The Jewish community shares the pain of the Kletzky family in the wake of the tragic death of eight-year-old Leiby. The fact that so many people put aside their daily concerns to join the search for the youngster last week is but one sign of the solidarity and compassion that was evident throughout the painful ordeal.
While Israel’s situation in the world arena can sometimes resemble the last moments of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, looking out at the hundreds of Bolivian soldiers, guns-a-ready, the fact is that things are looking up for the Jewish State.
A recent BBC poll measuring opinion in 27 countries, many of them officially hostile to Israel, found a two percent rise in Israel’s popularity since 2010.
Our hearts go out to the members and leadership of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, the landmark synagogue on the Upper East Side that suffered serious fire damage this week.
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, the venerable spiritual leader of the 140-year-old congregation, expressed gratitude that no one was injured in the four-alarm blaze and that, since the synagogue had been under renovation since May, no Torah scrolls were on site.
In central Afghanistan, an 8-year-old girl was killed last week when a package she was given by members of Taliban exploded. She was told to take the parcel to a nearby police checkpoint. She did not know that she was carrying a bomb, which Taliban set off by remote control.
Our man in Washington, James D. Besser, is hanging up his spikes, so to speak, after nearly 20 years with The Jewish Week. Six years before he took up his post for this paper, he covered Washington for the Baltimore Jewish Times when Gary Rosenblatt, this paper’s editor and publisher, was editor of the Baltimore weekly. That makes about a quarter century that Jim has been working his sources on Capitol Hill, attending conferences and keeping a watchful eye on the workings of the Washington operations of the major American Jewish organizations.
It’s always unsettling to see a promising political career come crashing down because of a personal failing, a spectacle that has become all too familiar in recent years. We have covered Anthony Weiner’s public service from the time he rose from Chuck Schumer’s aide to city councilman to Congressional representative and strong defender of Israel, to his two surreal press conferences this month.
In a little more than three months the United Nations General Assembly may be asked to take up a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence, which Palestinian leaders hope will set the stage for a genuine state. That hope is dangerously misguided; the Palestinian effort to use the international body as an alternative to engaging in direct, bilateral negotiations can only make statehood harder to achieve and increase the likelihood of renewed violence.
Much of the world press has treated last weekend’s attempt by Palestinians living in Syria to force their way across the border into the Golan Heights as one more manifestation of the “Arab Spring,” the movement of mostly young people to bring a semblance of freedom and democracy to an Arab world that lacks both.
The truth is something less heroic; all evidence suggests the attempted incursion was one more attempt by Syrian strongman Bashar Assad to deflect attention from his brutal repression of protesters in his own country.
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.