You’re already spending a fortune on matzah — no need to empty your wallet on small trinkets to ensure the kids stay up long enough to find the afikoman. Here, moms, grandmothers, and educators share their favorite low-cost and even free ideas for spicing up the seder experience.
From the asking of the Four Questions to the search for the afikoman, Passover is undoubtedly a holiday geared toward children. So this Passover, choose a gift for the host that will delight the children at the table. Attending an adult-only seder? These children-friendly gifts will bring out the curious kid in all of us.
Getzy Fellig’s eCharityBox makes tzedakah
easier for both donor and recipient.
The pushke, or charity box, may well be a relic of the past to many members of the younger generation of Jews. In fact, promotional materials for eCharityBox paint the small tin can as a PC in a world of Macs — not only old school, but also a barrier to giving for those who want to give on the go, with just a click of their BlackBerry or iPhone.
Indefatigable Dr. Bernard Lander grew school
well beyond its New York roots.
Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander, the visionary founder and president of Touro College, which he grew from 35 students to a global network of 29 schools educating 17,500 students in New York, California, Nevada, Florida, Israel, Russia, Germany and France, died Monday of congestive heart failure at a New York hospital. He was 94.
Over the course of the past year, a group of volunteers affiliated with The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) Next Gen initiative has been looking into launching a mobile giving campaign. When an earthquake devastated Haiti last month, suddenly the race was on to get it up and running immediately.
Born with severe hearing loss, Jake Spinowitz was fitted for hearing aids at age 1. Every few years, as technology improved, he upgraded to a new pair. Then, during his freshmen year of high school, he woke up one morning and everything was muted. "It was scary," the Woodbury, L.I., teen says. "Even with the hearing aids, I couldn’t hear anything." Three months later, he underwent a successful cochlear implant surgery.
Just as the economy began to dip further into recession and traditional funding sources were slashing their giving, Guma Aguiar appeared on the scene. The self-made businessman who divides his time between New York, South Florida, and Jerusalem has emerged as a new — and significant— force in Jewish philanthropy. He made headlines when he donated $8 million to Nefesh B’Nefesh, which promotes North American aliyah. Other big gifts include half a million to March of the Living and another $500,000 to sponsor worldwide Passover sederim through Chabad.
While an undergraduate at Columbia, Elana Stein Hain divided her day in two. Half a day, she took courses in history and other subjects. During the other half, she studied Talmud with a chavruta. "I created my own dual-curriculum," she says. "I wanted to spend the bulk of my day surrounded by Jewish texts."
Dr. Robert Grunstein has always been a car and truck guy. So when he heard that an old municipal fire truck was up for sale ("the holy grail for car guys," he says), he bought it. The fire truck cost him $5,000; converting it into a mobile dental unit and taking out the water tank set him back $50,000. "It had a new motor and perfect transmission," Grunstein gushes. It’s the perfect vehicle, he says, for combating the "tsunami of bad teeth."
In recent years, the Upper West Side has seen an influx of French, Moroccan, and Israeli Jews. Daniel Rouach is one of them. He grew up in France, graduated as a computer science engineer, and came to the U.S. in 2004 to attend the International Business School at Brandeis. There, he became close with the Chabad rabbi, Rabbi Peretz Chein, who encouraged him to learn more about his Jewish heritage.