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The New York Jewish Week’s 10 most-read stories of 2022



(New York Jewish Week) — Before we turn the page on 2022, the New York Jewish Week is looking back at the calendar year that was.

Throughout the year, Jewish New Yorkers displayed a relentless creativity, continually redefining what being Jewish can look like in this diverse city. From a for-hire “hot rabbi” to a brand new synagogue founded after a painful ouster, from a pop-up Hanukkah cocktail bar to new appreciations of the Jewish deli, there was something for everyone.

And 2022 was a crucial year for us, too: After joining the 70 Faces Media family in 2021, the New York Jewish Week took a huge step forward this year — most notably with the exciting new look we launched in February. We unveiled a new logo, fresh branding and a completely redesigned website to make our storytelling shine.

Thanks for coming along for the ride with us in 2022. Here are the stories you read the most this year.

10. A new exhibit on Jewish delis explores the roots and rise of a uniquely American phenomenon by Lisa Keys (Nov. 10)

A view of the new exhibit at the New-York Historical Society, “‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’: The Jewish Deli.” (Lisa Keys)

Nothing says New York quite like an authentic Jewish deli. This November, the New-York Historical Society presented its new exhibit, “‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’: The Jewish Deli,” which traces the mouthwatering history of the Jewish deli, beginning with the first waves of Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

9. Why this Holocaust survivor wears the same hand-knit sweater every Passover by Tanya Singer (March 29)

Holocaust survivor Helena Weinstock Weinrauch, 97, models the hand-knit sweater that she’s worn to the first Passover seder every year for the past 75 years. (Karen Goldfarb)

Helena Weinstock Weinrauch, a 97-year-old Holocaust survivor, has worn the same hand-knit sweater every Passover for the past 75 years. It was made by her friend Anne Rothman, who stayed alive during the Holocaust by knitting for Nazis while a prisoner in the Lodz Ghetto.

8. Junior’s, NYC’s iconic Jewish cheesecake emporium, buys back guns to protect the city it loves by Julia Gergely (May 27)

People stand in line outside Junior’s restaurant to pick up food to go on March 16, 2020 in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

When Junior’s Restaurant owner Alan Rosen saw the headlines about gun violence in New York City, he “took it upon myself to do something.” Rosen worked with the New York City Police Foundation to run a gun buyback program at a local church. Rosen donated $20,000 toward the effort.

7. Rabbi ousted from Park East Synagogue announces new congregation on the Upper East Side by Julia Gergely (Feb. 16)

Rabbi Benjamin Goldschmidt and his wife, journalist Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt, announced the name of their new congregation via social media on Feb. 16. (Screenshot from Instagram)

Rabbi Benjamin Goldschmidt announced his new congregation “Altneu” in February. Goldschmidt made headlines when he was abruptly fired from Park East Synagogue last year. “I feel like it is a tremendous opportunity to start a new synagogue in Manhattan; it’s not something that happens too often,” Goldschmidt told the New York Jewish Week.

6. This private, on-demand ‘hot rabbi’ may soon be the star of her own reality TV show by Julia Gergely (May 25)

Eisenstadt is a non-denominational rabbi who describes her observance as “hipsterdox.” (Alex Korolkovas)

Rabbi Rebecca Keren Eisenstadt — or “Rabbi Becky” as she’s known to most — is a private rabbi-for-hire for dozens of New York City families, mostly on the affluent Upper East Side. She goes by @myhotrabbi on social media, and Reese Witherspoon’s media company is making a documentary series about her life as a single rabbi looking for love.

5. Meet the bartender behind New York’s new Hanukkah-themed cocktail bar by Julia Gergely (Nov. 29)

Naomi Levy, 36, founded the Maccabee Bar in Boston in 2018. This year, Levy, who was named “Best Bartender” by Boston Magazine in 2019, brought the pop-up Hanukkah-themed cocktail bar to New York. (Ezra Pollard)

Bartender Naomi Levy was sick of feeling like a tourist during the holiday season, so in 2018, she launched the Maccabee Bar, a Hanukkah-themed pop-up in Boston. This year, Levy brought her cocktail bar to New York City, featuring drinks like the Latke Sour (apple brandy, potato, lemon, egg white, bitters) and an Everything Bagel Martini (“everything” spiced gin, tomato water, dill, vermouth), as well Jewish- and Hanukkah-adjacent small bites, such as latkes, sufganiyot and Bamba.

4. The New York Jewish Week’s 36 to Watch 2022 by NY Jewish Week staff (June 28)

These individuals constitute the New York Jewish Week’s 36 to Watch for 2022. (Photos courtesy of the winners and Getty Images/Design by Grace Yagel)

Our signature annual project, 36 to Watch honors remarkable Jewish New Yorkers for their contributions in the arts, religion, culture, business, politics and philanthropy. Our list of changemakers returned in 2022 — but without the age restrictions of years past. This year’s group includes athletes, storytellers, politicians, comedians and more.

3. Passengers say Lufthansa threw all visible Jews off NYC-Budapest flight because some weren’t wearing masks by Jacob Henry (May 9)

Jewish passengers were greeted by the police once they arrived in Frankfurt. (Courtesy)

A group of Orthodox Jews was kicked off a Budapest-bound Lufthansa flight at JFK airport in May after allegedly refusing to comply with the airline’s mask mandate. A Lufthansa supervisor was seen on video saying “It’s Jews coming from JFK. Jewish people who were the mess, who made the problems.”

2. New York Yankees get Jewish pitcher at MLB trade deadline by Jacob Gurvis (Aug. 1)

Jewish pitcher Scott Effross wears a Star of David necklace on the mound. (Screenshot from YouTube)

The New York Yankees acquired Jewish relief pitcher Scott Effross at Major League Baseball’s trade deadline this past summer. Effross, a self-described “Seinfeld enthusiast,” wears a Star of David necklace when he pitches.

1. A Holocaust survivor spends her 110th birthday knitting — the craft that was key to her survival by Tanya Singer (Jan. 26)

Rose Girone celebrates her 110th birthday on Jan. 13, 2022. (Courtesy of Dina Mor)

Rose Girone celebrated her 110th birthday in January in the most fitting way possible: by knitting. Girone’s passion for knitting has made her well known in the New York-area knitting community in recent decades, but it also played a critical role in her family’s survival earlier in her life. “Rose cannot imagine her life without knitting,” Girone’s daughter, Reha Bennicasa, 83, told the New York Jewish Week.

And here are five more stories that made an impact this year:

An afternoon with Shayna Maydele, possibly the most Jewish dog in New York by Lisa Keys
A Jewish group’s tip led to arrest of suspects who wanted to ‘shoot up a synagogue’ by Jacob Henry
A moving memoir of Jewish Brooklyn, told tchotchke by tchotchke by Andrew Silow-Carroll
Some Jews ‘do not comply’ with New York gun laws to protect their synagogues by Jacob Henry
Marc Chagall’s Catskills house is for sale — for $240,000 by Andrew Silow-Carroll


From all of us at the New York Jewish Week, thank you for reading, and we wish you a Happy New Year! We look forward to covering the next chapter of the unfolding New York Jewish story in 2022. As always, feel free to reach out with tips, questions, or feedback, and if you’re so inclined, support our journalism.

The post The New York Jewish Week’s 10 most-read stories of 2022 appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.

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Local News

Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary



By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”

Raquel Dancho (left), Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St.Paul, and Nikki Spigelman, President, Gwen Secter Centre

Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)

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Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station



This is a developing story.

(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.

An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.

Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.

The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.

The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to  transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.

Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.

The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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