United States

For Manning-Kaplan Duo, Jewish Nonprofits are the Ties That Bind

05/28/2010
JTA

PALM BEACH, Fla. (JTA) -- It’s a cool spring night, and Kathy Manning and Randall Kaplan are battling their way out of the west lawn of the sprawling bay-side mansion of Jane Goldman and Benjamin Lewis.

Manning, the chairwoman of the Jewish Federations of North America, and Kaplan, the chairman of the board of governors of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, have just spent a few hours schmoozing with 80 donors, a handful of boards of trustees and several members of Hillel’s board trying to make the case for their organizations.

Pro-Israel, With Questions: Beinart Pins his Thesis to the Synagogue Door

05/26/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Peter Beinart attends an Orthodox synagogue, once edited The New Republic (the closest thing to a smicha for Jewish policy wonks) and backed Sen. Joe Lieberman’s quixotic 2004 bid to become the first Jewish president.

Which is why he’s always been counted among the Washington pundits who defend Israel, Zionism and the right of American Jews to lobby for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

Beinart also frets about how Jewish his kids will be.

For Hebrew Learning, The Skype’s The Limit

Internet tutoring is on leading edge of use of technology beyond the classroom.

05/26/2010
Associate Editor

Walk around Temple Micah when religious school is in session, and you will see children praying, having discussions and working on art projects. 

What you won’t find are alef-bet drill sessions, or language instruction of any kind.

While Hebrew is on the curriculum at this 485-family Reform congregation in Washington, D.C., students now do all their Hebrew learning from home, through private tutoring sessions conducted via the Internet videoconferencing service Skype. 

A student at Washington, D.C.’s Temple Micah learns Hebrew with her online tutor. Courtesy of Temple Micah

Media: Beinart - Young Jews Want Seats In Jewish Lobby

Peter Beinart warns that alienation from Israel now at a breaking point.

05/25/2010
Associate Editor

Once upon a time, assimilated Jews would, well, assimilate, leaving Judaism to the Jews. Similarly, Jewish liberals — prizing universalism over parochialism — pretty much left Zionism to the professional Zionists.

Peter Beinart’s New York Review of Books essay touched off a serious debate on Zionism.

Jewish Groups Urge Repeal Of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

05/25/2010

(JTA) A coalition of 10 major Jewish organizations is urging Congress to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy.

The coalition, led by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, sent a letter Tuesday to Congress.

Ethical Kosher Seal Nearing Marketplace for Conservative Jews

Conservative movement’s ambitious ‘Magen Tzedek’ in testing stages, hoping to have certified products on store shelves within year.

05/25/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

With the trials of Sholom Rubashkin, the former CEO of the Agriprocessors kosher slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, still looming large over the kosher food industry, the Conservative movement is ready to make its mark on a field that is dominated by Orthodox companies.

After years of discussion and planning, the “Magen Tzedek” — which the Conservative movement calls the world’s first Jewish ethical certification seal — will complete beta testing with two food companies by the end of 2010.

Rabbi Morris Allen heads up the Conservative movement’s Hekhsher Tzedek commission.

Discussions First on Israel Conversion Bill

05/25/2010

It is painful to see the hurt of my non-Orthodox friends as they react to the [Knesset conversion] bill proposed by Member of Knesset David Rotem (“MK, Non-Orthodox Clash On Conversions,” May 7). I have a simple suggestion that may reduce these problems in the future.

Little Solace

05/25/2010

Brandeis newspaper editors Rebecca Blady and Hillel Buechler sensitively and articulately inform us that the majority of Brandeis students who oppose Ambassador Michael Oren as commencement speaker do so on the grounds that he will alienate a segment of the Brandeis community who “believe Israel’s accomplishments are dwarfed by its moral deficiencies” — a polite way of saying they question Israel’s right to exist — but that the students, themselves, do not generally share those views (“Israel Ambassador Wrong For Commencement,” Opinion, May 21

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