Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, a prominent Chicago spiritual leader and rabbi emeritus of the Reform synagogue situated across the street from President-elect Barack Obama’s house, has died, apparently of a heart attack. He was 84.
YouTube has restored four videos posted by the Israeli army that were removed on December 31 following complaints filed by users of the video-sharing site.
It was the opposite of the “No Spin Zone.” On December 22, hundreds of southern California Hanukkah enthusiasts converged on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade in a mass attempt to break one of the few world records Michael Phelps left standing in 2008: the distinction of spinning the most dreidels simultaneously. Enlisted by Sha’arei Am — The Santa Monica Synagogue, the gathered group hoped to break the 541-dreidel mark established by Temple Emanuel in Cherry Hill, N.J., in 2005, and noted in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Two Turkish diplomats who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust have been honored with commemorative stamps recently issued by Turkey’s postal system. Selâhattin Ülkümen (1914–2003), consul general of Turkey in Rhodes from 1943 to 1944, saved 42 Jewish families from deportation to concentration camps and was declared a Righteous Gentile by Yad Vashem in 1990. Necdet Kent (1911–2002), Turkey’s vice consul general in Marseille, France, from 1941 to 1944, gave Turkish citizenship to Jews living in France who faced deportation to concentration camps. In one incident, he boarded a train filled with Jews that was bound for Auschwitz, refusing to leave unless the Jews were also released. The two stamps were issued under the title “Precedent to Humanity.”
Among the standout acts at a December 23 “Storytelling” Hanukkah event, sponsored by Heeb magazine, was that of sibling comics Eliot and Ilana Glazer, who presented two case studies of their American Jewish grandparents.