Social Issues

In The Counting House

05/11/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 7:47 p.m.
Torah reading: Numbers 1:1-4:20
Haftarah: Hosea 2:1-2:22
Sabbath ends: 8:52 p.m.

 

I know it’s census time when I ride the subway. The ads argue, “If we don’t know how many people we have, how do we know how many trains we need?” Maybe they should just take the morning rush.

Then there’s the Jewish census in the Book of Numbers, where instead of pulling in numbers, Moses goes for the money; a capital campaign without the journal and dinner. He collects from everyone who’s 20 and over a silver half-shekel each, after which the coins are totaled up and only then do we have a head count. But if it’s not so we know how many trains, or hospitals, we need, then what for? To what end?

Shlomo Gewirtz

Israeli-U.S. Conservatives Still Split On Gays

Departure of two openly gay rabbinical students and three straight friends
from Machon Schechter highlights lingering differences.

05/11/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — When, in 2007, the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary decided to admit openly gay students for the first time, the decision presented these students with a dilemma: where to study during their mandatory third year in Israel.

Traditionally, JTS rabbinical students have spent their Israel year at Machon Schechter, the Israeli Masorti movement’s rabbinical seminary, which does not ordain openly gay students.

This worried Ian Chesir-Teran and Aaron Weininger, JTS’ first two openly gay JTS students.

Chesir-Teran, a 39-year-old father of three from East Meadow, L.I., above

Sending Social Networking Sympathies

The story was recently told to me about a Facebook user who updated her status message to announce the death of her grandmother and the grief she was feeling because of the loss. Her friend's mother, a Facebook newbie, read the status update and clicked Facebook's "Like" option. Was this a Facebook faux pas or a way to express condolences in the era of social networking?

A Photo of a Tombstone on Facebook

Oren says Netanyahu not humiliated at White House, readers don't believe it

So Amb. Michael Oren, Israel's eloquent ambassador in Washington, says it didn't happen; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasn't dissed when he came to the White House on March 23, according to this JTA  story  and numerous other reports.

Oren: Obama Did Not Snub Netanyahu

05/06/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama never snubbed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's U.S. ambassador said.

Michael Oren ran through what he said were the distortions of a March 23 White House meeting between Netanyahu and Obama during a dinner he hosted this week for top Democrats.

According to an account of Oren's remarks prepared by the National Jewish Democratic Council, whose officers attended the dinner, Oren outlined why the Obama-Netanyahu meeting was not a snub.

With JCall, European Jews Get Their Own J Street Debate

05/05/2010
JTA

PRAGUE (JTA) -- The launch of JCall has brought the debate that American Jewry has seen over J Street to Jewish Europe: Outside of Israel, how critical in public should you be of Israeli government policies you believe are not in Israel’s best interests?

The founders of JCall, who seek to push what they see as a recalcitrant Israeli government closer to a two-state solution, say criticism of Israeli policies is constructive and necessary.

Why Nervous People Gain Weight

Staff Writer
05/05/2010

 Researchers at the Weizmann Institute have discovered a genetic explanation for a phenomenon usually considered psychological — obesity — and such side effects as type 2 diabetes and arteriosclerosis, among people subject to stress.

While individuals with depression are known to overeat to relieve their stress, Dr. Alon Chen’s research team at Weizmann’s department of neurobiology have shown that changes in the activity of a single gene of mice brains leads to metabolic changes that cause symptoms associated with diabetes.

Vacation In Israel, Come Home Cured

Low-cost, quality care — and possibly
U.S. health reforms — seen leading more
Western patients to seek out procedures in Israel.

Staff Writer
05/05/2010

 Rachel and her partner had been contemplating artificial insemination for years, but they didn’t actually go ahead with the process until Rachel came to Jerusalem from New York for a one-year teaching fellowship. After some encouragement from another couple that had gone through the process, the decision was clear: they would create their child in Israel, at Hadassah Medical Center in Mount Scopus.

Patients consult with a doctor in the waiting room of Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv, which has become one of many Israeli hu

Childhood Obesity Hits Israel

In the land of the Mediterranean diet, visions of America.

Israel Correspondent
05/05/2010

 Jerusalem — Israel is a Mediterranean country, but over the years its diet has
become less about fruits, vegetables and olive oil, and more about fast food — which has fueled a childhood obesity problem similar to the one seen in America.

 

 

Israeli children are becoming overweight, thanks in part to the fast food available at places like Jerusalem’s Malha Mall food c
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