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.
"I never met anybody who thought Abe went out that window because he wanted to," said mob informant Joseph Valachi about Abe Reles's fatal five-story plunge on November 12, 1941.
Jerusalem- When Israel's version of the Emmy Awards were announced in late 2009, the mainly secular entertainment establishment received an unexpected jolt as "Srugim," an off-beat series about the trials and tribulations of religious singles in Jerusalem was tabbed "Best Drama" on Israeli TV.
Due to Israel's small size, almost every soldier in the IDF returns home on a weekly or biweekly basis, enjoying the comfort and company of family. Approximately 5,000 soldiers, however, do not enjoy this benefit. These soldiers - labeled "lone soldiers" by the army - either come from dysfunctional homes (20 percent) or are volunteers from abroad (80 percent). In a recently published book, Lone Soldiers: Israel's Defenders from Around the World, veteran Jerusalem Post reporter Herb Keinon profiles 14 of these lone soldiers, who come from such diverse countries as Morocco, Australia, and India. He recently spoke with The Jewish Press.
Hank Sheinkopf is a master of the rough world of political campaigning. As president of Sheinkopf Communications, he's worked on some 700 political campaigns on four continents, including 44 American states. His clients have included President Clinton and Mayor Bloomberg. Sought after for comment by major media outlets, he is a CNN contributor and has lectured at NYU, Harvard, and Fordham.
In her much needed recently published book, Making the Golden Years Golden (AuthorHouse) Dr. Eva Mor offers strategies and resource information to help make one's senior years safe, secure and enjoyable. "If you prepare ahead of time there's no reason you can't have a good and rich retirement," said Dr. Mor.
George Gilder's latest book, The Israel Test (Vigilante Books), is so unabashedly pro-Jewish and pro-Israel that it would make many Jews blush.
"My particular passion was the teachings of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson." Born to an unobservant family in London, Rabbi Chaim Miller first encountered the Lubavitcher Rebbe's teachings as a student at Leeds University. "His discourses impressed me in terms of their tremendous intellectual depth and brilliance," he recalls.
JERUSALEM - An Indian couple completed their halachic conversion and remarried in a Jewish ceremony at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron last week, on the first anniversary of the murder of their friends and spiritual guides, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg.
Gussie Levine is a 99-year-old great-grandmother who worked as a teacher for the New York City Board of Education for many years. She volunteers for many worthy causes, and has participated in a new educational program, Mobilization for Youth - working with children of all ages.