Two thumbs down. That was the consensus of a group of horrified Jewish interfaith and community leaders after watching a rough cut of Mel Gibson's controversial "The Passion."
It was the first mainstream Jewish group to screen the Hollywood star's gory recounting of the trial and death of Jesus.
A Jesuit priest working with Mel Gibson on his controversial film about the last hours of Jesus' life says Jews need not worry about being portrayed as Christ-killers.
Father William J. Fulco, a professor of ancient Mediterranean studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, says he is "intimately familiar" with the script of Gibson's upcoming, self-financed movie "The Passion" and there is "no hint" of the deicide charge that Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus.
The New York Police Department is planning to put its officers through a new police tolerance training center being launched in Manhattan next year by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, The Jewish Week has learned.
Police Commissioner Howard Safir has held several discussions with Wiesenthal Center founder Rabbi Marvin Hier about using its Tools for Tolerance program to sensitize the nation's largest police force, which has been rocked by a series of tragic incidents involving ethnic minorities.
When two Jewish songwriters teamed up with a former “Shabbos goy” in 1956, it helped change the face of popular music.
The “Shabbos goy” was Elvis Presley (who died 24 years ago last week).
When Elvis covered “Hound Dog,” a rhythm-and-blues song composed by Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber — originally recorded in 1953 by Big Mama Thornton — it propelled the young Presley’s career to new heights.
But perhaps equally as important, it brought Leiber and Stoller to the attention of top music executives.
The Reform movement is embroiled in an emotional national debate on the future of its belief system.
At issue is a controversial draft document titled the “Ten Principles of Reform Judaism” that seeks to set guidelines for how North America’s 1.2 million Reform Jews should practice their faith in the 21st century.
Rather than fostering unity, the platform, authored by the leader of the movement’s rabbinic arm, has provoked a firestorm of criticism from Reform lay leaders, academics and rabbis nationwide.
Black-Jewish tensions escalated this week following the selection of the first Jewish vice presidential candidate of a major party in American history. Even as the Rev. Jesse Jackson voiced strong support for Sen. Joseph Lieberman during a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles Tuesday night, and as Lieberman met with the Congressional Black Caucus to assuage their fears about his stand on affirmative action, attacks on Lieberman came from other corners of the black community.
Synagogue officials across the country this week struggled with how to handle security arrangements for the High Holy Days, while bizarre bias acts occurred at two synagogues in Connecticut and in Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, two weeks after a white supremacist gunman went on a shooting rampage at Los Angeles Jewish Community Center wounding five people, including three children, JCC officials are issuing a plea for help, saying they are feeling abandoned by the Jewish community.
Hate crimes against Jews continued across the nation this week even as political leaders from New York’s City Hall to the White House were promising stepped-up protection and renewed attempts to push tougher anti-hate and gun control laws.
The moves come in response to the shootings at a Los Angeles-area Jewish community center in which five people were wounded, including a 5-year-old boy and two 6-year-olds.
New York-area Jewish community centers moved swiftly Tuesday to increase security in response to the day’s shooting rampage at North Valley Jewish Community Center in the Los Angeles area.
One Jewish leader declared the incident — the third attack on Jews and Jewish property in the United States in the last two months — to be part of a frightening trend.
The Israeli government this week detained a family of black, Jewish-American converts from entering the country, triggering concern by Conservative movement leaders who fear the emergence of a pattern of racial and religious discrimination.