Steve Lipman

Reconsidered Mass Welcomed

07/27/2007
Staff Writer
Jewish groups in the United States and Italy have welcomed the suggestion by a high Vatican official that a proposal to restore a Catholic prayer that is offensive to the Jewish community may be withdrawn. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said last week that a prayer in the recently revived Latin Mass for the conversion of Jews could be eliminated from the church’s liturgy. That would “solve all the problems,” Cardinal Bertone said, following a groundswell of Jewish criticism that questioned the efficacy of decades of Jewish-Catholic dialogue.

France Remembers Deportation

07/27/2007
Staff Writer
Sixty-five years ago, France tried to show its loyalty to the Nazis. Last week, France showed its loyalty to history.On the anniversary of the July 1942 deportation of some 13,000 Jews by Vichy police from a bicycle stadium that served as a transit camp, French officials took part in a series of memorial events.

Humanistic Judaism Founder Killed In Crash

07/27/2007
Staff Writer
Rabbi Sherwin Wine, the founder of Humanistic Judaism who was known as “The rabbi who doesn’t believe in God,” died last week in a car accident in Morocco. Rabbi Wine was killed when the taxi in which he was riding in the Moroccan town of Essaouira, during a vacation, was struck by another car. He was 79. His partner, Richard McMains, was seriously injured in the accident.

Borough Park Abduction Alert

07/20/2007
Staff Writer
The largely Orthodox community of Borough Park was on high alert this week, and patrols by the 66th Precinct and the Shomrim civilian group in the Brooklyn neighborhood were increased, after a 4-year-old girl was abducted from a Borough Park street and sexually molested on Monday evening. The Boro Park Shomrim, whose 150 volunteers patrol the area in cars and by foot around the clock, stepped up their activities this week, and sent out security alerts to residents, said Rabbi Jacob Daskal, coordinator.

Alternative Beit Din Gaining Some Traction

07/20/2007
Staff Writer
Jerusalem — Rabbi Yosef Carmel, an Israeli Army veteran and founder of an advanced training center for Israeli rabbis, received an unexpected call from overseas the other day. The call was from an Israeli, a secular businessman whose real estate dealings in Romania with a religious Romanian Jew had become strained. A lawsuit, with 400,000 euros at risk (more than $500,000), was pending. Don’t go to a civil court in Romania, a Bucharest rabbi advised the Israeli — call Rabbi Carmel.

When In New York...

07/20/2007
Staff Writer
Shortly after he moved here in 2001, Rome-born journalist Maurizio Molinari went shopping in a Manhattan supermarket where he found a wide variety of certified-kosher items. “It was not a Jewish store,” he notes. Before Sukkot he noticed lulav-and-etrog sets being sold by vendors along West 72nd Street. No one seemed surprised, he says. “For the non-Jews, it was normal.” One day he went to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. A “huge Judaica section” stood out. Most of the shoppers in the store, as he recalls, weren’t Jewish.

Rabbi Abraham Klausner, Holocaust-Era Chaplain, Dies 92

07/06/2007
Staff Writer
Rabbi Abraham Klausner, an American rabbi who as a chaplain in the U.S. Army served as an advocate for the needs of Jewish Holocaust survivors, died June 28 in his Sante Fe, N.M., home of complications of Parkinson’s Disease. He was 92. For 25 years he had served as spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-El in Yonkers, N.Y., retiring in 1989. The first American Jewish chaplain to arrive at Dachau after its liberation in 1945, he coordinated efforts on behalf of survivors in the American zone of Germany who remained in displaced-persons camps for years after the war.

Shavuot, Samaritan-Style

06/22/2007
Staff Writer
Five weeks after the Jewish world celebrated the Festival of Weeks, the Samaritans celebrated theirs. On Sunday, Shavuot on the lunar calendar of the Samaritans — descendants of Jewish tribes exiled from the Holy Land nearly three millennia ago — several scores of members of the extant group made their annual pilgrimage to Mount Gerizim, their holy mountain near Nablus in the West Bank.  

HUC Closes New York Kollel

06/29/2007
Staff Writer
The New York Kollel, a 12-year-old adult education program that has met at the Reform movement’s rabbinical seminary in Manhattan and offered advanced yeshiva-style studies from a non-denominational, non-Orthodox perspective, is giving its last classes this summer. Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, which has housed and helped support the Kollel since 1995, announced this spring that it would close the program, following a two and a half year “strategic planning process” that found the Kollel to be a financial drain.

Gentrification Eats Up Kosher Bakery

06/22/2007
Staff Writer
A cup of coffee and a Danish. For the last 20 years, lunchtime for Rabbi T. has meant a two-and-a-half block walk from one Lower East Side institution, Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem, the yeshiva where he teaches Talmud, to Gertel’s, a kosher bakery where he buys a snack and sits at a small table, reviewing a Hebrew text. (Many members of the haredi community are publicity-shy.) Starting Monday, Rabbi T. will have to get his lunch somewhere else.
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