Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

February's People

By Gad Nahshon

Rabbi Arthur Schneier, founder of The Appeal of Conscience Foundation, and Dr. Henry Kissinger presented the World Statesman Award to Chancellor Gerhard Schr�der of Germany and the corporate Appeal of Conscience Award to Daniel L. Vasella, MD, Chairman and CEO of Novartis AG at the Foundation's 2000 Annual Awards Dinner at the Pierre Hotel on September 7th. President Clinton is the honorary chairman of the black-tie dinner for over 700 leaders of business, religious and public life, as well as members of the diplomatic corps.

Gerhard Schr�der, the seventh Chancellor of the Republic of Germany, recipient of the World Statesman Award was cited "as a political leader who is creating the economic and political foundations that will strengthen Germany's democracy and her leading role in the integration of Europe." According to Rabbi Arthur Schneier, an international leader on behalf of religious freedom and human rights, and a holocaust survivor, "Chancellor Schr�der is up to the challenge of fighting intolerance and the rise of xenophobia that undermines and destabilizes democracies."

The Foundation also honored Daniel L. Vasella, MC, Chairman and CEO of Novartis AG, who will receive the Appeal of Conscience Award. Rabbi Schneier called Dr. Vasella, "A physician by training and a humanitarian by practice, who is globally committed to further the quality of life, peace and tolerance."

Past recipients of the World Statesman Award include His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain, Presidents Cardoso, Gorbachev, Havel, Menem and von Weizsaeker as well as Prime Minister Prodi and Thatcher.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge today received the Jerusalem Fund's "Friend of Zion Award" from the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah and the Municipality of Jerusalem.

Gov. Ridge received the "Friend of Zion Award " based on his "unbending support for the Jewish state," according to the Jerusalem Fund. "We believe Gov. Ridge is a tremendous friend of the State of Israel and a spokesman for morality and ethics, and that's why he was selected to receive the "Friend of Zion Award," said Rabbi Irwin Katsof, of the Jerusalem Fund. Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert presented the award to Gov. Ridge. Other award winners this year include U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Gregory D. Brenneman, President and CEO of Continental Airlines. Past award winners have included former U.S. President Ronald Reagan; former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick.

To Life! L'Chaim!, is a new book by Chronicle Books, San Diego, California 2000. This is a new guide to prayers and blessings for the Jewish home. It was edited by the British Rabbi Michael Shire who is also the editor of The Illuminated Haggadah and a well known lecturer.

This illustrated guide to prayers and blessings is a jewel for the Jewish home. Rabbi Michael Shire's diverse selection from such treasured texts as the Sabbath prayer book, the Haggadah, and the Talmud shares timeless words to commemorate the significant moments in our lives: the observances of the Jewish calendar; the rites of passage that mark the cycle of life; as well as the simple pleasures of the everyday.

Gloriously adorned with illuminations from Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, both Ashkenazic and Sephardic in origin, these prayers and blessings - presented in both English and Hebrew - are supplemented by explanations that inspire a fresh understanding of the Jewish heritage. To Life! L'Chaim! is a rich celebration of art and wisdom that honors the traditions of the past and helps shape the future's path to faith.

At a time when Senator Joseph Lieberman, an observant Jew, is running for vice president, Ari L. Goldman, the best-selling author of The Search for God at Harvard, offers an insightful exploration of what it means to be Jewish in America in BEING JEWISH: The Spiritual and Cultural Practice of Judaism Today (Simon & Schuster; September 5, 2000; $25). Ari Goldman, a former religion reporter for The New York Times and a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, combines authoritative discussion of the rituals of the heart of Jewish life with anecdotes that show the diverse ways in which people actually practice faith. Grounded in tradition yet unhindered by any one ideology, Goldman demonstrates that there are many ways to be Jewish in contemporary America.

