Newsletter Issue # 71 – March 14, 2013

Park Slope has not been home to a kosher restaurant, that changed when owners of a popular authentic French Bistro decided to make changes. Along with a new name, a French chef and Kosher certification. Formerly known as Belleville, is now called Chagall and according to the owners Dan and Sonia Halimi the inspiration for the new name comes from the Jewish Russian artist Marc Chagall, who upon leaving Russian settled in the Belleville neighborhood in Paris.

Following the death of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday afternoon at the age of 58, Jewish leaders around the world announced that they would be closely monitoring the country’s political transition and expressed concern for the future of the local Jewish community. The passing of Chavez brings Venezuela to a crossroads, said Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman. He also said that he hopes the country continue with the Chavista policies of repression, political manipulation and alliances with Iran, or will there be a new openness and true participatory democracy for the people of Venezuela?

Caring for Jewish men and women serving in our country’s military, Aleph just completed sending out thousands of Passover packages for Jewish US military personnel serving in dangerous places around the world, as well as to Jewish inmates. While most people can simply go into their local grocery store and find an assortment of Kosher for Passover products, there are some that cannot. Aleph ships to US Naval vessels at sea, to Afghanistan military outposts, and to prisons and everything in between.

Aly Raisman is coming to Israel. The Jewish-American gymnast, who performed her gold-medal winning floor exercise routine to the tune of that traditional folk song at the 2012 London Olympics, will compete in the 19th Maccabiah Games this July. Raisman’s triumph in the floor exercise helped the U.S. women’s gymnastics team clinch their first Olympic gold medal since 1996.

Experienced Shabbat in some very interesting places, one of the most memorable Shabbat lunches I can recall was in the home of a Chabad rabbi and his family in Kharkov, Ukraine. This was in August 2005 when I led a small Hillel/JDC mission of University of Michigan students to the Former Soviet Union. The food at that lunch was delicious and the new plates of food seemed to continuously appear throughout the afternoon. As dessert was being served we sang Shabbat zemirot.

No, niacin is not kosher for your heart. USA Today via Detroit Free Press alerts us to a new study that found, Niacin doesn’t help heart, it may even cause harm. We knew this eleven years ago. After Lipitor gave us hepatitis and the cardiologist told us to take Niaspan.

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