I got the feeling that my extended hour with Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, late in the afternoon last Wednesday, was going to be more shmooze than interview when his assistant, on entering my office with him, asked if I would mind if the prolific scholar and author ate the chocolate rugelach she brought for him during our chat.
One of the enduring images of Hurricane Katrina for the Jewish community of New Orleans, and well beyond, was of a kipah-wearing rescue worker, in waist-high water, carrying one of seven Torahs out of the sanctuary of the century-old Orthodox congregation, Beth Israel.
The Torahs did not make it; water-logged beyond repair, they ultimately were buried in the synagogue’s cemetery, along with 3,000 prayer books.
For a federation system hurting in tough times, New Orleans was a natural site for the GA.
Editor And Publisher
New Orleans — For a long time the 79th General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America had been scheduled to take place this week in Orlando, Fla. But after a top consultant scouted that city last winter, and concluded that it would add little to the spirit of the annual gathering of the federation movement — and that Disney World might prove a major distraction — the decision was made to move the three-day GA here to New Orleans.
When young Jewish leaders form their own start-up groups and/or prayer services, are they rejecting the organized community, or seeking to strengthen it?
That was one of the recurring questions that emerged earlier this month at The Conversation, the two-day annual retreat sponsored by The Jewish Week for a cross-section of 50 Jewish leaders and emerging leaders from around the country.
Veteran Israeli diplomat’s behind-the-scenes book reveals long history of dire U.S.-Israel tensions.
Editor And Publisher
For those who fear that U.S.-Israel relations may be at a low point, or that Mideast peace talks are dead in the water (now that Israel has decided not to extend its moratorium on settlement construction), consider the eternal wisdom contained in King Solomon’s words: “This, too, shall come to pass.”
Many parents say they learn from their children. Rabbi Naomi Levy’s new memoir, “Hope Will Find You” (Harmony Books) — a poignant and compelling account of grappling with her young daughter’s potentially fatal illness — describes how the child’s faith and fortitude saved the author, spiritually and in every other way.