In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory went up in flames. Within 20 minutes, the lives of 146 workers, mostly women, mostly Italian and Jewish immigrants, had been lost. One hundred and one years later, Fashion Institute of Technology students took a few hours out on March 21 to chalk the names and ages of the victims on the sidewalk near their school, located at Seventh Avenue and 27th Street amid the remnants of New York City’s once-bustling garment district.
The four cups of wine don’t come out until the Passover seders next week, but several New Yorkers started preparing for that part of the holiday last week.
Nearly 400 people attended The Jewish Week’s third Grand Wine Tasting event at City Winery, sampling the products of 27 companies, including major wineries, wine importers, wine retailers, wine touring companies, others in wine-related businesses, cheese companies and restaurants.
A total of more than 120 kosher wines from around the world were available.
Purim, which starts next Wednesday night, is a reminder of the importance of humor in Jewish life — the holiday is traditionally a time of pranks and frivolity. A new book, “Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life” (HarperOne, $25.99), by James Martin, a Jesuit priest who works as culture editor at “America,” a prominent Catholic magazine, is a reminder that humor plays a part in other religions.
During a recent educational tour in Canada, Noam Bedein, director of the Sderot Media Center, an independent advocacy organization in the Negev, encountered a surprising amount of support for Israel among the members of the First Nations — the country’s indigenous people, like the Native Americans here — he met. As often-displaced groups, they told Bedein, a Sabra, they understood Israelis’ love for their land.
For several weeks each winter, between Chanukah and Purim, the Weissberg Commons area of Yeshiva University’s Belfer Hall becomes an enormous book fair. More than 15,000 people — families and singles, children and seniors, Orthodox and non-Orthodox — browse through tables and shelves crammed with discounted books and DVDs and educational software offered for sale during The Seforim Sale sponsored by the Students of Yeshiva (SOY).
Tu b’Shvat, the Jewish new year of trees, a minor holiday on the Hebrew calendar, is traditionally celebrated in Israeli forests with mass tree-plantings, and in some diaspora communities with kabbalistic seders and the eating of symbolic Israeli fruits, right.