Short Takes

A Night Of Guarding

04/25/2003
Staff Writer
A year ago they came to the Park Hotel for the seder, to remember ancient sorrows, the Hebrews' enslavement in ancient Egypt and their eventual liberation. This year the memories (and the wounds) were fresher. A year after the terrorism attack that took 29 lives and wounded 100 and triggered Israel's Operation Defensive Shield against terrorist leaders in the West Bank, Passover was observed again in the resort along the Mediterranean.

Simon Wiesenthal Retiring: Again

04/25/2003
Staff Writer
Simon Wiesenthal, who tracked down Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and has earned the reputation as the world's foremost Nazi hunter, doesn't seem the shy and retiring type. But he retires frequently. The 94-year-old Holocaust survivor, who told a British newspaper two years ago that he was stepping down from his work at his Documentation Center in Vienna, was quoted by an Austrian magazine last week as saying again that his work is done.

Purim On The Frontlines

02/26/2003
Staff Writer
On Purim, a holiday of costumes, many Jews deliver their shaloch manot, packages of food sent to at least two people, while dressed in their yom tov regalia. This year some of Miriam Adani's friends will perform the mitzvah in bulletproof vests. Adani, founder of the independent Yesh Sachar Lefeulatech organization (Hebrew for "There is Reward for Your Action") that sponsors classes and other activities at the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem, is organizing shaloch manot deliveries for all the Israeli soldiers serving in the West Bank, Gaza and the Lebanese border.

Politicizing The YMCA

02/21/2003
Staff Writer
Barbed wire and a dove are two images used by the East Jerusalem YMCA/YWCA in a new brochure, part of a "Free Palestine" campaign, that is highly critical of Israel. But the Y might not be able to bank on a more tangible resource, the American dollar sign, for long. The YMCA of the USA, a national umbrella organization that has provided financial support for the East Jerusalem Y, has dropped a broad hint that it will cut off funds unless the anti-Israel agitating ends.

The Mensans Are Coming!

02/07/2003
Staff Writer
Israelis may have developed a reputation for their machismo, their brawn, but Frank Luger wants it known they have plenty of brainpower, too. The semi-retired physician from Budapest by way of Montreal, who made aliyah six months ago, is trying to establish an Israeli chapter of Mensa, the international high IQ society. After arriving in Israel, Luger was baffled to find Mensa missing there.

Opening New Chapters

02/07/2003
Staff Writer
Thanks to Rena Cohen, some third-grade students in Beit Shemesh are reading "The Cat in the Hat." Beit Shemesh is an Israeli city whose public schools, like those throughout the country, were informed recently that the government, because of security expenses, had no budget for English-language books. Cohen is a biotechnology administrator and Jewish activist who lives in the Washington suburbs, and was upset that Israeli children wouldn't learn English.

Young Leaders In Solidarity

01/24/2003
Staff Writer
Lisa Goldstein nearly backed out of a trip to Israel that she had suggested taking with her friends. Reports of terrorist attacks increased in recent months, and she had second thoughts. "I was afraid; I was very afraid," said Goldstein, 30, an Upper East Side resident. "I almost didn't go." After she was appointed chair of that trip, the UJA-Federation Young Leadership Council's Solidarity Mission that spent three days in Israel earlier this month, she decided to go, expecting a nerve-wracking, depressing time.

Authenticity Of Ancient Tablet Is Explored

01/17/2003
Staff Writer
Israeli researchers are trying to determine whether a stone tablet that supposedly dates back nearly 3,000 years is proof of Jewish claims to Jerusalem's Old City or is a fraud. The tablet, which experts from the Infrastructure Ministry's Geology Survey have authenticated, contains 10 lines written in ancient Phoenician script detailing "house repairs" on the ancient Temple in Jerusalem ordered by Jehoash, the king of Judah at the end of the ninth century BCE.

The Family That Prays Together...

09/04/2009
Staff Writer
Uri Cohen and his group of just-out-of-college Jewish friends didn’t know what size crowds to expect when they rented three classrooms and the gym of Manhattan’s Heschel School for a new interdenominational program on a Friday night five years ago. The program, Tikvat Yisrael (Hope of Israel) was sponsoring three concurrent worship services followed by a joint kosher meal. “I thought we might not get a minyan for one or more of the services,” Cohen says.

The Rat And The Rabbi

09/11/2009
Staff Writer
‘God,” says Rabbi Avi Weiss, arguably the highest-profile Jewish activist in the country, “has a funny sense of humor. They’re protesting in front of my shul.”
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