Is it an out-of-control Purim gag, or a case for the "X-Files?"
In either event, word of a talking fish in the upstate village of New Square is making a big splash in the chasidic world. Thousands are people are hooked on the story, says Jewish radio maven Zev Brenner, who devoted his "Talkline" program on WMCA-570 AM last Saturday to the subject.
A couple who found a better life in New York after immigrating from Ukraine more than 30 years ago were killed early Tuesday morning on their way to work at a Brooklyn kosher bakery.
Anton and Rifka Goldenberg died at the scene on 24th Avenue in Bensonhurst when their car collided with a vehicle driven by Michael McGibbon, 28, an off-duty policeman, who was also killed. The accident took place at 4:48 a.m.
Organizers of a conference that would sensitize Orthodox wigmakers to signs of domestic abuse are working on rescheduling the Feb. 12 conference, which was postponed following a feature on the event in The Jewish Week. A source said the publicity had caused unspecified complications.
The conference was organized by several Jewish organizations with help from the Brooklyn District Attorney's office.
Recognizing that Orthodox women have close relationships with the women who style their wigs, it sought to train the wigmakers to counsel abuse victims.
In an unusual move, the City University of New York's chancellor overrode the administration of Brooklyn College Monday, awarding tenure to a controversial associate history professor.
Robert "K.C." Johnson, who has been teaching at the college three years, said he fell out of favor with colleagues after he complained that a faculty teach-in after 9-11 was biased against Israel and American foreign policy. Faculty members called him uncollegial.
One day after the worst blizzard in seven years hit New York City, the Queens Jewish Community Council was open for business, ready to assist the elderly or otherwise needy who may be having a rough time coping with the snow.
"We specifically wanted to be there in case people would call and say I don't have food," said council director Manny Behar. "It's happened in the past. But this time we didn't get any calls like that." In fact, it was all quiet all day at Beharís Forest Hills offices.
Los Angeles (JTA): The last five Jews held in an Iranian prison on charges of spying for Israel have been released on "vacation," although it remains uncertain whether they will be permanently freed.
The five were among 13 Jews arrested on spy charges in early 1999.
In a case that drew worldwide attention, they were tried in the southern city of Shiraz, and 10 received prison sentences. Five already have been released after serving some of their time. Israel denies the men were its spies.
In yet another attempt to privatize Israel's national airline, the government announced plans this week to sell a 49 percent share of El Al Airlines on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in May. The rest of the airline would be sold later.
Jerusalem (JTA): Palestinian security forces are taking steps to prevent rocket attacks into Israel, according to Israeli intelligence sources. Palestinian security forces arrested members of a cell in the Gaza Strip that was firing rockets at Israeli targets, and have disrupted the activities of other cells, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. According to the paper, the moves stem from concern that Israeli retaliatory raids would destroy what remains of the Palestinian Authority's security apparatus in Gaza.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has gained an important ally in her efforts on behalf of Israel's Magen David Adom. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), whose husband challenged Clintonís husband for president, signed onto Clintonís amendment to force the acceptance of MDA into the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Dole was formerly director of the American Red Cross. Her husband, Sen. Bob Dole, lost the 1996 presidential race to Bill Clinton.
Last Friday, The Jewish Week conducted an exclusive interview with Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, live via satellite from the space shuttle Columbia. Following are excerpts:
Jewish Week: Shalom, Ilan. How's it going up there?
Ramon: Shalom. Fine
So how you are getting along with the other astronauts up there?
Not so great.
No? Why not?