A few weeks ago, Benny Wechsler was speaking to a United Jewish Appeal group in Westchester, N.Y., that makes sandwiches for the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. As director of the council’s kosher food network, Wechsler thanked the group for its help and discussed the growing need for food assistance among struggling middle-class families who have fallen on hard times.
United Jewish Communities, the national association of federated Jewish charities, is facing calls from a host of federation leaders for drastic cuts in next year’s budget.
“Did you lose your family, brother?” Rep. Keith Ellison asked as he gently touched the arm of the young Palestinian standing outside the ruins of what was his Gaza home. After hearing that the man had lost both his parents, Ellison promised, “We’ll go back and tell them what we saw.”
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.