In what may be his last official Passover message to Jews, John Cardinal O'Connor, the spiritual leader for millions of New York Catholics, sent out a heartfelt letter to Jewish colleagues saying he is ashamed of the hateful actions of Catholics in the past, and asks that he be remembered by Jews as their friend.
The 78-year-old archbishop, who suggests that he will retire early next year, wrote that at Passover, he is reminded of "the steadfast faith of Jews throughout the generations."
'Hard-core" anti-Semitic attitudes have increased in the United States for the first time in 38 years, according to a new national survey released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.
The rise comes as anti-Semitic attitudes are increasing around the globe, particularly in the Muslim world and Europe, amid continuing violence between Israel and the Palestinians.
With the New York Police Department facing mounting criticism following the brutal attack on Abner Louima and the fatal shooting of Amadou Diallo, a diverse group of city religious leaders came together last year to express their concern to city government officials.
In 1971, Ronald Brown visited Prague for the first time and was disturbed by what he saw at the famous 500-year-old Charles Bridge: a centuries-old crucifixion statue framed by one of Judaism's most sacred prayers. The then-25-year-old rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College was upset by the symbolism of the Hebrew inscription in relation to the cross. The quote was taken from the prophet Isaiah ("Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts") which the angels chant to praise God, according to Jewish tradition.
Black-Jewish tensions escalated this week following the selection of the first Jewish vice presidential candidate of a major party in American history. Even as the Rev. Jesse Jackson voiced strong support for Sen. Joseph Lieberman during a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles Tuesday night, and as Lieberman met with the Congressional Black Caucus to assuage their fears about his stand on affirmative action, attacks on Lieberman came from other corners of the black community.
Prague, Czech Republic — Pavel Dostal could hardly contain his anger. The nattily attired Czech minister of culture sat in his conference room, arms folded and jaw tight, as he explained how he felt betrayed by the Jewish community he was trying to help.
Dostal, bearing a resemblance to Kurt Vonnegut and dressed in gray bow tie, matching silk shirt and jacket, spoke with reserved bitterness last week while relating through a translator how he had become the victim of a worldwide misinformation campaign by the haredi and Orthodox Jewish communities.
When the Synagogue Council of America — the only national rabbinic group representing Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewry — broke up in 1994 after 68 years, observers said it underscored the growing rift between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews.
“Maybe it has outlived its usefulness,” mused member Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld of the Young Israel of Kew Garden Hills at that time.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, meeting at the White House this week with 25 rabbis, appeared to back away from her previous support for a Palestinian state, reportedly saying the issue should be left to Israel and the Palestinians.
But Clinton’s Communications Director Marsha Berry, after consulting with the first lady, told The Jewish Week that Clinton’s “personal position” favoring a Palestinian state remains unchanged.
Over the strong objections of the nation’s major rabbinic organizations, New York Board of Rabbis President Marc Schneier this week launched a new national rabbinic group that includes 30 members from Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism.
The creation of the North American Boards of Rabbis in Washington, D.C., Monday marks the first time an interdenominational rabbinic group has formed since the Synagogue Council of America disbanded under a cloud in 1995, partly for financial reasons and the growing isolationist philosophy of some Orthodox groups.
Although he lives in a borough with a sizeable Muslim population and leads a congregation of Bukharian Jews, a community that hails from a mostly Muslim region of the former Soviet Union, Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov says that, until Sunday, he never visited a mosque.
Moreover, his congregants expressed concern for his safety when they learned he would make the visit, says the rabbi, who leads Kehilat Sephardim of Ahavat Achim, a synagogue in Kew Gardens Hills.