During the day, Shea Rubenstein works in real estate development. In the evenings he helps run the Jewish Community Council of Marine Park, an organization he helped establish, to meet the needs of the local community, as its executive vice president.
To some non-Jews, he is simply "America's rabbi." Rabbi Daniel Lapin - great-nephew of the widely revered mussarpersonality, Reb Elya Lapian - lectures across America to audiences both Jewish and Christian, produces audio CDs on such issues as marriage, the Ten Commandments, and the ill effects of vulgar speech, and disseminates a weekly e-mail called Thought Tools.
Though Sephardim are a small percentage of worldwide Jewry, they constitute a majority of Jews living in Israel today. Shas, the Israeli political party representing Orthodox and traditional Sephardim, has become a political powerhouse since its founding in 1984 by former Sephardic chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
With the influence of news writers almost rivaling that of newsmakers, especially in the Middle East, Gil Hoffman has a pivotal position as chief political correspondent and analyst for the Jerusalem Post. Hoffman is closely connected with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, has interviewed every major figure across the Israeli political spectrum, and is a regular analyst on CNN, Al Jazeera and other news outlets.
At the height of his musical success and while indulging in all the material abundance Hollywood had to offer, Yoseph chanced upon a Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch edition of the Chumash. Yoseph's life was transformed. He decided to reject the emptiness and egotism of the Hollywood lifestyle and embrace Yiddishkeit. Yoseph converted to Judaism and now lives in Brooklyn as an Orthodox Jew.
Perhaps it was inevitable. Ever since her address at the Republican National Convention two years ago, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has been popular among many Orthodox Jews. A month after the convention, a "Sarah Palin Wig" went on sale on Sheitel.com. Now, as worry increases in the Jewish community over President Obama's Middle East policies, a group of Jews have banded together to create Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin (JewsforSarah.com).
Yechiel Spira is part of a new breed of Internet-based Orthodox investigative journalist. The native New Yorker, who made aliyah in 1984, is on the front lines of Jerusalem's "almost anything goes" kosher-food industry via his Jerusalem Kosher News website (www.jerusalemkoshernews.com).
Rael Jean Isaac was in the right place at the right time. Forty years ago, she found herself in Israel together with her husband, studying the various activist groups that had sprung up in Israel in the wake of the Six-Day War. Some argued for returning the lands won during the war; others, for keeping them. While researching the different movements for her doctoral thesis, she and her husband met veteran right-wing activist Shmuel Katz. The rest is history.
Sherwood Goffin has had a storied career. The cantor of Lincoln Square Synagogue since 1965, Goffin started his musical career as a folk singer. From 1961-1995, Goffin sang on major stages worldwide, recorded six albums, and was known as the "Voice of Soviet Jewry," singing at all the major Soviet Jewry UN Solidarity Day rallies from 1964-1991.
The Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam, founded in May 2009, has held numerous political demonstrations, rallies and seminars aimed at bringing about a collective awareness of the perils of Islamic extremism. The Jewish Press sat down with Dr. Marvin Belsky, chairman of the board of HRCARI, to hear more about the goals and objectives of the group.
The New York Post called him "the nation's foremost journalistic expert on terrorism." Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism chief, called him the "Paul Revere of terrorism." For 16 years, Steven Emerson has been conducting research, reporting, writing, speaking, and testifying before Congress on the threat of radical Islam.
As the son of former Lehi leader Israel Eldad, Knesset Member Dr. Aryeh Eldad (National Union) is no newcomer to Israel's political wars.
In 1947-1948 I lived in Boro Park where, against parental and rabbinic advice, I joined a Zionist group. By 1950 I was packing machine-gun parts for Israel in a home not far from the Young Israel. But what I did as a child does not compare to what my friend and colleague David Gutmann did for love of Zion at that very time on the dangerous open seas.
Have you read the blog Jewminicana? If you have, you are already familiar with Aliza Hausman, a recently converted Dominican-American blogger. She blogs about her childhood, upbringing, conversion, and a wide range of other topics. She and her husband, a semichah student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, also speak about life as a religious interracial couple.
Noach Dear has worn many hats during his nearly 30 years of public service. The hat he currently dons is that of a jurist, as he presides over a courtroom in Downtown Brooklyn, which handles all of the consumer debt cases in the borough. Each and every day, in Judge Dear's modest courtroom, a real-life drama unfolds as hardworking people, struggling to make ends meet, step up to the bench in a desperate effort to deal with mounting piles of debt they have scant hope of repaying. While these litigants may not be seeking millions of dollars or trying to avoid a stiff prison term, they are facing a frightening situation in which their families' financial futures are hanging in the balance.
Im Tirtzu, an Israeli student organization, recently made waves when it accused the New Israel Fund (NIF) of granting millions of dollars to 16 NGOs, whose condemnations of the IDF helped build the case against Israel in the UN's Goldstone Report. According to a controversial Im Tirtzu ad in Israeli newspapers, "Without the New Israel Fund, there could be no Goldstone Report, and Israel would not be facing international accusations of war crimes."
To commemorate the shloshim of Touro College founder and president, Dr. Bernard Lander, z"l, some of his friends and colleagues shared their memories of him with The Jewish Press. Here are their thoughts:
When seven year-old Ariel tearfully ran into the kitchen complaining of pain it was his younger brother Shalom who came to the rescue. "Should I get you something to learn so you will feel better?" asked the six year old?
At a time when media pundits are calling daily newspapers "print dinosaurs," Las Vegas casino mogul and Zionist philanthropist Sheldon Adelson tweaked the "experts" by investing millions of dollars in the creation of Yisrael Hayom (Israel Today), a free Hebrew-language tabloid newspaper that was launched on July 30, 2007.
Some people hate them, others love them. Perhaps no other group of Israelis engenders as much debate as the residents of Hebron. There, among 150,000 hostile Arabs, live 700 Jews determined to dwell in the city where the biblical Abraham purchased a burial plot for his wife Sarah.
Aside for designating the birth and death of Moshe Rabbeinu, the seventh of Adar (February 21 this year) also marks the 17th yahrzeit of Chazkel Tydor, father of Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz, a professor of Jewish history at Bar-Ilan University and the author of seven books.
A vigorous advocate of aliyah, Yishai Fleisher uses his position as Internet radio personality and director of programming at Arutz Sheva's Israel National Radio to promote the merits of living in the land of Israel. On his popular show "Yishai and Friends," Fleisher deals with Israeli politics, history and tradition and has interviewed personalities ranging from Dutch politician and filmmaker Geert Wilders to actor Jon Voight.
Robert S. Wistrich, a professor at Hebrew University and a leading scholar on anti-Semitism, published his 24th book last month: A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad (Random House, 1,200 pages). Wistrich is the director of The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism and, between 1999 and 2001, was one of six scholars who sat on a Catholic-Jewish historical commission that examined Pope Pius XII's response to the Holocaust. The Jewish Press spoke with Wistrich during his recent New York book tour.
A parent or spouse suddenly suffers a debilitating stroke or heart attack and requires home health care. Where should the family turn? Many families thankfully are never forced to consider such questions. Others, though, are not as lucky and feel overwhelmed by the new situation thrust upon them, not knowing where or to whom to turn for advice.
Juval Aviv's exploits as an Israeli counterterrorism agent are widely believed to be the inspiration for Steven Spielberg's 2005 film "Munich." After wrapping up his career as a major in the Israel Defense Forces (and reportedly working for the secretive Mossad), Aviv launched a lucrative career as a security consultant and investigator.