Rabbi Judith Lewis of the Riverdale Temple asked the two conversion candidates about to enter the mikveh: Are you sure you want to do this?
On a recent sun-washed Saturday morning, after the conclusion of Sabbath services at the historic Touro Synagogue, some 20 members gathered outside and gazed across a barren dirt patch toward where the Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. Visitors Center — an immaculate new stone building and a peeling old wood frame house under renovation — is taking shape.
Amos Elon, the Israeli journalist and author who died in Italy on May 25 at age 82, was described for decades as Israel’s leading public intellectual — the writer who, more than any other, explained Israelis to themselves and to the world. And yet, he spent his final years in self-described “exile” in Italy, despairing of Israel’s future. His passing received more notice in Europe and America than in Israel.
Leading Soviet Jewry and human rights activist Si Frumkin has died. Frumkin, who founded the Southern California Council for Soviet Jews in 1968 and helped make it a mainstream American cause, died May 15 after battling cancer. He was 78.
Fashionably late, the Conservative movement is joining the growing world of Jewish advocacy in the nation’s capital.