With the city Board of Education undergoing its largest changes in more than 30 years and major state budget cuts anticipated, Rabbi Leib Kelman is hoping the girls at his 1,200-student Prospect Park Yeshiva don't lose out on the special needs services, textbooks, remedial support and other aid funneled to the school through the local district.
New York's vast school bureaucracy, which for three-plus decades was administered largely from 32 decentralized districts, is in the midst of a major restructuring, with the mayor and chancellor gaining power.
As the "Sensation" storm raged last month, the fact that a Catholic mayor was accusing the Brooklyn Museum's Jewish director of promoting Catholic bashing was noted but not highlighted.
Now with the controversy being decided in Manhattan Federal Court, Jewish involvement in the affair is being scrutinized further, even as it becomes clearer that the city's Jewish community has split along political lines.
Charges by a mysterious CIA official that Israel recruits religious American Jews to spy on the United States has sparked outrage from several Jewish leaders and a call for a public CIA response.
The allegations were aired Sunday night on the CBS news show “60 Minutes” focusing on the case of Adam Ciralsky, a former CIA attorney who claims he was fired because of his ethnicity.
Like the biblical prophets Samuel and Nathan, who admonished their kings for sinning, the spiritual head of the Conservative movement found himself a lone Jewish voice in the nation this week following his daring call for President Clinton to resign.
Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, last week thus became the first national Jewish religious figure to urge Clinton to quit because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He said the president’s moral authority has been “destroyed” and in effect cannot be recovered.
The recent rash of cases in which rabbis have allegedly molested young children going back decades has moved one group that usually bristles at government involvement in Orthodox schools to envision shifting its stance.
Anne Lown, a Jewish woman from Boston, had worked nearly 25 years for the Salvation Army's children's services arm in New York when she was thrust into the world of faith-based initiatives.
Lown, associate director of the local Salvation Army's government-funded Social Services for Children, was one of 18 employees to leave or be dismissed in 2003-04 for allegedly refusing to sign forms swearing loyalty to the group's Christian principles.
Orthodox rabbis are pledging to take action in confronting the reality of sexual abuse in their midst.
The nation's main association of centrist Orthodox clergy, the 1,200-member Rabbinical Council of America, has passed a strongly worded resolution committing the organization and its members to report acts or suspicions of child abuse to the police: a watershed break with longstanding practice in the Torah-observant community of protecting errant rabbis rather than reporting them to civil authorities.
Opposition is building to a city Health Department campaign to warn new Jewish parents against a circumcision procedure it describes as life threatening: even before the plan is launched.
In a full-page ad in last week's Brooklyn Orthodox paper, The Jewish Press, a new group calling itself Friends of Bris Milah (ritual circumcision) urged parents to call a 24-hour hot line "to report any conversation initiated by doctors, hospitals and other professional caregivers" regarding the procedure known as metzitzah b'peh.