The aftermath of the Sago mine explosion captured my attention and rent my heart, the same as for millions of other Americans. It also drew me in as a journalist concerned with the history and future of social justice in this country.
The stories of the 12 miners killed in the disaster and those of their families are riveting enough, highlighting the human drama and consequences behind such a tragedy. But also riveting are the facts regarding the mine's many health and safety violations and how federal officials seemed to be missing in action.
A new congregation started last month in the Philadelphia area, just in time for the High Holy Days. The service featured a menorah, a Torah and references to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not to mention Moses.
It also featured references to Jesus and salvation.
While there have been no shortage of attempts by Christian groups like Jews for Jesus and Hebrew Christians to sponsor religious events blending two clashing theologies in the attempt to attract unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, this congregation, called Avodat Yisrael (Servant of Israel), is unique.
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
Since I’m on the subject of Islam bashing: I was struck by new reports describing the ACLU’s legal defense of Christian students at a Florida high school who think it’s cool to wear T-shirts with the slogan ‘Islam is of the devil.” (See a Florida ACLU release on the controversy here)
In its battle against members of the anti-gay and anti-Jewish Westboro Baptist Church, who were demonstrating this week on the heavily Jewish University of Pennsylvania campus, the school’s Hillel appealed for a little muscle.
Thursday, May 7th, 2009
Washington area Jewish institutions are about to be visited by the wandering group of religious activists who believe they are winning friends and supporters by picketing the funerals of dead U.S. servicemen and women with their message that America is damned because of its tolerance of homosexuality.
The response by the Jewish institutions? To deny the demonstrators what they want most: publicity.