Alex Rabinovich says there were about 50 gymnastics clubs in his native Kiev, 10 alone in his neighborhood, when his family left Ukraine for the United States two decades ago. His father’s club, Spartak, was one of Kiev’s top gymnastics training facilities, he says.
For 10 years, like a child of divorce whose parents share custody, Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan Head Steven Lorch, top right, was constantly shuttling back and forth from one home to another, crossing Central Park at least once, often twice, a day.
Now, with the Conservative day school’s nine grades finally united in one permanent space, on the sunny second floor of a brand-new building at Columbus Avenue and 100th Street, Lorch says he can “do the job I was hired to do: be a principal.”
About 300 residents of Israel gathered in Tel Aviv to support a political election 1,200 miles away.
The natives of southern Sudan, who have found refuge — both legal and illegal — from their war-ravaged African nation in recent years in Israel, sang and danced in Tel Aviv’s Levinsky Park to celebrate the start of a week-long independence referendum in their homeland. If the referendum passes, the largely Christian part of Africa’s largest country will secede from mostly Muslim northern Sudan.
The wall at their back is about 2,000 years old; the documents in their hands are brand new.
Hours after they arrived in Israel as part of 2010’s last group of immigrants, this group of the country’s newest citizens celebrated at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, flashing their Israeli ID cards.
Last year was a good year for aliyah — more than 19,000 Jews from around the world became olim chadashim, or new immigrants. It marked the second consecutive year of an increase in aliyah, after a previous decade of decreases.
As this week’s blizzard blanketed New York City in snow, Jewish Community Councils and other organizations scrambled to continue providing much-needed services in the hardest-hit neighborhoods, as well as meet emergency needs.
Randy Cohen, above left, who has been writing “The Ethicist” column for The New York Times for 11 years, asserted that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should win the Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-secrecy campaign.
Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, above right, who writes about ethics for The Jewish Week, described a tough call he had to make as a fledgling rabbi when he learned of two synagogue board members carrying on an affair. He forced them to resign.
Throughout Jewish history various numbers have played important symbolic roles — the Three Patriarchs, the Four Matriarchs, the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, and so on.
The big numbers this week were 618 and 2,197,813.
Those are, respectively, the numbers of people who took part in a dreidel-spinning event at Yeshiva University that set a Guinness-certified world record, and the number of times a Chanukah video by the school’s Maccabeats a capella group was viewed on YouTube since it was posted last month.
The Abraham Geiger College, Germany’s Reform rabbinical school, ordained three rabbis recently. All three, like most of the 100,000-plus Jews who have come to Germany in the last 30 years, are from the former Soviet Union, but one garnered most of the attention.
Ukraine-born Alina Treiger is the first female rabbi ordained in Germany since before the Holocaust.
The last one, Regina Jonas, died in Auschwitz in 1944. She was the first woman known to be ordained as a rabbi in modern times.