Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Gay Policy Put To Test

07/26/2002
Staff Writer
The first case testing a decade-old policy permitting Conservative rabbis to serve gay and lesbian congregations has illuminated the movement's many struggles and inconsistencies in connection with homosexuality-related issues. A day before her ordination this spring at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Ayelet Cohen informed the Rabbinical Assembly that she had been offered a job at New York's gay and lesbian synagogue. She had served at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah as a rabbinic intern (placed there by the seminary) for the past two years.

Heavenly Halacha

07/12/2002
Staff Writer
Since a spaceship orbits the earth once every 90 minutes, is an astronaut required to pray three times in each rotation, and observe Shabbat for an hour and a half after every six orbits, or nine hours? Though they sound like details in a work of half-baked Jewish science fiction, they've become real questions as the first Israeli astronaut prepares to lift off on a NASA Space Shuttle mission.

Pressure Seen Mounting Against Kosher Meat Giant

05/28/2008
Staff Writer
Jason Herman, a Manhattan Orthodox rabbi and kosher meat consumer, has stopped buying the beef and poultry sold by AgriProcessors. Now, when he shops at the Upper West Side’s Kosher Marketplace, he takes care to choose only products from its competitors.

The Humanitarian Touch

06/28/2002
Staff Writer
Israeli Eyal Milles has been around Palestinians much of his life: fellow students at Tel Aviv University and co-workers at the two urban weekly newspapers he edits. But, says the 35-year-old self-described pro-peace left-winger, they've never been more than passing acquaintances.

Generosity And The Faithful

06/28/2002
Staff Writer
Though it may come as a surprise to the folks in charge of collecting the Yom Kippur pledges, religious people are the most charitable donors in the country. A new study by Independent Sector and the National Council of Churches shows a direct relationship between being religiously inclined and being a generous philanthropist.

Christian-Backed Aliyah Set For July

06/07/2002
Staff Writer
Steven and Esther Accardi, with their two young children, will soon be leaving their Rockland County home and jobs to join a group of 531 American Jews from across the country who are making aliyah, en masse, next month. That the tab, in part, is being picked up by Evangelical Christians (some of whom want to bring Jews to the Promised Land to hasten the Second Coming of Jesus) apparently doesn't faze them.

Paid Leave For Nevison

05/10/2002
Staff Writer
Temple Emanu-El has granted its cantor, who is awaiting trial on charges that he sexually abused his young nephew, a paid leave of absence, The Jewish Week has learned. A letter sent to members last week from Robert Bernhard, the temple's president, said Cantor Howard Nevison has been on leave since Feb. 20, the day of his arrest, when he was "relieved of all duties." A source connected with the synagogue said it is a paid leave "because this is not punitive."

Talking With 'The Enemy'

05/10/2002
Staff Writer
After listening to news accounts of Palestinian homicide bombers and Israel's military response, Eddy Ehrlich feels ready "to explode." Then Ehrlich, a self-described political centrist, goes to his monthly Jewish-Arab dialogue circle and comes away feeling like a changed man. "Thirty souls have opened up and the humanity flows," Ehrlich says. "I go out so relieved."

Breaking The Taboo

04/24/2002
Staff Writer
On a cold April night two years ago, Alan Dutka stood on the roof of his Teaneck, N.J., apartment building and jumped. The suicide of this bright, devout former Yeshiva University student who for eight years had suffered from schizophrenia belied the belief that religious Jews don't suffer from psychiatric illness, that it is a scourge of "the outside world."

Legal Defense Fund For Nevison

04/19/2002
Staff Writer
Howard Nevison's friends believe he is innocent, and some of them are putting their money where their mouth is. A letter went out last week from a committee of Cantor Nevison's friends who are raising money for his newly established legal defense fund, The Jewish Week has learned. The cantor, who for 24 years has served the Upper East Side's tony Temple Emanu-El, was arrested in February on charges that he sexually molested his young nephew. He is now awaiting trial. Nevison's lawyer has maintained that his client is innocent.
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