Supreme Court

Observance At Heart Of Custody Battle

03/05/1999
Staff Writer
Jews hunting for Easter eggs on Passover? "Sacrilege," according to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten. That's what the judge said last week during the contentious custody battle between billionaire Ronald Perelman and his ex-wife, Patricia Duff, over their 4-year-old daughter, Caleigh. Attorneys for Perelman, a self-described Orthodox adherent, charge that Duff staged an Easter egg hunt and baked cookies during Passover last year while the child spent the Jewish holiday with her.

Young Israel OKs Sale Again

09/26/2003
Staff Writer
The board of directors of the National Council of Young Israel has voted again to sell its longtime Manhattan headquarters to a condo developer for $5.4 million. The approval comes days after a state Supreme Court justice nullified a previous board vote by one of the nation's largest Orthodox membership groups for not being conducted properly. Tuesday night's vote was 18-1 with one abstention, according to NCYI attorney Ken Fisher. It took place at an hourlong closed meeting at Abigael's restaurant in Manhattan.

Young Israel KO'd On Building Sale

09/12/2003
Staff Writer
Bad math equals no sale. That's what an acting state Supreme Court justice ruled Monday when she rejected the National Council of Young Israel's request to sell its six-story headquarters in Manhattan's Flatiron District building to a condominium developer for $5.4 million. Debra James said NCYI did not properly count the votes from its board of directors meeting when NCYI officers approved the sale at a Nov. 14, 2002 board meeting.

Rabbi Files New Suit To Halt Belzec Project

07/25/2003
Staff Writer
Determined to stop construction of a "desecrating" sunken walkway through Poland's Belzec concentration camp, activist Rabbi Avi Weiss filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the American Jewish Committee, this time naming himself as a co-plaintiff. But AJCommittee executive director David Harris labeled the lawsuit "frivolous" and defended the walkway, or "trench," as part of a necessary $4 million permanent memorial to the nearly half-million Jewish victims buried in mass graves at the death camp.

Shul Demolition May Go Through

01/24/2003
Staff Writer
A 150-year-old Brooklyn Orthodox synagogue, Congregation Tifereth Israel, could be demolished as early as next week in the midst of a nasty legal dispute between two factions over the sale of their spiritual home in Williamsburg. "The intention is to demolish it," said attorney Franklyn Snitow, who is representing a group of shul officers who sold the one-story building on Bedford Avenue to a neighborhood congregation, Adas Yereim, for $850,000 in 2000.

Israeli Court OKs Conversions By Non-Orthodox

02/22/2002
Staff Writer
In a historic decision that will likely widen the secular-religious gulf in the Jewish state, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that people converted in Israel by non-Orthodox rabbis must be officially recognized as Jews by the Israeli government. The court did not address the question of whether Reform or Conservative conversions were valid according to Jewish religious law. In practical terms the ruling leaves the Orthodox rabbinate in charge of lifecycle events such as weddings and funerals.

Pluralism Wars Rekindle

01/01/1999
Staff Writer
Reform and Conservative leaders are threatening to hit Israeli politicians where it hurts — in the pocketbook — for supporting a new two-pronged legislative attack aimed at blocking non-Orthodox efforts to gain equality in Israel. In this sudden escalation of Israel’s religious pluralism war, non-Orthodox leaders this week angrily denounced the Israeli Orthodox coalition’s aggressive political maneuvers to try and prevent Reform and Conservative representatives from taking their seats on local religious councils.

Shul Keeps Its Spirit

11/01/2002
Staff Writer
Stanton Street Synagogue lives. A small band of worshipers last week secured the right to keep their Lower East Side shul months after their elderly rabbi tried to secretly sell the building to a Jesuit priest. “I think it’s a victory for the Jewish people,” declared congregant Iris Blutreich, who helped lead the bitter two-year battle to save the 90-year-old synagogue. “If we don’t have synagogues, how can we have peoplehood?”

Brandeis Donors Exact Revenge For Carter Visit

02/16/2007

Editor At Large
Major donors to Brandeis University have informed the school they will no longer give it money in retaliation for its decision last month to host former President Jimmy Carter, a strong critic of Israel. The donors have notified the school in writing of their decisions — and specified Carter as the reason, said Stuart Eizenstat, a former aide to Carter during his presidency and a current trustee of Brandeis, one of the nation’s premier Jewish institutions of higher learning.
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