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David Greenfield is arguably one of America’s most powerful Orthodox Jewish elected officials. His Brooklyn district is home to more than 120,000 Jews, but if you ask him, he insists the best way to serve them is to exert broad influence for the benefit of all his constituents. As Mishpacha’s news editor Binyamin Rose shadowed Greenfield for a full working day, Councilman Greenfield shared the political wisdom of a spiritual gadol, and disclosed how his yarmulke almost set off a Mideast crisis.
The shadow of high prison walls is a constant backdrop to this all-American rural town in northeastern New York, although the locals never gave much thought to their maximum-security neighbors. Until two convicted murderers made a Hollywood-style prison break, which turned their little town into a giant press conference and political powder keg.
It might have been 2,000 years ago, or maybe even earlier — a handful of Jews stranded on an isolated Indian coast developed into an entire community of Jewish tradition. While over the centuries, the Jews of India have been comprised of several groups, we wanted to uncover the secret of how the Bene Israel around Mumbai managed to cling to a nearly forgotten religion.