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Ten years ago, the Jewish world suffered the loss of Rav Mordechai Gifter, ztz”l. One of America’s first native-born gedolim, Rav Gifter fused his out-of-town upbringing with the soul of Lithuania’s yeshivah world, eventually becoming a link in the perpetuation of the Telshe yeshivah. In honor of his tenth yahrtzeit, Mishpacha visits the home of his son-in-law and daughter, Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, shlita, and Rebbetzin Luba Feuer, tlita, for a glimpse of the gadol they merited knowing so well.
Dr. Reuven (Robert) Shanik, Lakewood’s indefatigable pediatrician, sees hundreds of little patients every day and has a round-the-clock open-door policy. His entire file cabinet of cases is stored in his head, and although he makes a diagnosis in a flash, parents already know that he’s always on target. But his medical genius notwithstanding, Dr. Reuven and Rochel Shanik have created more than a home of awards and accomplishments. Their living room, across the street from BMG, is Lakewood’s hub of chesed.
When a major storm strikes, most people hunker down or get out of the way. But not the storm chasers. For them, the clashing wind currents, dropping barometer and smell of electricity in the air means it’s time to suit up and meet nature head on.
The results of the 2010 United States Census are in. While the numbers reflect the solid growth of many of America’s minority groups, the Jews are not sharing in that growth. One prominent Jewish demographer contends that the Jewish downward spiral is due to some of the most dire, well-known threats that face our people.
Amsterdam’s Portuguese Synagogue, the Esnoga, is one of the few still-standing reminders of that city’s pre-Holocaust Jewish community. It’s also a moving tribute in wood, stone, and candlelight to the “stiff necks” of its founders — descendants of Anusim who refused to give up their Jewish faith — as a recent visit to the 335-year-old Esnoga showed.