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It was a summer that changed lives.
It was a fight for American democracy in the face of terrorism.
It was dubbed “Freedom Summer,” and it drew 700 college students and young adults to help Mississippi activists fight for civil rights.
The year was 1964.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech the previous August, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In Washington, a far-reaching civil rights bill that would desegregate public facilities had been introduced to Congress by President Lyndon Johnson — but quickly stalled and was then filibustered for months.
Rabbi Moshe Mirsky thinks his new position as the director of religious services at the Daughters of Miriam Center/Gallen Institute in Clifton is a perfect shidduch.
Actually, it is not quite a new job. Rabbi Mirsky had already worked there with Rabbi Ira Kronenberg, who just retired from the home this month, in the late 1980s. Back then Rabbi Mirsky was studying for simicha — rabbinic ordination. He worked there once again in the 1990s, while he was teaching at various day schools.
“I would come on the weekends for Shabbat and on yom tov to assist Rabbi Kronenberg,” he said. “I would lead davening, give Torah classes, go to the Alzheimer’s unit, and try to engage the residents Jewishly. I had a special rapport with Rabbi Kronenberg and the residents.”
Indeed, then he already was doing many of the things he is doing now as director of religious affairs.
The two-state solution is a chimera, Joshua London says. It is a lovely vision of something that never can be real, and chasing it — chasing the plan that would make Israel and Palestine two separate states, living next to each other in prickly but sustainable peace — is chasing the wind.
Mr. London, who lives in suburban Maryland, is the Zionist Organization of America’s co-director of government affairs. He will be taking a break from his daily routine — lobbying Congress to further the ZOA’s own understanding of the Middle East — to speak at a parlor meeting in Teaneck on Wednesday.
His goal, he said, “is to bring clarity and critical analysis to the longstanding U.S. policy for support of — and in fact to apply pressure toward — the creation of a Palestinian state from territory that otherwise belongs to Israel, and to do so under the notion that this will bring peace.”
There’s an image from his trip to Israel last week that Jason Shames, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, cannot get out of his head.
Shames was with a delegation of 125 administrative and fundraising executives from the Jewish Federations of North America. They traveled together to Greece and Israel to assess overseas needs.
“Obviously there has been a lot of change in itinerary due to what’s been going on,” Mr. Shames said on Sunday, referring to Operation Protective Edge and the constant salvos from Gaza.
“Since we landed in Israel on Thursday, when things started escalating, we spent time devising what an emergency campaign should look like, and we decided to take a small group to show support in Sderot and Beersheva.”
Rabbi Ira Kronenberg of Passaic clearly has staying power.
He also has a strong sense of responsibility and a deep concern for the people he serves.
Director of religious services at the Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute in Clifton for some 39 years, the rabbi also enjoyed a long association — from 1972 to 2008 — with the United States Army. In both arenas, he played many roles and touched the lives of countless people.
At Daughters of Miriam, Rabbi Kronenberg conducted religious services, paid pastoral visits, supervised the kitchens, mentored social work students during their internships, and served as staff coordinator for the ethics committee and the residents’ council.
Today, the shoes that Itamar Carmi of Teaneck designs with his wife, Rachel, are found in 1,200 stores around the world.
But his adventures in the shoe trade started with a bad loan in New York City.
Mr. Carmi had grown up in Tel Aviv. After the army, he studied at university for a year before deciding it wasn’t for him. So he came to New York to seek his fortune. The year was 1985.
He wasn’t penniless. He had enough money to lend a not insignificant amount to a friend who owned a shoe store on Fifth Avenue.
Rather than being repaid, he was brought on as a partner and an employee.
Just a glance at the web page created in memory of Gabby Reuveni of Paramus gives some indication of the number of people she touched and — through the ongoing efforts of her family — she continues to touch.
Killed two years ago in Pennsylvania by a driver who swerved onto the shoulder of the road, where she was running, Gabby, who was 20, was “an extremely aware and kind person,” her mother, Jacqueline Reuveni, said. “We’re continuing her legacy.”
The family has undertaken both public and private “acts of kindness,” she said, from endowing scholarships to meeting local families’ medical bills.
According to her father, Michael Reuveni, Gabby — then a student at Washington University in St. Louis and a member of the school’s track team — was a victim of vehicular homicide.
When Governor Chris Christie signed New Jersey’s budget last month, approving $32.5 billion in revenue and expenses for the new fiscal year, the big news was the $1.6 billion he cut from the Democratic Assembly’s budget — he used the line item veto to slash expenditures, including pension payments, and block tax increases on million-dollar earners.
Jewish advocates were able to exhale, however. The increased funding Jewish organizations had sought for Jewish education and for Holocaust survivors were left untouched by the governor’s veto pen.
“We are delighted by the support we received this year from the governor and legislature,” said Jacob Toporek, executive director of the NJ State Association of Jewish Federations.