"I happen to be in Iraq and am looking for a place to spend Passover," read the e-mail message I received Monday night. That got my attention.
It was from a Jewish woman from Washington, D.C., who said she had arrived in Baghdad two days earlier as a consultant for USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development). She wrote she had come on short notice and had "no time to plan for Passover, aside from bringing a couple of boxes of matzah ball soup mix. No one else who is here is Jewish."
Should a Jewish research center set aside a prayer room adhering to the standards of one Jewish denomination? The question has generated a debate between secularists and religionists over the multimillion-dollar renovations at Manhattan’s Center for Jewish History.