The entire Jewish community of Afghanistan celebrated Rosh HaShanah this week in a small side room of the lone synagogue in Kabul, the country’s capital.
His name is Zebulon Simantov.
Simantov, 57, a one-time owner of a small jewelry-and-carpets store in Kabul, returned a decade ago to Afghanistan, his homeland, after spending time in Tajikistan and Israel.
The customers of Aron Streit Inc., a New York City fixture for kosher-for-Passover matzah and other holiday food items since 1925, have one wish during this shopping season: Next year on the Lower East Side.
The bakery and retail store at the corner of Rivington and Suffolk streets, the neighborhood’s last family-owned matzah-making facility, recently went on the market for $25 million.
Discharged Israeli soldiers, on spiritual sojourns in the Far East after they leave the service, usually carry backpacks.
Last week some Israelis carried political posters, in Tel Aviv, on behalf of Tibet.
In separate rallies outside the Chinese embassy and the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, Israelis joined young members of Tibetan families in protests against recent Chinese violence in Tibet.
The corner of Main Street and Jewel Avenue in Kew Gardens Hills is “on one hand a lousy location,” says Marvin Gruza, who has lived in the Queens neighborhood 20 years. Loud buses go by every few minutes.
“On the other hand,” he says, “I’m in the perfect location.”
A perfect location for doing chesed.
Nearly 300 Jews who died 10 to 20 years ago without money, without mourners at their graveside, without a marker on their grave on Staten Island, got a gravestone the other day.
On a cool, overcast Sunday morning, a crane unloaded 266 granite markers from Georgia at Staten Island’s Mount Richmond Cemetery.
Over the next month, they will be set up at their respective graves as the latest installment of the 18-year-old Leave a Mark project of the Hebrew Free Burial Association.
Vice President Dick Cheney’s trip throughout the Middle East last week found him in Israel on Easter — he joined thousands of pilgrims at a service in Jerusalem — but his visit there was no holiday.
During his three days in Israel, Cheney met with Israeli and Palestinian officials, voiced the Bush administration’s continued support for the Jewish state, urged all sides in the Middle East peace process to make further concessions and criticized two belligerent governments in the region.
Monday was St. Patrick’s Day, and at Chelsea Market, the former Nabisco plant converted into an arcade of boutique food shops and restaurants, it was business as usual.
There were your green-and-white cookies in the racks of the bakeries, your green-and-white balloons tied to the rafters, your lads and lassies doing the jig to Irish melodies in the aisle, and your kosher corned beef and cabbage.
Kosher corned beef and cabbage?
No, that’s not Groucho Marx with the ersatz mustache.
Sometimes Naomi Chiel likes to pretend she is. “I have to be in the mood,” she says. Last Saturday night she was. At the “Comedy Night @ Kittay,” an evening of humor hosted by Kittay House, an independent living facility for senior citizens in the Bronx where Chiel works as Jewish Program Coordinator.
A devout Catholic and a professional educator, James Otteson learned a lesson about Jewish culture during the second session of a class he taught at Yeshiva University this year about capitalism and morality.
The Israeli organization that represents the nearly 9,000 people evacuated from Gaza in 2005 has started a $40 million fundraising effort in the United States for the evacuees’ financial, educational and psychological needs.
The $40 million, to be raised over three years, will fill “the gap” between basic needs and the money that the government has pledged to provide, said Dror Vanunu, international coordinator or the Gush Katif Residents Committee (www.katifund.org; Friends of Gush Katif, P.O.B. 1184, Teaneck, NJ 07666).