When Daniel Sokatch was tapped last year to lead San Francisco’s Jewish Community Federation, he was heralded as a breath of fresh air in a federation world struggling to re-establish its relevance. Having made his name as the founder of the liberal Los Angeles-based Progressive Jewish Alliance, Sokatch was widely seen as a bold — if somewhat risky — pick to head a consensus-driven, establishment federation.
Religious Jewish women, the primary cooks in Orthodox families, have long ruled kosher kitchens and served as crucial, informal kosher watchdogs for their families and guests. But those women are rarely trusted with the even more powerful, formal task of professionally supervising the production of kosher food.
The city of Tel Aviv received flowers for its birthday — half a million blooms, to be exact. A gift from the city of Brussels, the 500,000 dahlias were flown from the Belgian capital September 16 as part of ongoing festivities to mark Tel Aviv’s 100th anniversary, a celebration that kicked off in early April and is set to continue in the coming months.
Each year, the day before he was to ordain them as rabbis, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk told students at the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion about an experience he had as a young boy in Oberwesel, Germany.
One of the perks of fighting antisemitism for a living is the occasional opportunity to meet a genuine hero. On September 12, one of those heroes — a largely unsung one — died at age 53, alone in a motel room in Santa Fe, N.M., after a long battle with Crohn’s disease that had left her destitute.