Newsletter Issue # 31 – May 23, 2012

Temple Jacob in Hancock, Michigan will mark its centennial anniversary with a 3 day celebration August 9–12, 2012. Preparations are under way for this once in a lifetime weekend of festivities to honor Temple Jacob’s 100 year history and launch its second century. A Centennial Campaign has been organized to ensure the financial stability of Temple Jacob for generations to come. Events will include a Friday night Shabbat service and oneg, the opening reception for the Temple Jacob exhibit at the Carnegie Museum, a tour to historic Jewish Community homes and businesses, a gala Saturday night dinner party and a Sunday bagel brunch.

Shavei Israel organization published a new daily siddur prayer book  for Brazil’s Jews. The prayer book is included in the “Ner Tamid” (“Eternal Flame”) siddur are the original Hebrew prayers with a phonetic translation into Portuguese. In addition, the siddur features a Portuguese-language translation to enhance comprehension by those who do not understand Hebrew.

Holocaust survivor and historian Arno Lustiger, who put a spotlight on Jewish resistance against the Nazis died on Tuesday in Frankfurt, Germany. Dieter Graumann, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany said that Lustiger’s greatest contribution for all time was in rescuing from oblivion the story of Jewish resistance in the Shoah.

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox men attended a mega-rally in New York  to discuss the dangers posed by the Internet. The event took place at the Citi Field Stadium in Queens, home of the Mets. All the attendants wore black hats, a speaker compared the threat of the Internet to the dangers that Zionism and the European Enlightenment posed in the past to traditional Jewish life. They decried the Internet’s potential to distract yeshiva students. Some  rabbis even said that Jewish law forbids Jews from browsing the Internet without a filter that blocks inappropriate sites.

Chocolate Chip-Gate started to spread on Facebook. Word got out that Trader Joe’s popular kosher chocolate chips was being re-designated as kosher dairy rather than kosher pareve. And just like that, words like “tragic” and “devastating” were being used to describe the change. Several Facebook users looked back on their urgent visits to local Trader Joe’s locations to grab up the pareve (non-dairy) chocolate chips from the shelf in the way that brought back memories of Coca-Cola fans in the 1980s.

In the run up to the big Facebook initial public offering this past week, the media went Facebook crazy and tried to get interviews from everyone connected to Mark Zuckerberg. Of course that included the rabbi of his childhood congregation. As if it wasn’t already exciting enough for Zuckerberg with his billion dollar company going public, he also made a very important change to his Facebook profile’s status tonight when he updated it to Married.

According to some historians Christopher Columbus was a Jew. Charles Garcia, summarized the case for Columbus the Jew in a story on May 20, 2012, the 508th anniversary of his death, Was Columbus secretly a Jew?

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