Human Interest

Conservative, Reform To Train Together

05/03/2007 - 20:00
Staff Writer
For the first time, rabbinical students at the leading American Reform and Conservative seminaries soon will be studying together in a formal program stressing the interfaith aspects of Jewish life they will encounter in their pulpits.

‘Heroic’ Seders

04/28/2005 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Grodno, Belarus — Tsilia Brido remembers her early Belarus Passover in her Polotsk hometown, her grandfather leading the seders in Hebrew, women from the neighborhood baking their matzahs in her family’s large wood stove. “It was before the war,” she says, referring to World War II. Belarus was the first of the former Soviet Union’s republics to be invaded by the German army. Brido remembers the seders ending after 1941, first under the Nazis, then under the communists.

At 100, He’s Still Giving

04/21/2005 - 20:00
Staff Writer
On a Friday in January 1973, Jesse Perlstein retired from his job as a district manager for the Robert Hall men’s clothing chain. The following Monday morning he walked to the Samuel Field Y, a few minutes from his home in Little Neck, Queens, and signed up as a volunteer. The next morning he walked to the Marathon Jewish Community Center, his synagogue a few minutes away, again to volunteer. Thirty years later, Perlstein is still donating his time.

Armenia’s Jewish Hero

04/21/2005 - 20:00
Staff Writer
The recent $20 million settlement between a major American insurance firm and the heirs of Armenian policyholders killed in the Armenian Genocide had its genesis, indirectly, in the memoirs written nearly 90 years ago by a Jewish-American diplomat. Henry Morgenthau Sr., the German native who served as U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during World War I, wrote in 1918 in “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story” about an exchange with Talaat Pasha, Turkey’s Interior Minister and an architect of the Genocide.

The Pope With A Jewish Heart

04/07/2005 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Shortly after a little-known cardinal from Poland was elected spiritual head of the Catholic Church in 1978, Rabbi Arthur Schneier received a call from a network television correspondent asking for comment. The correspondent, who “equated Poles with anti-Semitism,” assumed that Rabbi Schneier, a Holocaust survivor and president of the Manhattan-based Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an ecumenical human rights organization, would comment negatively on the new pope, the rabbi recalls.

Next Big Thing: Back ToThe Future

03/04/2008 - 19:00
Staff Writer
The next big idea in Jewish life is the past. The relationship between history, a scientific discipline that is empirical and measurable, and memory, a personal and subjective relationship to one’s life or one’s community, is the subject of Yehuda Kurtzer’s proposal that last week was chosen as the first winner of Brandeis University’s first Charles R. Bronfman Visiting Chair in Jewish Communal Innovation.

Israel Policy Forum to merge with progressive group?

Israel Policy Forum to merge with progressive group? October 13th, 2009

For weeks rumors have circulated that the Israel Policy Forum (IPF), a pro-peace process group, was on the verge of shutting down – or merging with another organization.

This week there were reports that the group may merge with the Center for American Progress, a group that defines itself as “a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.

‘A Great Communicator’

02/12/2008 - 19:00
Staff Writer
Rabbi William Berkowitz, a longtime pulpit rabbi and communal leader here, and founder of a popular dialogue series that featured public interviews with hundreds of major politicians and other prominent figures, died in his Manhattan home on Feb. 3 of natural causes. He was 83.

What’s The Big Idea?

02/05/2008 - 19:00
Staff Writer
The next big idea in Jewish life will have a foreword, table of contents and bibliography. It may not have a budget or board of directors. A competition sponsored by Brandeis University for a new academic chair in Jewish Communal Innovation, which has led to discussions about the founding of a new initiative like birthright israel, has winnowed 231 applicants down to five finalists. But their proposals focus on the ways Jews think, not necessarily on a new program or institution that the Jewish community will develop.
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