coreyhaimbetterdaysCorey Haim, his name meant life, but it was a life filled with temptations. A Canadian born actor, and a son of an Israeli mother, Haim was a child star of film and television in North America; but as his career faded over the next two decades, he struggled with addiction before passing away today in metropolitan LA from an apparent accidental overdose in his mother’s home. He had been paired with Corey Feldman, another child actor and Member Of the Tribe, and the two had staged a recent comeback with a cable tv reality show. Even high-profile and celebrity rehab centers can’t do everything for them. But addiction is a difficult illness to overcome, and sometimes even drug rehab centers aren’t enough. Though they are a good place to start. If you are looking for a place to start, somewhere to kick the addiction that’s running you into the ground, then check it out, this might be just the place for you.

In other breaking news…

The Forward reviews a new Haggadah for The Fifth Child. It is a free download.

The Washington Post gives some obituary space to Arnold Beichman, who died at age 96. Beichman, a reporter for the NYT, Washington Times, and other papers, was one of the first to cover the Warsaw Ghetto uprising during WWII (for PM), and in 1943, he was thrown out of the Massachusetts State House after writing an article about a string of anti-Semitic attacks in Boston that had been hushed up by the authorities and the local press.

Ramat Aviv might be trying to kick out Chabad-niks or restraining them from approaching their children on their ways home from school, but it seems as if Cairo was cool with them. In a celebration of Egyptian government funding for the restoration of some of Egypts remaining synagogue, a dozen of so Chabad rabbis were invited to enliven the three day party. Egyptian Minister Farouk Hosny, who in 2009 had blamed American Jews for halting his chance to score a plum job at the United Nations, said in a statement ,that his ministry views Jewish sites as much a part of Egypt’s culture as Muslim mosques or Coptic churches and the restorations would not require any foreign funding.

The Telegraph in the UK reports the the Prime Minister awarded medals in London to 27 unsung heroes of the Holocaust. Among the heroes were, Sir Nicolas Winton, aged 100, who organized the rescue of 669 children by train from Prague in 1939; Princess Alice of Greece, the mother of the Duke of Edinburgh, who sheltered Jews in the Greek royal palace; Ida and Louise Cook, 2 sisters who while attending opera recitals throughout Europe, smuggled British visas to Jews, and Major Frank Foley, the British spy who helped up to 10,000 Jews escape Germany before the war by issuing fake visas at great personal risk.

The Central Conference of American Rabbis has been meeting in Northern California this week, discussing issues of synagogue leadership, prayer, the Reform synagogue movement, community building, pastoral care and other issues. But the main issue that has been picked up on by the press, is their call for greater outreach to interfaith couples and families.

Speaking of rabbis… former Hungarian chief rabbi Tamás Raj, 70, passed away and was buried in Budapest today at the Kozma Street Cemetery, the largest Jewish cemetery in Hungary’s capital. He because famous in the 1970’s for agitating against the Communist government and promoting greater Jewish religious and cultural identity.

The Wsj, writes a front page piece about Tourism to the Island of Jamaica and the role Jewish sites or its 200 Jews might play in it. Lure in those Jews! (Actually, truth be told, I do recall going to the Jewish cemetery in Mo Bay in 1984, and to the sandy floored synagogue in Kingston). For the story, see this link. Tamara Audi provides a synopsis of Jewish history on the island and also gives a mention to Behn Goldis, a New York reggae artist and orthodox Jew whose stage name is BennyBwoy.

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