Undergirding the current standoff between the fervently Orthodox community and the New York City Department of Health over a controversial circumcision practice appears to be a gulf of cultural difference and a fundamental misunderstanding of the disease at issue.
That is one of the conclusions drawn from voluminous correspondence between members of the haredi community and city health officials obtained by The Jewish Week through a Freedom of Information Law request filed in October.
New legislation adding clergy to those professionals who are legally required to report suspected child abuse is being welcomed by a wide range of rabbinic leaders and those who work with victims, but it is being opposed by an influential group in the fervently Orthodox community.
As Catholic Church officials struggle to deal with a flood of lawsuits over the sexual abuse of children by priests, the New York state Senate unanimously passed the measure. The Assembly is preparing a similar bill.
A few hundred Jewish schools are among more than a thousand area nonpublic schools disputing a decision by state authorities to withhold mandated payments because of a disagreement over the formula for allocating funds for a change in attendance taking, The Jewish Week has learned.
From deep in the political wilderness, from the “bluest” fringe of America, Rabbi Michael Lerner this week saw the writing on the wall.
“We have a tough fight in front of us” to influence American politics while being outside of many positions of power, Rabbi Lerner, editor of the San Francisco-based Tikkun magazine, told The Jewish Week.