October 14, 2018
The New York Times
SCHARFSTEIN–Bernard, passed away peacefully at home in the loving embrace of his family on October 4, 2018 at age 92. Bernie devoted his professional life to Jewish scholarship and education. In close collaboration with his late brother, Sol, he published Jewish scholarly books and educational material at KTAV Publishing House, which was founded by his parents, Asher and Fannie in the 1940s. He was recognized for his impact on Jewish scholarship and learning with an honorary doctorate from Yeshiva University in 1997.
Born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Bernie attended Yeshiva College, where he starred on the basketball team, which in its day competed against leading college teams. He graduated from New York University and received a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. He was an avid reader of The New York Times, where many of his letters to the editor were published. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, to whom he was devoted for 59 years and their three sons, David (Sarah), Jonathan (Suzanne) and Daniel (Julie). He is also survived by nine loving grandchildren (Allison, Rebecca, Michelle, Benjamin, Julia, Kayla, Eliza, Ava and Nadia). It gave him great joy that all of his children and grandchildren were educated at Jewish day schools, where they learned from many KTAV books, and that they continue to have a deep appreciation for Judaism.
Contributions may be made to the Fannie and Asher Gemilus Chessed Fund at Yeshiva University c/o Rabbi Dr. Herbert Dobrinsky, 500 W. 185th St., BH312, NY, NY 10033.
June 6, 2018
Debbie Weissman • Times of Israel
In the mid-20th century, the great American Jewish theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel credibly wrote “Judaism today is the least known religion.” But recent decades have seen Christians making impressive efforts to fill in the knowledge gap. For many years, I have had the privilege of teaching groups of Christians who come to Jerusalem from throughout the world. Many of them are priests, pastors and nuns on sabbatical; some are lay people. They come from anywhere from a week to a year and my involvement varies, depending on the length and depth of the program. The programs are held at Christian institutions in and around Jerusalem.
I teach them about Judaism and about Israel. I give introductions to the Christians who visit our synagogue on Friday nights for prayers, and we sometimes also provide them with home hospitality for Shabbat dinners. It is fascinating to note what questions they ask. In one case, a young woman was surprised that our sanctuary was not decorated with pictures of Moses. Once, I told a group of seminarians that they were imposing Christian questions on Judaism; what interested them almost exclusively were Read the rest of this entry »
June 3, 2018
Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi • Tikkun
“Reading Debbie Weissman’s memoir leaves us with some hope… whose teaching and writing in Israel and the Diaspora and commitment to dialogue between people of different faiths have had a world-wide impact…. An insight into the principles by which Debbie guides her own behavior can be seen as she adopts a modified version of Levinas’ teaching that we should see the “face of God in the Other.” “It would be enough,” she says, “if we could just look at the Other and see a face no less human than our own.”
December 19, 2017
from the Midwest Book Review
In the pages of “A Torah Giant: The Intellectual Legacy of Rabbi Dr. Irving (Yitz) Greenberg”, readers will discover the breadth of wisdom provided by this generation’s giant of Torah, Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg.
Rabbi Yitz is one of the most renowned leaders in contemporary Jewish communal life. His dedication to foster a more interconnected and vibrant Judaism has been felt across the academic and broader world. In this new study of his work as compiled and edited by Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz (President & Dean of Valley Beit Midrash, the Founder & President of Uri L’Tzedek, and Founder & CEO of Shamayim V’Aret), the legacy of Rabbi Yitz is discussed at length by those who have been affected by his inclusive model of contemporary Judaism, his approachable erudition, commitment to fostering meaningful interfaith dialogue, and constant striving to make the world a more just place. These intellectual progenies divulge the lasting impact Rabbi Yitz has had on their lives and the lives of people around the globe.
Exceptionally well organized and presented, “A Torah Giant” is unreservedly recommended for personal, synagogue, community, and academic library Judaic Theology collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
December 4, 2017
Review by Prof. Sam Lehman-Wilzig, Jewish Link of New Jersey
The hero of this book—Rabbi She’ar Yashuv Cohen, z”l, (1927-2016)—was probably the most influential and greatest Israeli rabbi that you might never have heard of (if you don’t live in Israel). His biography, translated from the original Hebrew edition with an added chapter, makes for fascinating (and at times even amazing) reading. That’s not only because of Read the rest of this entry »
November 29, 2017
Arutz 7 • Originally featured on “Walter’s World”
“How a tormented soul returned to its Jewish home. The extraordinary story of Tova Mordechai…. You will be both amazed and spellbound by this sometimes harrowing, sometimes comical, powerful account of Tova Mordechai’s incredible journey to rediscover her Jewish heritage after she had succeeded to reach the highest rank as minister of her church.”
Follow this link to listen to the program featuring Tova Mordechai’s To Play With Fire.
Available for purchase from www.urimpublications.com