One of the most colorful chapters in American Jewish history ended on March 28, with the death, at age 88, of Janet Jagan, former president of the South American country of Guyana. Born Janet Rosenberg in Chicago in 1920, she was one of only two Jewish women ever to lead a modern nation. The other was Golda Meir of nearby Milwaukee.
Forget the bitter herbs. When about 100 Jews gather in Brooklyn on April 5 for a pre-Passover Seder, they will pay homage to their enslaved ancestors not with the traditional sinus-clearing horseradish, but by spanking each other with wands of chocolate licorice.
Strings of Freedom, the Palestinian youth orchestra from Jenin, has been silenced; its instruments confiscated, its rehearsal space sealed, its director barred from the West Bank refugee camp because she took the teens to play for elderly Israelis on a day designated for kindness.
In Tel Aviv, shortly before Passover, David Cohen was mulling over his holiday menu. “I’m thinking of making sushi,” he said.
Bowing to pressure from Jewish and Muslim leaders who warned that funerals could be delayed, state lawmakers have tentatively agreed to reject proposed budget cuts that would have drastically reduced funding for medical examiners across New York.