the prospect of him spending the next three years at a high school in Israel.
But after attending a presentation that stressed the high caliber of the education (as well as the 98 percent graduation rate among the 9,000 Jewish teens from 32 countries who had enrolled since the program started 12 years ago) David signed up and became one of the first six North Americans admitted to the Elite Academy program.
With an estimated Jewish population of 4,200, Salt Lake City is not exactly an outpost of Yiddishkeit.
Nonetheless, the home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is expected to become a pillar of the American-Israeli Friendship League as the organization opens its chapter here.
Rabbi Milton Balkany, a Republican fund-raiser who reportedly raised $100,000 for President George W. Bush's campaign, was arrested Tuesday on federal fraud charges for allegedly misusing a $700,000 grant intended for disabled preschoolers. The rabbi, it is charged, used some of the money to pay his federal income taxes and life insurance premiums.
Israel wants YOU!
Israel's Ministry of Tourism is asking synagogues across the country to put pledge cards on every seat during High Holy Day services next month so that congregants can commit themselves to visiting Israel sometime in the next year. The ministry's goal: 1 million American Jewish tourists.
One day after pleading guilty to attempted child endangerment charges after being caught in a police Internet sex sting operation, Rabbi Israel Kestenbaum said he is "incredibly thankful" that there were no victims and that he "did not in fact engage in any inappropriate things with minors."
In a phone interview Wednesday morning, Rabbi Kestenbaum, 54, of Highland Park, N.J., said he had experienced a "personal lapse on the computer for which I do not excuse myself."
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told his cabinet Sunday that he has made fighting anti-Semitism a major concern of his government in the wake of a two-day forum in Jerusalem designed to develop a global initiative to deal with the problem.
"The prime minister said that until now it had a low profile [in Israel]," said Natan Sharansky, who as minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs organized the forum. "In Israel, anti-Semitism was seen as a diaspora problem. Now it is understood that that has to be changed."