Newsletter Issue # 25 April 11, 2012

Two Crown heights foodies started a kosher meat and deli business is now adding a specially made sausage for the passover holiday that started Friday at sundown. in the history of Passover Jews didn’t have the luxury of eating sausage. Pork sausage is always prohibited under Jewish law, other types like chicken and turkey are permitted – but banned along with many other foods on Passover because they contain starchy ingredients.

A Chabad-Lubavitch group has donated 50,000 specially-prepared matzas to the IDF in order to allow every single soldier to fulfill the mitzvah (positive command) of eating matzah in the best possible way. The  donated matzahs are known as shemurah matzah (matza shemurah in Hebrew). Regular matzahs are made of flour that did not touch water until the baking process, to make sure it did not begin to ferment before that time. Shmura matzahs were protected from fermentation even further.

Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress died of cancer on Friday, at the age of 59. Steinberg served a central role in exposing the crimes of former Austrian President Kurt Waldheim, officer of the German Wehrmacht during World War II. Steinberg also helped organize the research, hearings and lawsuit that led Swiss banks, as well as the German government, to pay over $1 billion in compensation to Holocaust survivors in the late 1990s.

The Baltimore Jewish Times found itself on the auction block last week, after dire financial hardships forced on its sale. The sale followed a Federal Bankruptcy Court ruling ordering a trustee to run Alter Communications, after it was unable to reorganize under Chapter 11. The Baltimore Jewish Times has been run by the same family since its inception 93 years ago. According to the Baltimore Sun, the weekly was eventually sold to publisher of the Washington Jewish Week  for $1.26 million.

Mike Palmer, who is half Chaldean and half Italian, owns the pet food and supply store with his uncle, the store’s founder. Has received a lot of positive attention because of Mike’s knack for publicity and his people skills (he obviously has great pet skills too!). The store is consistently named best pet supply store in the area and Mike was just named one of the Elite 40 Under 40 for Oakland County, Michigan. A kosher supervisor (mashgiach) and the owner of a kosher certification agency, I am constantly impressed by the level of attention, respect and genuine care that non-Jewish business owners demonstrate for their kosher observant customers.

Like many Jewish people we get tired of all the marketing geared to a Christian audience. While Christianity is the most common religion in the United States,  Christmas and Easter themed advertising sometimes goes too far. This doesn’t mean that big corporations are drawn to Jewish holidays to use in their marketing campaigns. Spirit Airlines are offering the “Don’t Passover These Low Fares From $19.80* One Way!” First we thought it was a spoof message from a Jewish humor website. after reading the rest of the message we were surprised by the many references to the upcoming holiday of Passover.

Like most British media outlets, BBC isn’t highly regarded for balanced coverage of Israel, so it was worth pointing out a notable exception. “Gaza-Israel clashes: The view from each side“, although nearly a month old, it reflects a level of accuracy and fairness we’ve seen rarely, in a far longer time. In typical BBC fashion, “the view from each side” includes not a word from anyone in Israel. But they do quote the residents of Gaza a little too accurately when the citizens, untrained in propaganda, wander away from the pre-packaged Palestinian narrative.

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