Yonkers, New York, Year 4, Number 2, June 2008    

 Torah Tropical No.2 Vol.4
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Jersey Jewish Family Mourns Girl Killed in Crash

Miriam Abraham

Family and friends said their goodbyes today to Miriam Avraham, less than a day after the bubbly 10-year-old was killed when a stolen car slammed into her family’s sedan – shearing it in half – after a high-speed chase.

As more than 150 mourners filed behind her casket at a private burial service at Cedar Park Beth El Cemetery in Paramus, the man charged in her death – 22-year-old Harold Saenz of Bergenfield – was recovering from minor injuries at Hackensack University Medical Center. He is expected to be transferred this weekend to the Bergen County Jail and held $1 million bail.

Miriam’s mother, Helene Avraham, burst into tears outside her Fair Lawn home as she described her daughter, a popular sixth-grader at the Solomon Schechter Day School in New Milford, as a joyful, well-rounded student whose vivacious personality could “fill up a room.” Avraham’s 14-year-old son Shachar, his voice cracking, said Miriam was his best friend.

“We’re going to miss her so much,” he said.

Hours before she died Thursday, Miriam had been ecstatic to learn she won the lead part of Golde in an upcoming school production of Fiddler on the Roof.

“Oh, she got the part,” the girl’s mother told Shachar. “She would have just loved that. … She was a very good student who excelled at math and writing, but she loved movies and acting.”

Avraham was driving Miriam, Shachar and his friend, 14-year-old Eric Brauner, to Solomon Schechter to attend a Sukkah party – which celebrates the week-long Jewish holiday of Sukkot, or Feast of the Tabernacles – when their Honda Accord was broadsided by a Mercedes-Benz stolen from a house in Bergenfield.

The collision split the Honda in half, killing Miriam and critically injuring Brauner, who along with Shachar, is a ninth-grader at the Frisch School in Paramus. Brauner remained at Hackensack University Medical Center in critical condition Today, but friends said he is expected to recover. Avraham and her son were barely injured in the crash, she said.

Prosecutors say Saenz stole the Mercedes from a Bergenfield resident who had left his keys in it while he went into his house to retrieve keys for another car. The owner of the car called 911 and pursued the Mercedes in a BMW.

Saenz eventually headed west on New Bridge Road where he struck Avraham’s Honda Accord, which was making a left turn onto New Bridge from The Boulevard, authorities said.

Miriam was seated in the back of the car with Brauner, while her brother, Shachar, was in the front passenger seat.

From The Record


More Ethiopian to Israel

Israel will allow additional Ethiopians to petition for aliyah under the special circumstances afforded the Falash Mura.

Without specifying a number, Israel’s Cabinet decided Sunday that the petitioners must meet three key criteria: They must be listed on a 1999 census of the Falash Mura in Ethiopia; have been living for at least a year in the Ethiopian city of Gondar, where Jewish aid groups have provided services; and have relatives in Israel who can submit formal petitions on their behalf.

At least 1,400 Ethiopians are expected to meet those criteria, and possibly as many as 8,700.

The move follows months of pressure on the Israeli government by advocates of Ethiopian aliyah, including American Jewish federation executives. Several months ago, Israel’s Supreme Court recommended that the government check the eligibility for aliyah of an additional 1,400 or so Falash Mura but did not order the government to do so.

The Falash Mura are Ethiopians who claim links to Ethiopians whose Jewish ancestors converted to Christianity a century ago to escape economic and social pressures, but who now are returning to Judaism and petitioning to immigrate to Israel.

On Sunday, the Cabinet ordered the Interior Ministry, which historically has been slow to verify the eligibility of Ethiopian petitioners for aliyah, to begin the verification process by Jan. 1. Those found eligible will be brought at a rate of up to 100 per month, the Cabinet decision said.

A total of 16,095 Ethiopians have immigrated to Israel since the Cabinet decided in February 2003 to bring additional Ethiopian olim.


Latin American Jews concerned about Hezbollah activities

The president of the Confederation of Israelite Associations of Venezuela (CAIV), Abraham Levy Benshimol, has said it was worrying that the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah could be operating in his country. In an interview with Argentina's Jewish News Agency (AJN), Levy Benshimol said the Jewish community was concerned by a story published last week by the ‘Los Angeles Times’ newspaper, and reproduced by Israeli media, according to which Hezbollah could have a base of operations in Venezuela.Full Story

Some Jewish football fans in New York have voiced anger after local media reports that the area's two National Football League teams, the Jets and the Giants, were on the verge of granting naming rights for their new stadium to the German insurance company Allianz which maintained intimate ties with the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. A considerable portion of the two teams' fan base is Jewish.                  Full Story

Feuding aliyah groups
agree to work together

Sasson Tiram
Tony Gelbart, Co-Founder and Chairman of Nefesh B'Nefesh.

NEW YORK (JTA) – An historic agreement appears to have ended the fierce feud between two organizations promoting aliyah from the United States and formally ended the dominant role played by the Jewish Agency for Israel.

The deal involves the Jewish Agency, the quasi-governmental organization that historically played an almost exclusive role in promoting and facilitating immigrations to Israel from across the globe, and Nefesh B'Nefesh, a relatively new nonprofit group that has used cash incentives to help encourage 16,000 people to move to Israel since 2002.

Full Story



The Most Wanted

Dr. Death is still alive in Chile

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has received leads that "Dr. Death" Aribert Heim, the center's most wanted Nazi war criminal, is alive and living in Patagonia, Chile. The center's chief Nazi hunter is due to travel there this week.

