The stock market’s plunge last week to a 14-month low has left doomsayers predicting a “double-dip recession,” a recession that is followed by a brief period of recovery before the economy enters another recession. Are Jewish organizations — whose endowments have already been battered by the Bernard Madoff fraud and the overall stock market volatility of recent days — taking the necessary steps to protect their assets from such a fate?
As head of the general surgery department and the Shock Trauma Unit of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, which has earned an international reputation for its state-of-the-art techniques, Dr. Avi Rivkind has treated, by his own count, at least 10,000 victims of suicide bombings, war, traffic accidents, tsunamis and other disasters. His patients have included soldiers and civilians and Palestinian terrorists. A Sabra, he has done his life-saving work in such countries as Kenya, Argentina and Sri Lanka.
Zvi Chalamish, Israel’s consul and chief fiscal officer for the Ministry of Finance here, said the decision Monday of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to accept Israel’s application for membership followed six years of sound Israeli economic policy. The Palestinian Authority had sought to block the move. The OECD, which has as members some of the world’s largest economies, promotes free market ideas and sound regulatory policies.
Sunday is Mother’s Day. For a Jewish take on the holiday, and on mothers, The Jewish Week sought out arguably the country’s leading authority on Jewish mothers: stand-up comic Judy Gold. An Emmy Award-winning writer and producer on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” she starred in a one-woman Off-Broadway show, “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother,” based on interviews she conducted with 50 Jewish mothers across the United States. Gold also wrote “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother,” based on her show.
Jason Gewirtz is the senior producer for a CNBC documentary called “Beyond the Barrel: The Race to Fuel the Future,” which began airing last week and focuses on Israeli innovation in the clean-tech industry. While Israel has become a hub for alternative energy research, the Jewish state has yet to put many of its ideas into practice and is still almost completely reliant on oil, Gewirtz says. Gewirtz and his crew also explore Canadian alternative energy usage at the Olympics, German entrepreneurship in solar energy and Chinese environmental research.
Morlie Levin, formerly the national executive director of Hadassah, is slated next month to take on the new post of CEO at Birthright Israel NEXT. She is expected to lead a nationwide expansion of the Birthright alumni organization, currently in seven cities, so that it has a presence in 10-15 cities. Prior to her position at Hadassah, Levin was the vice president of strategic planning at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, where she sought new ways to engage young donors.
Polish-born Frank Blaichman, a member of a Jewish resistance unit during World War II, was the only member of his immediate family who survived the Holocaust. A teen when the war started, he obtained arms by posing as a Polish policeman, traveling through the countryside by bike, committing acts of sabotage against the Nazis, refusing to wear the yellow Jewish star.
Rabbi Sharon Shalom is one of the first Ethiopian Israelis to be ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He is the spiritual leader of a congregation of about 100 people, most of them Holocaust survivors, in Kiryat Gan.
Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker David Grubin, a Manhattan resident whose last project was a history of American Jews, has now looked east. His newest documentary, “The Buddha,” about the founder of the Buddhist faith, premieres nationally on PBS on April 7. In recent weeks he has traveled around the U.S. for local screenings.
Q: How do you go from a project on American-Jewish history to a documentary on Buddhism?
Gershom Gorenberg, an American-born journalist, has lived in and covered Israel for the last 32 years. He may be best known for his thorough, thoughtful and highly praised book on the founding of the settlement movement, “The Accidental Empire.” He is teaching at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism this semester — a first for him — and recently, during a public conversation with J School Dean Nicholas Lemman, spoke about some of the differences between the way journalism is practiced in Israel and the U.S.