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).
“I’m busier than ever — amazing!” says Dr. Ruth Westheimer, 85, older but ever ebullient. A biographical play, “Becoming Dr. Ruth: The Unexpected Journey,” written by Mark St. Germain with her support, is running Off-Broadway (“I prefer ‘near-Broadway’ to Off-Broadway,” she laughs). She is working on her 36th book. A passionate Zionist, in recent years she has made several documentary films about Israel’s minority populations — Druze, Bedouins, Ethiopians, Chercassians — exploring their family lives and sociology. She’ll be teaching a course next semester at Columbia University on how the American family is depicted (not very well or kindly) in the media.
When Barrett Hipes was looking for someone to curate a concert of World War II-era Jewish music to be presented by the Juilliard School at the Museum at Eldridge Street, he knew immediately to whom he would turn: Remy Yulzari. He knew the opportunity would be more than a gig for him; it would be an act of faith.
You don’t have to be a yenta to be a matchmaker anymore. Jzoog.com, a new Jewish dating site with no subscription fee, is set to launch this week and it will allow anyone to serve as a matchmaker on the site. It is also, according to its creator, believed to be the first Jewish dating site to require members to have Facebook accounts.
At the Metropolitan Museum this weekend, the Israeli pianist Yaron Kohlberg and the Palestinian pianist Bishara Haroni, who have played all over the world as Duo Amal, will make their New York debut as an ensemble.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.