 Aribert HeimEste es Aribert Heim quien puede hoy estar en los 94 anos de edad.

The hunt for "Dr. Death" Aribert Heim, the Nazi war criminal wanted for murdering hundreds of prisoners in concentration camps during World War II, has intensified after the Simon Wiesenthal's chief Nazi hunter received fresh leads during a visit to South America.

See The Most Wanted War Criminals

Full Story


Current Edition Vol. 4, No. 2 June 2008

Printed Edition No. 2 June 2008 - Year 4






Sephardim: Orthodoxy and Diversity

Too often, Orthodox schools and books ignore the teachings and traditions of Jews of non-Ashkenazic backgrounds. Information is presented as though Jews of Turkey, the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East simply did not exist.


Full Story



Bolivia's politics has Jews packing

As President Evo Morales steers Bolivia in an increasingly socialist direction and closer to allies Venezuela and Iran, growing numbers of Bolivian Jews -- young and old -- see their future outside of the country.



Full Story




Informação em Portugues do Brasil

Vá a toda a informação de Brasil.


Full Story



With business booming in India,
young Jews are staying put


MUMBAI, India (JTA) -- About 500 well-wishers gathered recently around Isaac Divekar and Siyona Garsulkar at their outdoor catered wedding reception at the Elie Kadoorie School here.


Full Story  




U.S Jews challenge Israel Prayer

Wary of bringing Middle East politics into the synagogue, some American Jewish worshipers are finding themselves uncomfortable with the traditional Prayer for the State of Israel -- and are changing it to suit their viewpoints.


Full Story  


  Science and Technology   


Israel's MATE has got the picture

New Video Security System can see what men can’t

Security cameras are everywhere today - at the mall, in the parking lot, even on a downtown street. If you're on the right side of the law, you probably breathe a sigh of relief when you see them.

Full Story  


  Art and Artists   



Coen brothers, Chabon teaming up

 A perfect match: The Coen brothers are reportedly set to bring Michael Chabon's "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" to the silver screen.

In some ways, it's a most natural shidduch.             

                                                                                                       Full Story  


  Art and Artists   


Film revisits Catholic anti-Semitism


The documentary, which traces the violent history of Church-sanctioned anti-Semitism, is a powerful reminder of why many Jewish leaders regard the prayer not as the Vatican has tried to spin it -- as an inconsequential matter of internal Church politics -- but as a dangerous step back from decades of Jewish-Catholic rapprochement.

Full Story  


  Art and Artists   



The ironies of Charlton Heston

The life of Charlton Heston was marked by certain ironies.
JTA's man in L.A. reflects on the ironies of Charlton Heston -- a Midwestern WASP who gained fame for playing two super Jews.


Full Story  



  Israel Today   



Ex-Israeli cop jailed for killing Palestinian teenager

A former Israeli border policeman was jailed for killing a Palestinian teenager in the West Bank.


Full Story  



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Divrei Torah from Rabbi Viñas

By: Rabbi Manny Viñas
In memory of my mother Margarita Viñas, obm
Full Story  


Anusim seeks place in Jewish world

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- Miguel Segura Aguilo’s ancestors were executed as Jews five centuries ago in Spain, but he is not welcome in his local synagogue today.

Gershom Sizomu, who will be ordained this month in Los Angeles as a Conservative rabbi, dreams of setting up the first yeshiva for African Jews in his Abayudayan village in East Uganda.
Full Story  

The forgotten holiday of Shavuot

By Rabbi Viñas

According to the Torah, Shavuot is one of the major holidays of the Jewish yearly cycle of celebrations and commemorations. The Torah lists it as one of the three pilgrimage holidays when it was customary to travel to Jerusalem and the holy temple to bring offerings of the first fruits of each farmer’s labor and to rejoice together with our families and our people. The holiday commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai which Jewish tradition tells us occurred on the sixth day of the month of Sivan in the Jewish Calendar.

Full Story  


Charges of discrimination against Latin American Doctors in Israel

Two of the most famous and successful neurosurgeons i Israel who were called upon to operate on Former Primer Minister Ariel Sharon, Dr. Jose Cohen and Felix Umansky are origináis from Argentina 
Full Story  

He washed dishes, but learned Torah

Doron Mahareta of blessed and saintly memory HD’’D was one of the eight Yeshiva students that were massacred in Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav in Jerusalem.

I paid a shiva (condolence) call to Doron’s family. Every single type of Jew was sitting together, from Ethiopians to Polish Chassidim, from knit kippot to Yerushalmi white kippot, from jeans and sandals to long black frocks. Too bad that it takes a martyr of Doron’s magnitude to unite everyone.

Full Story  


Now, you can call for free

The Spikko Network from Israel is based on the belief that communication, like free speech is and should be available to everyone.

Spikko provides free communication (phone, SMS, Chat, etc.) and allows its members to call any phone (land-line OR cellular) anywhere in the world for free without any obligations (though you must better read their Terms of Use). Spikko does not require any personal information other than your email address -no Credit Card, no address, not even a phone number.

Full Story  


Sephardim: Orthodoxy and Diversity
By Rabbi Marc Angel

Too often, Orthodox schools and books ignore the teachings and traditions of Jews of non-Ashkenazic backgrounds. Information is presented as though Jews of Turkey, the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East simply did not exist. 
Full Story  



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