MK, Non-Orthodox Clash On Conversions

Rotem determined to push bill, despite serious opposition from liberal Jews.
05/03/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The author of a proposed Israeli conversion bill dismissed this week criticism of the legislation by non-Orthodox Jewish leaders here and said he is determined to see it enacted.

“I will have to think how to continue because the most important thing for me is how to solve the problem of the half-million new immigrants from Russia”  who wish to convert to  Judaism, Israeli Knesset member David Rotem told The Jewish Week Monday.

Obama Renews Syria Sanctions

05/03/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama renewed Syria sanctions for a year, noting among other factors its continued backing for terrorist groups.

Obama wrote to the U.S. Congress on Monday saying that he was renewing congressionally mandated sanctions first implemented by President Bush in 2004. The continued sanctions affect trade with Syria and the assets of individuals and entities associated with the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Innovation Is Not A Synonym For ‘New’

05/03/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In late 2002, when our Joshua Venture Group (JVG) cohort was announced, the term “Jewish social entrepreneur” did not yet roll easily off the tongue. There was no “innovation ecosystem” to speak of, few incubators interested in helping us grow our ventures, and little confidence that Jewish life could or should blossom outside of existing institutional frameworks. JVG was founded to help emerging leaders change the Jewish world with their ideas.

Witnessing Haiti: A Call for Transparency in Disaster Relief

04/28/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

We all watched in dismay when Haiti was struck with a devastating 7.0 earthquake; the consequences of this natural disaster intensified by Haiti's status as the 2nd poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. One hundred days later, hundreds of thousands are living in tents in refugee camps without sanitation as the devastation and fear continues with little signs of progress.

Tevel B’Tzedek Israeli volunteer therapist

Shul Fracas In The East Village

An almost 100-year-old synagogue is being sold to developers, but some congregants claim the vote wasn’t legal.
08/14/2008 - 20:00
Staff Writer

At 7:20 p.m. on a recent Monday, only nine people had shown up for the 7:15 Mincha service at Anshei Meseritz synagogue, a crumbling relic from the turn of the last century that sits directly across the street from the Village View public housing project in Lower Manhattan. Past the sheaths of peeling gray paint and decaying stained glass Stars of David, the shul’s inside houses dysfunctional toilets that are said to be more frequently visited by rats than humans.

Anshei Meseritz on East 6th Street. Sharon Udasin

Rainbow Flags Under The Chupah

In Connecticut, Jewish same-sex couples celebrate their newfound right to marry.
10/30/2008 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Born in Guatemala and adopted by two American mothers, 9-year-old Ellie Cooper has grown accustomed to standing out in her predominantly white Christian town of Middlefield, Conn. But now that her parents have gained the right to marry under Connecticut law, she’ll have more in common with her classmates.

“Often people will say, ‘Are you married?’” said one of her mothers, Jane Cooper. “I just want to say yes, and I want for my daughter to have parents who are married.”

Robin Baslaw and Susan Smith’s March 2006 civil union ceremony, performed by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum.

Israel Conversion Bill A Hard Sell To U.S. Jews

Legislation would end the Orthodox hegemony over conversions in Israel, but liberal leaders worry about Law of Return provision.
04/26/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The Israeli lawmaker who authored the proposed controversial conversion bill flew to New York this week to convince Reform and Conservative Jewish leaders to support it, promising to withdraw the bill if they do not.

“I want them to say we read the bill, we don’t love it but we accept it,” the Israeli Knesset member, David Rotem, told The Jewish Week.

Israel Beiteinu’s David Rotem. MICHAEL DATIKASH

Can Palin Win Over Jews?

Could Obama’s growing problems with the community translate into popularity for our least-favorite Sarah? Despite a new website, most experts say no.
04/26/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

If you believe the conventional wisdom about the 2008 presidential election, Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama was having a very tough time garnering Jewish support before Sen. John McCain picked a running mate. Polls in the Jewish community had Obama getting about 55 percent of the Jewish vote, as much as 20 percentage points lower than John Kerry or Al Gore, the two previous Democratic presidential candidates.

Sarah Palin.

Understanding Obama As Our First PC President

04/26/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Three mysteries underlie the current crisis between America and Israel. The first one is biographical: How can President Barack Obama call himself Israel’s friend, yet display such animus toward the Jewish state, exemplified most recently by refusing even to be photographed with Israel’s Prime Minister when hosting Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House?

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