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.”
Reform-Conservative merger in Miami provides glimpse of the future
of non-Orthodox Judaism.
Miami — The banner in front of the synagogue here says it all: “One Synagogue — Two Traditions, Embracing Reform and Conservative Judaism.”
It has been nearly a year since this Reform congregation of about 325 families, Temple Bet Breira, merged with a neighboring Conservative synagogue of 250 families, Congregation Samu-El Or Olom. The union is still being tweaked, and while officials at both congregations are proclaiming it a success thus far, questions linger about the long-term viability of such an arrangement.
Bonnie Panzok is just trying to catch up with her children.
When Panzok sent her kids to Jewish day school to get the education she never got, she watched as their knowledge grew exponentially and surpassed her own. But now, Panzok, after a crash course in Jewish history and rituals, has soared ahead, filling in the gaps in her own Jewish learning.
Still basking in the warmth from my weekend in Kentucky.
The weather was perfect, with blossoms at their peak of loveliness and wildflowers everywhere. And the folks at Keneseth Israel outdid themselves with their Southern hospitality — lavishing attention upon me, putting me up in a luxurious bed and breakfast, serving a home-cooked Shabbat dinner and Kiddush lunch, taking me out on Saturday night and giving me a full tour of Louisville on Sunday. One congregant even bought me a lottery ticket (I’ll find out if I win on Wednesday)!
Alan Lew was getting ready to sew his raksu, the garment worn by Buddhists for lay ordination, but he kept procrastinating. Instead, he wrote poetry and a monologue in the voice of his Bubbe Ida. With every stitch, he was supposed to say “I take refuge in the Buddha,” and he soon realized why he couldn’t sew at all: He felt he was betraying his Jewish soul.
Are relations among the leaders of Judaism’s branches as bad as they’ve been portrayed?
A recent, well-publicized report on hundreds of examples of rabbinic cooperation nationwide emphasized that the situation may be improving. But even some of the rabbis involved in cooperative efforts questioned the report’s positive spin.
Thursday, May 28th, 2009
(Here’s another look back at the aftermath of the previous attack by Islamic radicals in Riverdale)
May 20, 2003
A Fire Next Time
The sentencing of an Arab who tried to bomb a Riverdale synagogue brings fears to surface.
Jonathan Mark - Associate Editor
Khaled J., leaning against a wall in the gloomy light of the Bronx County Courthouse, says he has nothing against Jews.
Young Jewish singles and families are flocking to Astoria, Long Island City and Jackson Heights — but can the existing synagogues draw them in?
When Cara Bernstein walked down the aisle a month ago to meet her fiancé under the chupah, she knew her wedding day was a crossroads not only in her life, but in the life of her Queens synagogue, which had not hosted a bride and groom for 22 years.
Nearly the entire congregation at Astoria Center of Israel celebrated her marriage that day, whether or not they knew the couple personally.
“A fellow congregant told me that I’m part of a new wave of congregants,” said Bernstein, who is 38.