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Kosher Food is Busting Out

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Out of the Lower East Side and its creative constraints Clever chefs like Moshe Wendel and Itta Werdiger Roth are bringing kosher into the 21st century at eateries like Pardes, Mason & Mug, Blossom and Reserve Cut BY MICHAEL KAMINER / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2013, 2:00 AM When the Lower East Side’s last kosher restaurant closed last month, “oy veys” could be heard all the way to the Bronx.In… Read More »Kosher Food is Busting Out

Disposal of old prayerbooks a mounting problem

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After years of watching synagogue members die or move away, the Sephardic Jewish Center of Canarsie made the difficult decision to downsize.

The 50-year-old Brooklyn synagogue had been a thriving center for the area’s Sephardim. But after accepting that it could no longer pull together enough money to cover expenses, let alone muster the 10 men necessary for daily prayer, the synagogue disposed of most of its belongings and began holding Shabbat services in a nearby Ashkenazi congregation.

But what to do with its prayerbooks? The center owned several hundred volumes in the Spanish-Portuguese liturgical style — some tattered, some like new and some belonging to older members that may have had significant worth.

“We donated some to a local shul, but we had to get rid of a lot of them and bury them,” said Rabbi Myron Rakowitz. “It was difficult because we didn’t just want to throw them out or claim them unusable. We want other people to use them, to give them purpose when we no longer can.”

What to do with old books is a growing problem for synagogues across the United States.

Read More »Disposal of old prayerbooks a mounting problem

Jewish NBA player who scored league’s first basket dies at 94

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Posted on July 30, 2013 by Jewish News –

(Jewish News – Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, a Jewish player who scored the first basket in the history of what evolved into the National Basketball Association (NBA), died Tuesday at age 94.

Schectman’s historic field goal came on Nov. 1, 1946 for the New York Knicks of the Basketball Association of America (BAA)—the precursor to the NBA—against the Toronto Huskies. The Knicks won the game, 68-66.

“Playing for the New York Knickerbockers in the 1946-47 season, Ossie scored the league’s first basket, which placed him permanently in the annals of NBA history,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement. “On behalf of the entire NBA family, our condolences go out to Ossie’s family.”

Schectman’s basket would later inspire the title of “The First Basket,” a 2008 documentary about Jews and basketball from executive producer David Vyorst.

Read More »Jewish NBA player who scored league’s first basket dies at 94

Joanna Hershon and Adelle Waldman Grow in Brooklyn

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By Adam Langer, Published in the “Jewish Daily Forward”, August 07, 2013 Two of the strongest novels published so far this year, Joanna Hershon’s “A Dual Inheritance” and Adelle Waldman’s “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.,” happen to be written by young, Brooklyn-based Jewish women writing smartly and wittily from the perspectives of men. This might not be a remarkable fact in and of itself: Look for a smart, witty novelist these… Read More »Joanna Hershon and Adelle Waldman Grow in Brooklyn

Young Israel of Flatbush

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SUNSHINE1012 Avenue I, Brooklyn

The Young Israel was established on December 6, 1921 and held its first Synagogue Shabbat Services on March 3, 1922.  In its many years of existence, we have been active on several fronts.  The Young Israel was instrumental in providing assistance in rescue efforts for our suffering brethren during the Holocaust, financial aid during the early years of our beloved State of Israel and in its wars of existence, and support to our brothers behind the Iron Curtain.  Here at home, we have been the leading Congregation in the community – the force behind the creation of the local Mikveh, the Gemilut Chassadim Organization and the Greater Flatbush Eruv.  We have also assisted local Yeshivot, Rabbinic Courts and the needy of our community.  In addition to being open all day, every day, we have provided a myriad of services to our membership, including religious and educational enrichment, youth and outreach programs and social activities.

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Old-meets-new for Modern Orthodox artist fresh off exhibiting work in Miami

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Boerum Hill artist Elke Reva Sudin, 26, recently exhibited an oil painting in Miami through Con Artist, a Lower East Side artists’ space. ‘Showing this painting was personal for me,’ she tells The News.


Boerum Hill artist Elke Reva Sudin

Boerum Hill artist Elke Reva Sudin is fresh from her first exhibition during Art Basel in Miami

Blending a complex religious identity in modern painting? Brooklyn resident Elke Reva Sudin has it down to an art.

The 26-year-old Boerum Hill artist, a Modern Orthodox Jew, is fresh off of exhibiting her work in Miami as part of the SELECT Fair, an exhibition for emerging artists that ran alongside Art Basel.

The painter said she doesn’t identify herself as an adherent of any one sect of Judaism. “I’m watchful of the commandments,” Sudin told The News. “But culturally, I’m an artist.”

Sudin, perhaps best known for her tongue-in-cheek “Hipsters & Hassids” series in which she compares and contrasts the seemingly contradictory Brooklyn cultures, showed her work, “Yael Approaches the General,” as a part of a Lower East Side-based artists’ space, Con Artist.

