Another week has flown by quickly as Hanukkah approaches, and the following crucial news items have accumulated in my inbox.

tears shed over cupcakes

Sadly, more people in the US can tell you about the Westchester cupcake incident than who ran for and won in the recent Congressional elections. It seems as if four 13 year old boys, students at a middle school in Chappaqua NY (where the Clinton’s reside) recently having become b’nai mitzvot, decided to make some shekels by selling cupcakes at the local Gedney Park. They wanted to save up money, not for college, but to open a restaurant. How come no kids on Glee ever have bake sales? Too busy with slushies and singing, I suppose.

Andrew DeMarchis, Kevin Graff, Zachary Bass ( and Daniel Katz had all recently completed tzedakah projects for a local hospital and for Haitian earthquake victims and now wanted to branch into private sector activities. They netted $120 their first day. Unfortunately for them, a local elected town council member, Michael Wolfensohn, came upon the sale and called the local police since the children where operating a food business without a license. Kevin’s mother was outraged. But instead of calling the town government, she called the press. While most are blaming the police and council, I also blame the parents for going to the press instead of teaching the families to handle the problem directly with the town council. (but being that one of the families is a significant benefactor to the local synagogue… I am blaming very very little)

Speaking of cup cakes, I feel a little shameful for eating a candy during the 7-plus hour showing of the new 35mm print of Claude Lanzmann’s documentary, “SHOAH.” It will be released in a very limited engagement in New York City by IFC Films in December, and most likely in LA in January, in honor of the doumentary’s 25th anniversary. More on this and my talk with Mr. Lanzmann in a future post.

Speaking of … candy… the AP and Yediot and Jpost reported that hundreds of young Israelis are flocking to Berlin. They even have a “Kol Berlin” Hebrew radio hour. There is even a monthly party called, Meshuggah, and a bistro called Luigi Zuckermann. Unofficial officials have estimated the census at 9,000-15,000 Israelis in the German city. Israelis make up the second-largest group of non-European tourists coming to Berlin, after the Amerikanishers.

Different Lebeau

Berlin is not a museum. Philadelphia on the other hand can be. This week, Bennett LeBow and family donated another $45 Million to Drexel University’s School of Business (which is already named for LeBow). Not to be confused with Robert Clary’s character LeBeau from American tv favorite, Hogan’s Heroes, Mr. LeBow made his fortune in technology, smokes, and Borders Books. Thirty blocks south of Drexel, the National Museum of American Jewish History had a gala party. It opens to the public on November 26, just across from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. The 100,000 sqft building was designed by James Polshek, the architect of the Newseum and the Clinton Presidential Center. The gala’s guests included Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Barbra, benefactor Sidney Kimmel, Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie, Ed Snider, Steve Cozen, and U.S. Vice President Biden. The gala raised $3 million for the $150 million museum.

At another Jewish museum, one that is already open to the public, architect and educator Daniel Libeskind is curating a show of menorahs and hannukiahs. The >New York Jewish Museum is showing “Line of Fire,” a selection of Hanukkah lamps and quotes on the blue panels that evoke a metaphorical regenerative power of fire and flames. One lamp is the 1985 one by architect Richard Meier that consists of significant buildings, including one that is a crematorium chimney.

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