The image of a 6-foot-3-inch, 250-pound African-American football player doesn’t typically bring to mind “Great Jewish Athlete.” Andre Tippett, five-time All-Pro linebacker for the New England Patriots and National Football League Hall of Famer, is changing that. Tippet, who converted to Judaism nearly 12 years ago, was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on April 26. The ceremony was held at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center in Commack, N.Y.
Just in case you were worried that a terrible virus linked to pigs would whet people’s appetite for pork, Israel’s deputy health minister has renamed the swine flu. He’s calling it the Mexico flu.
Sen. Arlen Specter, one of two Jewish Republicans in Congress, has converted — to the Democratic Party. The longtime Pennsylvania senator’s surprise move will give Democrats 60 votes in the Senate, assuming that Al Franken wins his ongoing court case in Minnesota and is seated, which would give Senate Democrats the power to stop filibusters.
Jean Blum, a 73-year-old retired teacher living in Paterson, N.J., corresponded with and took desperate collect phone calls from illegal immigrants who were being detained at her local jail to await deportation. Blum responded to their pleas by nagging local officials to improve the prisoners’ living conditions. When she heard about the death of Ahmad Tanveer, a 43-year-old Pakistani New Yorker, she collected accounts from witnesses and sent her evidence to the government.
The Reform movement’s seminary is looking into closing two of its three U.S. campuses as part of an effort to close looming budget gaps caused by the recent economic downturn.