Social Issues

Relaxed Breast Cancer Guidelines Criticized In Community

Gap years in new government rules seen as particular concern for Jewish women.
Special To The Jewish Week
05/04/2010 - 20:00

 Mention the new breast cancer guidelines, and D.J. Schneider Jensen utters a single syllable of disgust. “Uhk!” Like many Jewish women who carry a BRCA genetic mutation or have a personal history of breast cancer, Jensen was appalled by controversial recommendations issued five months ago by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The new guidelines advise against mammograms until the age of 50, and against teaching self breast exams to women

Rochelle Shoretz, a breast cancer survivor who founded the Sharsheret advocacy organization.

Gaucher’s Link To Parkinson’s

Staff Writer
05/04/2010 - 20:00

Researchers have been trying for decades to determine genetic or environmental causes of Parkinson’s disease. They have explored consumption of traces of aluminum in food, environmental toxins such as carbon monoxide and some pesticides and even head trauma.

Dr. Ellen Sidransky: Organized study finding connection between Gaucher’s disease and Parkinson’s.

Healthcare May 2010

The Genetics Issue: New screening for Persians, The Gaucher's-Parkinson's Connection, childhood obesity in Israel and more.
05/04/2010 - 20:00
Healthcare May 2010

Moral Bottom Line Luring Young Investors

Socially responsible Jewish investing on rise in wake of Madoff.
05/04/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

 In the same manner that she shops for locally grown produce, Abigail Weinberg chose to sidestep the bank behemoths and instead open an account at a small, local bank that invests in the Ann Arbor, Mich., community in which she lives. “I consider myself someone who wants to be socially and environmentally responsible in all areas of my life,” she says.  

Jewish Funds for Justice’s Jeremy Burton.

Zooming In On South Africa

David Goldblatt’s photographs, on exhibit at The Jewish Museum, chronicle everyday life under apartheid.
05/03/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

David Goldblatt, the South African photographer, can paint two portraits of his father, a Jewish shop-owner in a traditional mining town. In one, Goldblatt tells how his father would drink tea with a white Nationalist, a member of the right-wing party that staunchly defended apartheid, outside behind his men’s clothing store. “He was friends with some of them,” Goldblatt says of his father. “Many Jews were.”

Goldblatt's "Holdup at Hillbrow" (1963), which, like much of his work, focuses on how apartheid played out in daily life

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.

The Spinka Rebbe’s Namesake

As the chasidic sect’s leader goes to jail, remembering his great-uncle and a remarkable Holocaust photo album.
05/03/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

This week, an undisclosed federal prison will become the new address of prisoner No. 46835-112, Naftali Tzvi Weisz, known to his thousands of followers as the Grand Rabbi of Spinka of Borough Park. Last December, Weisz, 61, was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to heading up a decade-long, $10 million money-laundering scheme in which donors to Spinka charitable institutions secretly received kickbacks of up to 95 percent of their donations. The rabbi’s gabbai, or assistant, Moshe Zigelman, also received a two-year sentence.

Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Weisz, left, the great-uncle of the current Spinka Rebbe, arriving at Auschwitz.

The Dimensions Of Revelation

05/03/2010 - 20:00

Candlelighting, Readings:
Candlelighting: 7:39 p.m.
Torah Reading: Lev. 25:1-27:34
Haftarah: Jeremiah 16:19-17:14
Sabbath Ends: 8:44 p.m.

Must the precepts of Torah have productive purposes? Must they, in other words, “have a point”? Most modern thinkers have thought so. God’s Revelation, they assumed, must surely be as rational as the human species that God created to receive it.

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

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.

Animal Cruelty and Jewish Law

05/02/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Q: This may sound weird, but I think my neighbor is cruel to his pet beagle. I know that if this was a person we were talking about, Jewish law would obligate me to go to the authorities. But this is a DOG. What's my obligation here?

A. You need to pursue this. I say this not merely because I am life-long pet-o-phile, a vegetarian with two cuddly standard poodles. I say this also because it is the right thing to do. Jewish culture has long championed animal rights.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman
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