Never has there been a time of greater public interest in Judaism. Not only is an observant Jew running for national office for the first time, but an increasing number of Jews are returning to their religious roots. In these pages, Goldman offers a warm, practical, non-judgemental guide for all who are seeking to understand contemporary Jewish practice. In weeks since Senator Lieberman was selected to be Vice President Al Gore's running mate, Goldman has been much sought after by journalists from the national press corps to explain such rituals as Sabbath observance and the kosher laws. If elected, how will Vice President Lieberman tend to the affairs of state on Saturdays? How will he eat at a state dinner in Beijing (where kosher food is scarce)? While the book was completed before the Lieberman selection, these are precisely the kinds of practical issues BEING JEWISH addresses.

PRAY BALL! The Spiritual Insights of a Jewish Sports Fan, the first of its kind, is a collection of over 20 spiritual-Jewish messages each using sports events, figures, and analogies as illustrations. It is divided into eight chapters pertaining to the sports-related topics of: baseball, basketball, football, hockey, golf, sports agency, the Olympics, and leaders and heroes.

The author, Rabbi James Gordon, an attorney, mediator, community leader - and sports enthusiast, reminds readers of King Solomon's Biblical teaching that without a spiritual connection, all of life's activities are futile. The book masterfully connects the world of sports with the world of Judaism.

PRAY BALL! is a reminder that sports can indeed reinforce such important traditional Jewish lessons as respect, proper leadership, team play, fairness, philanthropy, hard work, and understanding one's limitations. "Jewish tradition teaches: 'In all of your ways shall you attempt to know (and love) Him (G-d).' The glory of our tradition is that we never separated the physical and the spiritual; it has always been our goal to elevate every aspect of the physical in order to bring the religious and secular together. From this perspective Rabbi Gordon's most exciting and relevant book Pray Ball! is a worthy addition to anyone's Judaica library."

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chancellor, Ohr Torah Stone Colleges and Graduate Programs; Chief Rabbi of Efrat

New York City resident Marilyn Weiss, whose paintings are sold worldwide on the premier original art Website,, was recently honored by the National Association of Women Artists (N.A.W.A.), whose members have included Mary Cassatt, Louise Nevelson and Gertrude Whitney. Her art was part of the prestigious organization's 111th Annual Exhibition, which took place recently in Manhattan.

Ms. Weiss' mixed media paintings incorporate elements of collage, and she has been the recipient of numerous awards. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of New York University, she also studies in N.Y.C. at the School of Visual Arts, the National Academy, the Woman's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, N.Y., and the Art Student's League in N.Y.C.

"I paint because it is what I do. I can't imagine not being involved in the making of art. I am fascinated by all aspects of the process," said Ms. Weiss. "I consider myself to be first and foremost a collagist; almost every painting I do has some element of collage. I work strictly pragmatically: creation is what rules. I go wherever the material, and the feeling they provoke, take me."

A classic popular overview of Yiddish-American culture, out of print for over a decade, is once more available - Live and Be Well: A Celebration of Yiddish Culture in America (Publication date: April 17, 2000; 8" x 10", 192 pp., 198 b&w illus.; Cloth, $28.00, 0-8135-2812-7) by Richard F. Shepard and Vicki Gold Levi.

Like a warm family album, this lively book heralds and documents the rich and vibrant traditions of Yiddish-speaking immigrants and their children in "the golden land," from the first arrivals to the Second World War. Meet the famous, the infamous, and the unknown - from hotelier Jenny Grossinger to mobster Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik to Moses Solomon, the would-be "Jewish Babe Ruth"; from anarchist Emma Goldman to entertainer Eddie Cantor.

Share the struggles and the triumphs of the labor unions, of Yiddish playwrights and poets. Enter the sweatshops of New York's Lower East Side and the first Jewish settlements in Los Angeles and Chicago. Taste pastrami from Canter's Deli in Los Angeles, knishes from Yonah Shimmel's in New York City, and the famous "smookmit" of the Montreal ghetto.

Lavishly illustrated with photos, cartoons, theater posters, and song sheets, here is a book to delight and inform. It is a joyous celebration of life.

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