Jerusalem Grapevine: Cubcakes for the Karzens

A round up of news from in and around Jerusalem.

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November 25, 2016 11:19
3 minute read.
Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs win the World Series. (photo credit: REUTERS)

■ PEOPLE FROM several congregations within walking distance of the Hanassi Synagogue in Rehavia will gather there on Saturday for a kiddush in honor of Rabbi Jay and Ruby Ray Karzen, who are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

The Karzens made aliya from Chicago in 1985, and have since been actively involved in various organizations and institutions.

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Prior to settling in Jerusalem, Rabbi Karzen was inter alia president of the Alumni Association of the Chicago Yeshiva; chairman of the TV/Radio Broadcasting Commission of the Chicago Board of Rabbis; chairman of the Brit Mila Commission of the Chicago Rabbinical Council; and chaplain of the Variety Club.

His wife combined a professional career with being a rebbetzin.

She has worked in real estate, interior design and Jewish education. Prior to moving to Israel, she was the executive director of the prestigious Hillel Torah Day School in Skokie, Illinois. Following her aliya, she served for almost a decade as president of the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel.

Soon after their arrival in the country, Rabbi Karzen founded and directed Rituals Unlimited, through which he arranged and conducted bar mitzva services for tourists at the Western Wall, on top of Masada and at other holy sites. He also ran AACI s cemetery and bereavement program.

Both the Karzens are avid writers and public speakers. He has written Off the Wall, a best-selling anthology of humorous anecdotes spanning his rabbinical careers in the US and Israel, and she, in addition to publishing numerous articles in magazines and newspapers, wrote an upbeat autobiography, Cherry on the Top.



Rabbi Karzen has been in frequent demand as a scholar in residence in various congregations in America and South Africa as well as on cruise ships. That his wife is also an accomplished teacher and orator has proved to be a boon both on ship and on dry land.

One of the couple s joys of living here is that Israel is also home to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who have all joined forces to organize and host the kiddush.

As the Karzens are enthusiastic Chicago Cubs baseball fans, the menu of the kiddush will reflect the team s recent World Series triumph, and will include Cubcakes.


■ THOUGH STRONGLY criticized in many quarters for blatantly courting the Likud with the aim of being voted into the next Knesset, Mayor Nir Barkat has plenty of fans as well, especially in Magen David Adom. At the recent international convention of Friends of MDA that was held in Tel Aviv, Barkat was honored in recognition of the manner in which he acted during the wave of terrorism, including assistance he gave to MDA volunteers.

But Barkat was actively involved in saving and visiting victims of terrorism long before the most recent wave.

Equally exciting were the citations given to El Al flight attendants Nitzan Rabinowitz and Mor Levy, who saved the life of a Chinese man who collapsed at the airport as they were about to board their flight. The two turned back, applied the therapy that they had been taught by MDA trainer Shlomi Erez and saved the life of the man, who had apparently suffered a heart attack.

Unfortunately, Rabinowitz and Levy may find themselves permanently grounded if El Al pilots continue with their sanctions.

There used to be a joke which was not so funny that EL AL stood for Every Landing Always Late. As a result of sanctions and fictitious illnesses on the part of El Al pilots, it s just possible that the airline s main shareholders will decide that they can t play this game any more and El Al will become as defunct as Pan Am, TWA and Swissair. What will the pilots do then?


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