The RCA doesn’t like the way Avi has been spinning things, he’s been talking too loudly and defiantly, saying that he came away with a victory – about anything. So now the word “maharat” has to go, not just “rabba.” Both the RCA and Agudah are in agreement that Hebrew Institute itself will now have to decide if it is Orthodox or not. This is no longer about Avi alone.
It's a strange thing about some liberal rabbis. They knock the concept of "Das Torah" (the unilateral and unquestioned right of sages to guide their community based upon their mastery of Torah). But then, when a rabbi such as Avi Weiss want to create a woman rabbi, he acts unilaterally, without respecting any communal consensus, based upon what he says is his own mastery and understanding of Torah. In other words, his Das Torah.
If American Jews are tacking to the right, nobody told them.
That is the finding of a national public opinion study released last week.
According to the National Survey on Race Relations and Changing Ethnic Demographics in the United States of America, commissioned by the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Jews in this country align themselves more with African-Americans on attitudes toward race and poverty, and with Hispanic-Americans on attitudes about immigration, than do other whites.
Despite claims by Christian conservative leaders that it result in jails overcrowded with pastors and other critics of the “homosexual lifestyle,” the Senate yesterday gave final approval to a hate crimes law that's been a top priority for the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish groups for an embarrassing number of years.
The measure now goes to President Barack Obama, who, unlike his predecessor, is eager to sign it.
With Avigdor Lieberman poised to play the role of coalition kingmaker after Tuesday’s Israeli electoral tangle, some Jewish groups here are readying a hasbara campaign aimed at convincing Americans that the Yisrael Beiteinu leader is not the racist and political extremist portrayed in the Israeli and international media.
The Obama administration’s reassessment of U.S. policy in Afghanistan has generated scant interest in a Jewish community preoccupied with Iran. That inattention could prove costly. How America deals with a worsening situation in the Afghan war, now in its eighth year, will affect U.S. options in Iran, the direction of the war on terrorism and a much broader range of foreign policy matters.
Adrian Shanker, a college student from Westchester, spent this summer working as an intern in Washington. During his time in the capital, he took part in a training program run by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
The other young participants in the RAC program shared Shanker’s support for Israel. And, like him, many of them, opposed Israel’s month-long war in Lebanon this summer. A war — spurred by Hezbollah attacks on Israel and kidnappings of Israeli soldiers — that the leadership of the Reform movement supported.
Full-scale wars, which Israel has fought many times in the past, and major army operations, which Israel has found itself in during recent weeks in Gaza and Lebanon, usually bring stories of troop maneuvers and military analysis, call-ups of the reserves, and civilian sacrifices. The human side of war is often hard to picture from a distance, particularly when the fighting involves Israel, a country that few Americans, even American Jews, have visited.
Rabbi Seymour Fox, a prominent Jewish educator in the United States and Israel for a half-century, died of heart failure July 10 in his Jerusalem home, two weeks after announcing his plans to retire from administration and return to teaching. He was 77.
Known in Israel by his Hebrew name, Shlomo, he had served with the educational Mandel Foundation at the time of his death. A prolific author, he was known as an inspirational teacher and manager.