Newsletter Issue # 74 – April 10, 2013

The Jewish Historical Institute in Poland has opened a contest for a design to commemorate the Great Synagogue of Warsaw, which was considered to be the pinnacle of 19th century architecture, that was blown up by the Nazis after the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in May 1943. A representative from the institute said that no one can restore the essence of the building, but they can represent the architectural, cultural and artistic richness that characterized the Great Synagogue since it opened on Rosh Hashanah, on September 26, 1878.

Add Kaddish to the list of Jewish prayers and ritual objects women are not allowed to be engaged with at the Western Wall. In a March 14 letter to Anat Hoffman, chair of Women of the Wall, Commander Yossi Pariente of Israel Police department’s Southern District wrote that he met with a deputy attorney general for the government of Israel to go over the rules pertaining to Women of the Wall.

When Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi founded Colel Chabad in 1788 to help the needy in the land of Israel, Passover assistance was one of the first priorities. With the holiday approaching, the charity is working hard again this year to provide assistance to more than 17,000 families and individuals throughout the countryIn all, the charity distribute roughly 25 tons of matzah, 260 tons of vegetables and 60 tons of chicken to more than 70 cities, towns and villages throughout Israel.

History will remember former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for relentlessly facing down communism and helping to turn back more than three decades of socialist advance in her country. But it was Thatcher’s embrace of British Jews and insistent promotion of Jews in her Conservative Party that inspired an outpouring of tributes from Jewish and Israeli leaders. Thatcher, who suffered from dementia in her later years, died peacefully after suffering a stroke.

Italian-born neuroscientist Ruggero Scorcioni has developed a new technology that will help you get stuff done by deflecting phone calls or other notifications away when you’re busy. Ruggero showed us his tech implemented as an app on smartphone at an AT&T event in New York.  The technology works by measuring your brainwave activity using a commercially available headset which talks to your phone via Bluetooth.

I’m tempted to rhyme, to watch my cadence, to count syllabus, or maybe even don dark clothing and take to a smoke filled slam poetry session.  April is National Poetry Month. The Academy of American Poets introduced the month in 1996 with the hope of highlighting American poets and introducing more readers to the world of poetry.

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