When Fan Wiener read in her local daily newspaper that the nation's Reform rabbis had voted to push for more Jewish tradition (including eating kosher) the 79-year-old Dallas grandmother thought of bolting Reform Judaism.
"She called me and threatened to quit the two major Reform temples she belongs to," says her son Thomas, a Philadelphia attorney. "She said she didn't intend to become a Conservative or Orthodox Jew."
British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks was hardly surprised when it was revealed that the suicide bomber who murdered three people in a Tel Aviv jazz club April 30 was a British Muslim.
"We have been warning the government for some years that extremist [Muslim] groups were operating in Britain, taking advantage of the extreme tolerance that Britain has," Rabbi Sacks said in a phone interview. "It isn't a complete surprise. But it is a wake-up call."
While recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor earlier this month, Cardinal John O'Connor composed his annual New Year's letter to his many friends in the New York Jewish community.
In fact, the 79-year-old leader of New York City Catholics has been sending heartfelt holiday greetings twice a year (on Rosh HaShanah and Passover) to Jewish leaders for at least 10 years.
Despite President Bush's insistence that the war on terrorism is not a religious conflict pitting the West against Islam, prominent members of his administration and leaders of Islamic countries are pushing inexorably in that direction.
And as the president came to the defense of the Jewish community this week, Jewish leaders were warning of dire long-term consequences in the wake of the anti-Semitic tirade unleashed last week by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Three prominent liberal New York rabbis have abruptly resigned from the advisory board of a new national Jewish peace group after their names appeared in a controversial full-page New York Times ad that likened Israel to the Passover story’s evil Pharaoh, and also used a Nazi allusion to describe the Sharon government’s military actions in the West Bank and Gaza.
Like the biblical prophets Samuel and Nathan, who admonished their kings for sinning, the spiritual head of the Conservative movement found himself a lone Jewish voice in the nation this week following his daring call for President Clinton to resign.
Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, last week thus became the first national Jewish religious figure to urge Clinton to quit because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He said the president’s moral authority has been “destroyed” and in effect cannot be recovered.
Anne Frank, the Dutch teenager who through the power and intimacy of her diary became the best-known of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, is most often recalled for an entry that reads: “... I still believe, in spite of everything,
Editor and Publisher
Anne Frank, the Dutch teenager who through the power and intimacy of her diary became the best-known of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, is most often recalled for an entry that reads: “... I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart ... that this cruelty, too, shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.”
In the past few days, Zalman Shoval’s popularity has soared with colleagues and strangers he bumps into around his Washington office.
“There isn’t a single person in the [U.S.] State Department that hasn’t tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘thank you,’ ” related Shoval, Israel’s incoming ambassador to the United States. “It reminds me of the good old days of Israel’s restraint in the  Gulf war.”
"Conservative Rabbis To Vote on Gay Issues," trumpeted The Forward last week, inaccurately, about a meeting this week. More correctly (though still less than completely) The New York Times followed Monday with a story headlined: "Conservative Jews to Consider Ending a Ban on Same-Sex Unions and Gay Rabbis."
In truth, it will almost certainly be many months before the Conservative movement decides whether to allow gay rabbis and gay unions, according to Rabbi Sue Grossman, head of the rabbinic subcommittee that has been wrestling with the issue.