NEW YORK —
Yeshiva University students and others broke the Guinness world record for most dreidels spun simultaneously. Some 618 students, alumni, faculty, staff, neighbours and friends of Yeshiva U topped the record Dec. 1 at “Dreidel-Palooza,” an event organized by Students Helping Students, a student-run group that raises money for undergraduate scholarships. The previous record of 541 was set in 2005 at Temple Emanuel in Cherry Hill, N.J.
YU Schools Grant
NEW YORK — The Avi Chai Foundation has given a $1.6 million grant to Yeshiva University to help Jewish day schools improve their financial situations. The grant will go to the YU Institute for University-School Partnership to support its efforts in helping 30 day schools in five Jewish communities figure out long-term financial strategies, as well as offering three-year matches for funds that each school brings in from local donors and Jewish federations. If successful in the five yet-to-be-named areas, Avi Chai and YU plan to expand the project to up to 200 schools in 30 communities.
Parents Pick Mates
NEW YORK — A new Jewish online dating site lets parents search for their children’s mate. TheJMom.com, launched Dec. 1, allows parents to contact other parents for information and set up casual dates. “Moms have been setting up their children for centuries,” said site co-founder Danielle Weisberg. “TheJMom.com puts parents behind the keyboard and lets them do the clicking and the matching.” The site was the brainchild of Weisberg and her brother, Brad, who conceived of it after their mother asked Brad to see his online dating profile and spent hours searching a matchmaking site to find him a woman.
JERUSALEM — A self-proclaimed rabbi who counselled followers to commit child abuse was convicted Dec. 1 in Jerusalem of abusing several children who lived with him. Elior Chen was convicted of abusing the eight children of the woman he lived with, a follower whose husband had given her over to the charismatic leader. Chen fled Israel for Canada and then Brazil in 2008, and was extradited back to Israel several months later, after he counselled his followers to severely beat and burn the children to rid them of the devil. Some were forced to drink alcohol and turpentine until they vomited, and to eat their own feces. Some of the abuses led to serious and life-threatening injuries. One child has been in a persistent vegetative state since suffering abuse at the hands of Chen.
DePaul Orders Return of Sabra Hummus
CHICAGO — DePaul University in Chicago has asked its food service to reinstate the sale of Sabra hummus.
The sale of Sabra hummus had been suspended last month after a request by a pro-Palestinian student group, even though the request didn’t go through DePaul’s internal Fair Business Practices Committee, as is customary.
Students for Justice in Palestine objected to the fact that Sabra is half-owned by the Strauss Group, which has publicly supported Israeli troops and provides care packages and sports equipment to Israeli soldiers.
Its request led to objections from Jewish students and discussions between Chicago’s Jewish federation and DePaul’s top leaders, who indicated the appropriate university processes weren’t followed, JUF News reported.
The request will now go to the Fair Business Practices Committee, which will examine the complaint and make recommendations to the university president.
The reinstatement followed a vote last week by students at Princeton University on whether to ask Princeton’s dining services to provide an alternative brand of hummus to Sabra. Voting on the referendum, placed on last week’s United Student Government ballot by the Princeton Committee on Palestine, concluded Dec. 1.
The national effort to ban Sabra hummus is part of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.