Newsletter Issue # 55 – November 7, 2012

Volunteers from the Rabbinical College of America Chabad Headquarters of New Jersey together with its new division Rutgers Jewish Outreach headed into the evacuated and powerless city of New Brunswick and handed out free self heating Kosher meals to all the students stuck without electricity or food.

Previous commentaries have queried which of the two major protagonists of the akeda or the binding of Isaac story suffered the greater test: Abraham, the father who had to take the responsibility for the sacrifice of his Isaac, his son who had to undergo the anguish of being laid out upon the altar.

An Orthodox rabbinical ordination program is using the latest technology and tools to capture the hearts and minds of students from around the world. Using cutting edge video conferencing, online forums, and a private discussion board,  has ordained doctors, lawyers, chaplains, and other working professionals in the past two years.

Volunteers from New York’s Jewish Shomrim organization have discovered 22 damaged Torah scrolls. The Torah scrolls were found in four Jewish centers were destroyed during Hurricane Sandy in the seaside community of Belle Harbor. Also found were 30 pairs of damaged tefillin the black prayer boxes used by Jewish men around the world during morning prayers.

Hallmark Cards, Inc. estimated that greeting card sales plummeted from 6 billion to 5 billion annually over the past decade. Earlier this month, the nation’s top greeting card maker announced that it will close a plant  a news should come as no surprise for Facebook users who use the social networking site to wish friends Happy Birthday or condolence after the death of a loved one.

While Jews around the east coast gather together at Synagogues for their first Shabbat davening since the devastating Hurricane, the pop-culture world will be having their own spiritual experience at the Rockefeller Plaza in NYC. Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Sting and “the Boss” Bruce Springsteen, among others, are headlining a benefit concert to help raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

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