London Jews Seeing No Backlash

Jewish Week

As police in London continued to hunt for those responsible for four terrorist bombings last week that claimed at least 52 lives — including four of the British-born suicide bombers themselves — Jewish leaders vowed to combat any increase in anti-Semitism but said none had arisen.

“In the immediate aftermath, there is nothing of that,” Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told The Jewish Week Monday. “It was reported in The Times that when they interviewed some young Muslim Bangladeshis in the East End of London and asked their initial thoughts, they said it was probably the Israelis behind it. But that was included in the paper because it was such an outrageous suggestion.”

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The enigma of Jeff Goldblum


Jeff Goldblum stoops to shake an admirer’s hand, listening patiently as his attractive blonde publicist introduces the man – a black-hatted, tzitzit-wearing hassid. Goldblum smiles politely.

A few minutes earlier, Goldblum had taken a brief tour of the gleaming new Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn – a state-of-the-art edifice across the street from 770 Eastern Parkway, home of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe and still the spiritual center of Chabad-Lubavitch.

Rabbi Says ‘Shalom’ to Cable Series


Shalom TV wants to provide its viewers with A Cable to Jewish Life.

The network said it will begin airing the half-hour weekly show, hosted by Rabbi Yosef Katzman and born out of the wisdom of Lubavitch Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

Among topics the show has covered: the methods of preparation that result in Kosher foods; the story behind the shape of the Menorah; ingredients for a fulfilling and meaningful Yom Kippur; funding for American Yeshivas; the history of the annual Mitzvah Tanks parade through New York before Passover; the joy of Simcha Torah; Jewish activism; and the relationship between African Americans and the Lubavitch community.

“We are privileged to count Yosef Katzman among our first programming contacts, given the breath and depth of his program and audience,” Shalom TV principal Bradford N. Hammer said in a prepared statement.

“Where else would one find an interview with an Orthodox State Supreme Court Justice, or discover the role of the public servant in Jewish life?” he added. “His series enjoyed great success on the International Channel, and we look forward to rekindling this interest and excitement on our emerging digital-cable-television network.”

Holocaust education still lacking

Program helps teachers instruct youths on topic that many schools ignore

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Six decades later, the Holocaust remains a painful and emotionally draining topic — and a special challenge for middle school and high school teachers who have to instruct students about one of the most horrific episodes in human history.

Despite its importance, Holocaust scholarship is still just beginning to work its way into history lessons in much of the country, and teachers volunteering to tackle the subject often find themselves developing courses from scratch, without much formal training.

“My own education about the Holocaust was not close to what I am providing today in my classroom,” said Kimberly Watkin, a history teacher in South Burlington, Vt., who offered her high school’s first full-term course on the Holocaust this school year.

To become better versed on the Holocaust, Watkin joined 30 educators from 11 states, plus Croatia, Lithuania and Poland, at a five-day program at Columbia University last week.

Thousands Visit Rebbe’s Grave To Mark Death

The Jewish Week

(JTA) Thousands of people streamed by the Queens grave site of the Lubavitcher rebbe to mark the 11th anniversary of his passing. Many of the visitors reflected and prayed Saturday night and Sunday at the burial place of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s in the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Springfield Gardens, said Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, a spokesman for Chabad Lubavitch.

“The tens of thousands who came to the rebbe’s grave site, the hundreds of thousands who asked others to bring their names to the rebbe, and the millions of people whose lives have been deeply impacted by the rebbe’s influence is testament to the ever-increasing mark the rebbe’s soul continues to have around the world,” said Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, a leader of the Lubavitch movement.

In conjunction with the marking of the yahrzeit, a Chabad Web site,, is soliciting anecdotal information about Rabbi Schneerson’s life for a history-gathering project.

A ‘Dreidel’ Grows in Brooklyn: The Jewish Childrens Museum

The Jewish Press

At some point, many Jewish parents have been confronted with a child begging to sit on Santa`s lap — asking for secret presents — or longing to search for eggs with the Easter bunny. The Jewish Children`s Museum has dealt a blow to Jewish Christmas-tree envy by rescuing symbols, icons and toys from a cerebral, textual Judaism. While artists, critics and academics debate the role of Jewish art and Jewish museums, Chabad-Lubavitch built a $31 million children`s wonderland in the heart of Crown Heights.

The Jewish Children`s Museum is the brainchild of Chabad`s youth movement, “Tzivos HaShem,” which is otherwise known for its traveling matzah, Torah and shofar factories. This museum combines the perspectives of the amusement park, the art museum and the museum of ethnography. While the Disney model of mass entertainment may capture the hearts of the young and young at heart, the Jewish Children`s Museum still adheres to the traditional Jewish museum principles: ritual, life cycle and calendar year. Groups of public school children are escorted through the exhibits and offered an opportunity to get a sense of their Jewish neighbors` history and culture. Because the guides, librarians and gift shop and cafeteria workers are all Chabadniks, viewers also enjoy the added benefit of a live ethnographic display. The trip to the museum provides the bonus of a tour of Crown Heights, a crash-course in Lubavitch dress, food and customs.