I have enormous respect for what Rabbi Elie Kaunfer and his partners have been accomplishing in engaging Jews — especially those of a younger generation — more substantively in Jewish study and worship. The excerpts from his new book “Empowered Judaism” published in the April 9 edition (“The Real Crisis In American Judaism”) give readers an excellent sense of the enormous good that is being achieved at Mechon Hadar and at independent minyanim throughout the country. I have ample reason to be proud of these things.
Most American Jews on solidarity missions to Israel crisscross the country by bus, shuttling between cities and meetings with government officials. But come spring, there'll be an opportunity for the Israel supporter with more active and ecological leanings: a 314-mile bike trip from Tel Aviv to Eilat.
Cosponsored by the New York-based Hazon and Israel's Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, the ride, scheduled for April 27-May 2, is both a solidarity mission and an effort to raise awareness of Israel's environmental challenges.
With the Jewish Theological Seminary on the verge of an historic break with tradition (the potential ordaining of openly gay and lesbian rabbis and sanctioning of same-sex unions) the school's faculty, administrators and students were bracing this week for the possible fallout.
The rabbinic committee that interprets Jewish law for the Conservative movement (North America's second-largest Jewish denomination) will meet Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss five different religious opinions, some or none of which may be adopted.
Arnold M. Eisen has 15 months before he starts his new job as chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, but even on the day the appointment was announced, he was making significant changes at the Conservative movement’s flagship institution.