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Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame will honor 10 who have enhanced life in borough

Faith In Brooklyn For Nov. 14

November 14, 2016 By Francesca Norsen Tate Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Judge Alice Fisher Rubin will be honored at the second annual BJHI Hall of Fame on Nov. 15. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Howard Teich, founding chair of the Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative (BJHI), explains, “BJHI was created to tell the extraordinary story of Brooklyn’s Jewish community. The Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame recognizes leading Brooklynites who have truly made a difference in the world.”

Last year marked the inaugural year for the Hall of Fame. On Tuesday, Nov. 15, BJHI’s second annual Hall of Fame ceremony will celebrate and record for posterity 10 extraordinary people who have contributed to life in the borough.

The 2016 honor roll represents Brooklynites from a range of professions: business executive Simon Bergson; performer Neshama Carlebach; author Nicole Dweck; entertainer Jack Ehrenreich; attorney Raoul Felder; Lloyd Handwerker, filmmaker and member of the Nathan’s Famous founding family; entertainer Lainie Kazan; NBA player and WWII veteran Jack Laub; real estate developer Bruce Ratner and Judge Alice Fisher Rubin.

“We celebrate the true diaspora that is Jewish Brooklyn,” an announcement of the upcoming induction ceremony reads. “Honorees come from culturally diverse Jewish backgrounds and are leaders in the fields of entertainment, food and beverages, business, scholarship and law. They have contributed philanthropically and served our country in the military.”

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Last year, beloved actor and Yiddish Theater star Fyvush Finkel, noted civil rights attorney Alan Dershowitz, FDNY Chaplain and Congregation Mount Sinai Rabbi Emeritus Joseph Potasnik and actress Julie Budd were among those composing the inaugural Hall of Fame. Taking the opportunity to honor these celebrities during their lifetimes is also vital. Finkel passed away earlier this year.

Several elected officials representing Brooklyn plan to attend next week’s ceremony, which runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. A panel discussion with awardees will follow the ceremony. The program is free and open to the public, but it is necessary to RSVP through Search “Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame.”

For more information, visit

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Series Explores Meaning of Biblical Patriarchs’ Names

A strong protector and a princess: these are not fairy tale characters, but namely the Bible’s  Abraham and Sarah.  

The meanings of these names, as well as of other Hebrew patriarchs, form the core of a series titled “Jewish Names” that Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin will teach at Congregation B’nai Avraham.

The series will explore the Kabbalistic meaning of — and the power behind — 13 popular names. For example: Why did Jacob’s original name suit him, and then why did God change Jacob’s name to Israel?

“Jewish Names,” is part of the 2016 David Berg Lecture series, over the course of five sessions. The series meets on a new day and time: Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

The opening program on Nov. 16 will explore the meanings of the names Eve and Enoch. Subsequent classes will focus on Abraham and Sarah (Nov. 23) Isaac and Rebecca (Nov. 30) Jacob, Rachel and Leah (Dec. 7) and Mosaich’s (Moses’) Four Names (Dec. 14).

For more information, call Congregation B’nai Avraham at 718-596-4840, ext. 18.

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B’klyn Luminary to Be Celebrated in Song

Two of New York’s most exciting cantors will pay tribute to Barbra Streisand — an icon of Judaism, music and Brooklyn.

Cantors Shira Lissek and Magda Fishman will give a special presentation honoring Streisand on Sunday, Nov. 13 at the Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd St. in Manhattan. This program builds on a concert they performed in June at the Park Avenue Synagogue Sanctuary.

Lissek, who has kept her own connections with Brooklyn since leaving Congregation Mount Sinai, produced and served as musical director for the June 2016 “A Tribute to Barbra Streisand.” Lissek’s friend and colleague, Fishman, cantor at Temple Beth El in Stamford, Connecticut, created an energy that is expected to repeat this weekend with the intimate-setting performance of “KAVANA” on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 9:30 p.m.

“KAVANA” (meaning “faith”) explores Streisand’s musical journey from the perspective of her Jewish identity and spirituality. As spiritual guides in their own right, Cantors Fishman and Lissek have infused their heart and soul to the amazing, familiar repertoire.

Streisand’s impact on America’s culture and identity for more than a half-century cannot be overstated. Broadway, Holly-wood, concert arenas and recording studios have all been elevated by her personality, voice and aesthetic genius. At the heart of her journey is her artistic integrity and her faith — “KAVANA” — in striving for a better world.

Purchase tickets through Golden Land Concerts and Connections: [email protected], (212) 683-7816, or via Interested attendees can also RSVP at



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