Read More »Old-meets-new for Modern Orthodox artist fresh off exhibiting work in Miami

Brooklyn native and longtime Hollywood director tells all in recent memoir

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Allen Baron

Despite his success as a Hollywood film and TV director, Brooklyn native Allen Baron came from humble beginnings. In his recent memoir “Blast of Silence,” published this past July by Parker Publishing, Baron tells all, chronicling his convoluted path to launching a decades-long career in the film industry and revealing his passionate and opinionated take on 20th century Hollywood. “If it was hard to make a connection between the East New York section of Brooklyn where I had been born and this place,” he writes, recalling his experience at the 1965 Academy Awards Governors Ball, “it was almost impossible to see a link between my poverty-stricken years wearing hand-me-down clothes, living among smelly trash cans, nickel and dime stealing, and this glamorous setting.” Replete with a range of photographs depicting his toddler years through his years a director, “Blast of Silence” is a deeply confessional account of Baron’s fascinating life, which began right here in Brooklyn.

Born in East New York, Baron grew up in poverty during the Great Depression. His parents were Polish and Russian immigrants who spoke English with a thick accent and interspersed with Yiddish words. Baron recalls that most of his friends also had foreign-born parents, and that “The kids at Public School 202 would only associate with their ethnic groups.” He lived on Logan Street and then on Sutter Avenue.

Read More »Brooklyn native and longtime Hollywood director tells all in recent memoir

In Brooklyn Heights, local author to discuss South African upbringing

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Brooklyn BookBeat


Though she now calls Brooklyn Heights home, author Ellie Levinson is no stranger to the world abroad. In fact, she’s spent much of her life across the world in South Africa, as she poignantly relates in her recent memoir “Let’s Play Hopscotch, Growing Up Under Apartheid in South Africa” (Tate Publishing & Enterprises). On Tuesday, Dec. 17, Levinson will appear at the Brooklyn Heights Branch Library in conversation with Elizabeth Scholtz, director emeritus of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, who also hails from South Africa. Levinson will read passages from her memoir, which she will discuss with Scholtz, after which there will be a book signing.

In “Let’s Play Hopscotch,” Levinson enlivens her hometown of Welkom, the small region in which she grew up with five siblings. She recalls her experience being raised with a Catholic, Lebanese mother and an English father under apartheid rule and goes on to describe her extensive travels to 42 different countries.

Likening her life to a game of hopscotch, Levinson reflects on hopping from country to country and the endless array of characters she’s met along the way. Most notably, Levinson met Ivan, a Jewish medical student whom she married 36 years ago and with whom she has raised four children.

Read More »In Brooklyn Heights, local author to discuss South African upbringing

She Moved The Pop Music Earth

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How a Brooklyn girl named Carol Klein bridged cultures in the ’60s and rewrote American popular song.

carolekingShe took an unconventional route to superstardom, but it was a soulful road that Carole King traveled. Born Carol Klein in Brooklyn in 1942, she did not set out to become a performer. In “Beautiful,” the new musical about King that opens this Sunday on Broadway, King’s career as a budding songwriter comes to the fore. Starring Jessie Mueller (“On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”) as King, the musical opens a window on a pivotal 1960s era in pop music in which a group of mostly Jewish composers and lyricists wrote for mostly black performers, changing the face of American culture in the process.

Directed by Marc Bruni (“Old Jews Telling Jokes”), the new show traces King’s trajectory from the first tunes that she wrote while attending James Madison High School in Brooklyn. At Queens College, she met her future husband, Gerry Goffin (Jake Epstein), who turned out to be a perfect lyricist for her melodies; their big break came in 1960 with “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?,” recorded by The Shirelles, which was the first No. 1 hit by a black girl group, and which led to recordings of King’s songs by The Drifters, The Chiffons, and many others.
Read More »She Moved The Pop Music Earth


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By Dr. George Eisen –  published in International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

The following list of Jewish Olympic medalists was compiled by Dr. George Eisen, Executive Director and Associate Vice-President at Nazareth College of Rochester, New York.

Dr. Eisen is the author of many books, studies and articles, including the award-winning Children and Play in the Holocaust, Games Among the Shadows (University of Massachusetts Press, 1988), which has been translated into a multitude of languages; and Sport and Physical Education in Jewish History(Wingate Institute, Israel).

Dr. Eisen compiled the Bibliography of Sport and Leisure in Jewish History and Culture, and was primary consultant to the National Holocaust Museum (Washington, D.C.) special exhibition, The Nazi Olympics/Berlin 1936.

Olympic Champion Mark Spitz

Olympic Champion Mark Spitz

1896 Athens


Alfred Flatow, Germany
gymnastics, parallel bars
gymnastics, team parallel bars
gymnastics, team horizontal bar

Gustav Felix Flatow, Germany
gymnastics, team parallel bars
gymnastics, team horizontal bar

Alfred Hajos-Guttman, Hungary
swimming, 100-meter freestyle
swimming, 1,500-meter freestyle

Paul Neumann, Austria
swimming, 500-meter freestyle


Alfred Flatow, Germany
gymnastics, horizontal bar

Otto Herschmann, Austria
swimming, 100-meter freestyle

1900 Paris


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