What a Year It’s Been, 2013



Published December 29, 2013, issue of December 27, 2013.
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How fast the year flew, this twenty thirteen.

Its joys and terrors, its news unforeseen.

Obama and Bibi made up and fought,

The Arab Spring became even more fraught.

Shutdowns and boycotts and storms from above,

Plus the roll-out disaster called healthcare-dot-gov.

But let’s not succumb to sharing bad news.

And instead let’s celebrate all of the Jews

Who made our world better, more challenging, fun,

Who taught us and led us and got good work done.

Edie Windsor threw DOMA right out of the door.

Philip Roth left his readers still asking for more.

At the Maccabiah Amar’e Stoudemire coached with great vim

While Jane Katz showed the young how to swim.

Ben Smith got the Buzz, Janet Yellen the Fed,

Marc Maron brought laughter with all that he said.

Joe Neubauer funded the Pew survey,

And while its results caused widespread dismay,

The Forward was happy in one selfish way:

So many opeds from Jews with so much to say!

Hurrah for Avi Weiss’s seminary,

And Solon Beinfeld’s Yiddish dictionary.

Jewish museums in Warsaw and DC

Blossomed with Sara Bloomfield and Ted Taube.

Starbuck Ballner helped victims of Superstorm Sandy

And Sarah Bunin Benor made frum talk sound handy.

Glenn Greenwald ensured that secrets were shared,

IDF soldiers were photographed bared.

Romemu thrived on the Upper West Side

As David Ingber threw convention aside.

So did a chef named Yotam Ottolenghi

Who showed how delish Israeli food could be.

Moosewood’s Mollie Katzen offered more recipes.

Michael Solomonov served his specialities.

While Mitchell Davis did as much as anyone

To bring Jewish cooking to public attention.

On the Left Coast, L.A. got a new mayor:

Eric Garcetti, a Jew with Latino flair.

Another Eric, this one named Rosenthal,

Lobbied for the disabled — and for us all.

Mazel tovs to the retiring John Ruskay,

Nick Lemann as the dean of Columbia J,

And Michael Bloomberg, who seemed mayor forever.

(He’s got Genesis to fund his next endeavor.)

David Stern will step down at the N.B.A.

And Ruth Wisse will retire, with still much to say.

The grieving had a friend in Letty Cottin Pogrebin.

And Homeland fans swooned over Mandy Patinkin.

Sheryl Sandberg encouraged women to lean in.

Karen Lewis did that, with her Chicago union.

Franklin Foer rebranded TNR with spunk.

Jenji Kohan turned ‘Orange’ into a slam dunk.

Arieh Warshel earned his Nobel Prize,

While David Coleman helped students get wise.

Thank Martin Indyk if peace talks progress.

Thank Harvey Fierstein for Kinky Boots’ success.

The Kotel made news due to Anat Hoffman,

Natan Sharansky and Susan Silverman.

Francesca Segal picked up awards galore.

Hankus Netsky promoted music’s stage door.

Alan van Capelle showed how to bend the arc.

On the web Eli Pariser made his mark.

Titi Aynaw became Israel’s first black beauty queen.

Sue Friedman’s activism highlighted the BRCA gene.

Idit Klein championed LGBT rights.

Josh Block kept Israel’s project in his sights.

Not all of the news was happy, of course.

Y.U.’s Norman Lamm stepped down with remorse,

For ignoring the pleas of widespread abuse

From Mordechai Twersky and others who used

To look up to their rabbis. They no longer can.

Why hasn’t Richard Joel apologized, man to man?

Julius Berman survived his own scandal

But really, can anyone hold a candle

To Willie Rapfogel, accused of stealing

Millions from the poor? We’re all still reeling.

Bob Filner was a national shame.

And Ryan Braun squandered his good name.

We said farewell to the unique Ed Koch,

Ovadia Yosef’s death took us down a notch.

Frank Lautenberg, Dear Abby and Lou Reed

Little Sammy Sommer was gone with sad speed

And though it is more than a year since Sandy Hook

Became synonymous with a horror that shook

America to the core. How could we stand by

While innocent children are killed, and not raise a cry?

We honor Veronique Pozner and other parents

Who plead for gun safety and a safer presence.

On behalf of Larry, Adam, Naomi and Dan,

Martyna, Dave, Ezra, Josh, Paul, Devra and Anne,

Teri, Kurt, the two Nathans, Maia, Jeanette and Elaine

Carolyn, Gal, our new Sigal, JJ and Jane,

The Forward thanks you for all your support.

Our historic mission to write and report

Online or in print remains just as true

For 2014, and in the years beyond too.

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