Once at odds, the two groups now seen reinforcing each other.
Special To The Jewish Week
His students have left, and Steven Exler is taking a moment to reflect. He’s just finished his session, presented to representatives of independent prayer minyanim, on how to comfort mourners. It’s a pastoral role that Exler, associate rabbi at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, has performed countless times.
Now, he wonders what’s next.
“There’s sort of a moment of fear,” said Exler, 29. “Am I teaching people to make myself obsolete? I struggle with that question.”
During a recent lesson about biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, fourth-graders at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue Hebrew school watched as role-playing talk show host, “Shecky Bevakasha,” mediated a dispute between Jacob’s two wives, sisters Leah and Rachel. While some students watched the Jerry Springer-like feud play out before them, others observed equally sensational Torah stories, starring Judaism’s forefathers and mothers.
Washington Post article questions the legitimacy
of a prominent rabbi who claims he’s rescued
Two years ago, philanthropist David Rubenstein offered to buy a Torah scroll for Manhattan’s Central Synagogue. The story of the scroll was as impressive as the object itself: Rabbi Menachem Youlus, a Maryland Torah scribe and Jewish bookstore owner, said he had discovered the sefer Torah in a cemetery in Oswiecim, the Polish town the occupying Germans called Auschwitz.
The scroll was dedicated in a gala ceremony at Central Synagogue on Yom HaShoah 2008. On Rosh HaShanah that year, Rabbi Peter Rubinstein repeated the Torah’s story of survival.
Ilana Segal loves stories and the process of uncovering them, which is why she worked as a curator for many years, examining and unearthing the tales behind objects for New York’s Central Synagogue, the library at the Jewish Theological Seminary and North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Chicago.
“I love pulling out the stories of lives, people and places,” she said. “I’m driven by the rich stories that lay hidden in objects, and doing the right research to expand those stories.”
Orlando, Fla. — In a continued effort to spiritually reinvigorate its 1.5 million adherents and bring young people back into the pews, the Reform movement plans to revolutionize its prayer services, stressing more Hebrew and new American-style music.
Members of fire-ravaged Central Synagogue on Manhattan’s East Side expressed heartfelt appreciation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his brief visit to show support for the congregation devastated by an Aug. 28 blaze.
The visit last Sunday marked Netanyahu’s first official trip to a Reform synagogue since he took office two years ago. Reform movement leaders said it signified progress in their attempt to gain greater recognition in Israel.
In the lobby of the Coffey Community Center on Manhattan’s East Side, Judy Klemperer gingerly picked up a black prayerbook from a large pile lying in a laundry bin and wiped off the ashes.
“It’s all wet and warped,” she said, shaking her head sadly. “It won’t be used again.”
She then placed it into a large plastic garbage bag. Someone wrote down the dedication on the inside cover for future reference.
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
(Here’s a press release for the great Debbie Friedman and an honorable cause. — JM)
“DEBBIE & FRIENDS:” CONCERT TO BENEFIT HUC-JIR AND ITS SCHOOL OF SACRED MUSIC
- Launching of National Cantorial Scholarship Initiative
'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." And a Jewish scholar, a Christian scholar and an Islamic scholar recently explained what those words (and some others in the Bible) mean.
The representatives of the three monotheistic faiths offered their insights into the opening of Genesis, the description of the world's creation, at a biblical study session at Central Synagogue in Manhattan.
Rabbi David Seligson, former spiritual leader of Central Synagogue in Manhattan and a leading figure in the Reform rabbinate, died this week in Manhattan. He was 92 and lived the last two years at the Jewish Home and Hospital in Manhattan.
Rabbi Seligson served at Central Synagogue for 25 years, becoming rabbi emeritus upon his retirement in 1972. After serving as an Army chaplain during World War II, he joined Central Synagogue in 1945. He became senior rabbi in 1950.