News Briefs: Paul Simon to Retire, NMAJH Receives $1 Million Gift, and More


NMAJH Receives $1 Million Gift

The National Museum of American Jewish History received a $1 million gift from the family of renowned shoe designer and entrepreneur Stuart Weitzman.

“One of our greatest pleasures is having the opportunity to give back to important causes, and we feel very strongly about our Jewish heritage,” Weitzman said in a press release. “American Jewish history should be a source of pride for all American Jews, many of whom don’t know these stories. Learning this history can inspire a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American experience — and have a meaningful impact on reducing prejudice and anti-Semitism.”

In recognition of the donation, the museum’s “First Families” gallery, which details the lives of early Jewish settlers of the colonial era in America, will be named in the family’s honor.

The gallery highlights primarily Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal drawn to America, like Weitzman’s own family. The shoe brand’s factories have also been based in Spain for decades.

Paul Simon to Retire from Touring

Paul Simon (Paul Simon at the 9-30 Club (b).jpg by Matthew Straubmuller licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon continued a trend involving aging performers by announcing plans to retire from performing after his upcoming tour this year, JTA reported.

“I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I’d consider bringing my performing career to a natural end. Now I know: It feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating, and something of a relief,” Simon, 76, said in a statement.

Simon joins fellow Jew Neil Diamond in giving up touring. Elton John and the band Lynyrd Skynyrd, among others, have announced the end of touring when their current commitments are completed.

Former Hay Group Managing Partner Dies at 96

Milton L. Rock, who served as managing partner of the Hay Group management consulting firm, died Jan. 27 at the age of 96.

A Philadelphia native, Rock joined Edward N. Hay in 1949, retiring as managing partner of The Hay Group in 1984. He was known as an expert in human resources management and served as president of the Association of Management Consultants.

Rock served on numerous area boards, including the Temple University Hospital board of governors and was its chairman from 1985 to 1992. In addition, he served on the board of the Curtis Institute of Music, and was its chair from 1989 to 2002.

Iceland to Get First Rabbi in a Century

Although there are only about 250 Jews living there, the island nation of Iceland will get its first resident rabbi since 1918 later this year, according to JTA.

Chabad Rabbi Avi Feldman, a 27-year-old from Brooklyn, N.Y., will move to Reykjavík with his wife Mushky and two children. There is no synagogue in the city, which is Iceland’s capital.

Feldman likely will be stepping into a difficult situation, as it is illegal in Iceland to ritually slaughter animals. In addition, lawmakers there are considering a bill that would outlaw the nonmedical circumcision of boys, equating it with female genital mutilation.

“We hope to bring this awareness to local Icelandic people and especially to lawmakers in their decision on rules, which we hope will have a religious exemption clause,” Feldman said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here