Tag: New York

Meet Mike Tolkin, the Jewish millennial running for NYC mayor

NEW YORK (JTA) — Mike Tolkin apologizes for checking his phone as he sits down at a café in this city’s Flatiron district.

The 32-year-old Democratic New York mayoral hopeful was waiting to hear Tuesday whether he would be allowed to participate in the final primary debate the following day, which would boost his exposure amid an otherwise quiet campaign.

Tolkin, a technology entrepreneur and the youngest candidate on the party’s ballot to challenge incumbent Bill de Blasio, had not met the threshold necessary to qualify for matching funds from the city’s Campaign Finance Board, a requirement to participate in…

Jewish students, Chabad rabbis and a kosher salami company pitch in to help Houston

(JTA) — Jewish relief efforts both large and small continue in flood-ravaged Houston.

A dozen students from Yeshiva University in New York spent the Labor Day holiday weekend in the Texas city helping families clear out their flood-damaged homes and salvage any belongings. The students, who stayed with families whose homes were not damaged by last week’s massive flooding, also packaged food for those in need, according to the student newspaper, the YU Commentator. More than 100 students vied for the 12 spots, which were chosen by lottery. Three students from the Houston area were among the volunteers.

Student…

Netanyahu plans to become first sitting Israeli prime minister to visit Latin America

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Benjamin Netanyahu is planning trips to Argentina and Mexico in September that would make him the first sitting Israeli prime minister to visit Latin America.

Netanyahu is scheduled to visit the region before flying directly to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 19, according to The Jerusalem Post. He would return to Israel for Rosh Hashanah on Sept. 20.

“Latin America has always been friendly to Israel, but I think we’re at a position where these relationships can be far, far, far advanced,” Netanyahu told President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala last fall.

This Michelin star pastry chef started her own knish company

NEW YORK (JTA) — Larissa Raphael was sick of eating knishes that packed in plenty of potatoes but no punch.

“I was like, ‘why does the knish need to be bland?’” she said. “I want it to taste really good.”

As the former pastry chef of a late lamented restaurant that earned a Michelin star, she decided to take matters into her own hands. In February, Raphael, 47, launched her one-woman knish business, Riss’ Knishes.

Raphael started cooking up the idea last year when an acquaintance suggested she make the doughy pockets with roots in Jewish Eastern Europe. She…

Appeals court gives control of Touro Synagogue, oldest in US, to NY trustee

(JTA) — A federal appeals court ruled that a synagogue in New York is the owner of the country’s oldest synagogue building and its set of historically significant silver bells that are used to adorn Torah scrolls.

On Wednesday, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled in favor of Manhattan’s Shearith Israel, which is the oldest Jewish congregation in the country, giving it control of the 250-year-old Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, the religious home of Congregation Jeshuat Israel.

The decision also gives Shearith Israel ownership of bells, called rimonim, which are late 18th-century filials handcrafted by…