1/08/13 – published in www.thejewishweek.com Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht, an Ashkenazi who led a Sephardic congregation and was also closely affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, died Saturday night at 90. He was a passionate advocate of traditional Torah values and strict interpretation of halacha. Rabbi Hecht was leader of Congregation Shaare Zion in Midwood, Brooklyn for over 50 years and rabbi emeritus of that congregation at the time of his death.… Read More »Rabbi Abraham Hecht, Chabad And Sephardic Leader, Dies At 90
1/08/13 published in thejewishweek.com
In ‘Little Poland,’ gentrification and an inclusive Orthodox rabbi with a garden are reviving Jewish life.
Until recently, Yoni Kretzmer, a disillusioned former Orthodox Jew spent most Friday evenings performing on his sax, while Jesse Beller, who describes himself as unaffiliated, would spend Friday nights at a friend’s house or a bar.
But last Friday night, the two were at Congregation Ahavas Israel, the only Orthodox synagogue — indeed, the only Jewish congregation of any type — in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn.
Kretzmer, who led the Kabbalat Shabbat service, chanting the liturgy like a veteran chazzan, and Beller are among a growing number of young Jews, most of whom identify as secular, who have moved to Greenpoint in the last decade and are active at Ahavas Israel.