To save or not to save Jews. That is the question suddenly embroiling leading Catholic theologians.
On one side are progressive Catholic scholars who believe that in the 21st century it is no longer theologically acceptable to include Jews in the Church's global mission of conversion. That would mean accepting that Jews have their own legitimate path to salvation.
Rejecting this historic new approach are traditional Catholic leaders who insist that Jews still ultimately need to accept the divinity of Jesus to be saved, and Catholics must continue to proselytize them.
Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin, a Long Island native, has spent nearly three decade as a pulpit rabbi in four states, most recently at the historic The Temple in Atlanta. Now he serves as executive director of Kol Echad, a “transdenominational” adult learning center in Atlanta.
Galveston, Texas — Shabbat services in a synagogue lobby. Volunteers fixing cemetery gravestones. A Jewish federation budget meeting.
Those are the signs of damage, and of recovery, in Southwest Texas three months after Hurricane Ike, the Category 2 storm that ranked as the worst to strike the United States this year and the third worst ever.
What will be the future of Catholic-Jewish dialogue if the international Jewish interfaith coalition known as IJCIC is officially disbanded?
That's the question facing Jewish interfaith leaders this week, following the surprising announcement by the Vatican's top Jewish liaison, Edward Cardinal Cassidy, that he considered the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultation "no longer in existence " as a dialogue partner for the Vatican.
A new congregation started last month in the Philadelphia area, just in time for the High Holy Days. The service featured a menorah, a Torah and references to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not to mention Moses.
It also featured references to Jesus and salvation.
While there have been no shortage of attempts by Christian groups like Jews for Jesus and Hebrew Christians to sponsor religious events blending two clashing theologies in the attempt to attract unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, this congregation, called Avodat Yisrael (Servant of Israel), is unique.
Debby Hirshman, the indefatigable force behind what could be the largest Jewish community center in America (the $85 million JCC in Manhattan) was suddenly let go as its executive director last week, according to JCC officials.
"We asked for her resignation," said Peter Joseph, co-chairman of the JCC's board of directors. Joseph declined to discuss specifics whether the sudden departure was as a result of a particular incident.
Joseph said Hirshman's departure was effective Sept 29.
Determined to stop construction of a "desecrating" sunken walkway through Poland's Belzec concentration camp, activist Rabbi Avi Weiss filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the American Jewish Committee, this time naming himself as a co-plaintiff.
But AJCommittee executive director David Harris labeled the lawsuit "frivolous" and defended the walkway, or "trench," as part of a necessary $4 million permanent memorial to the nearly half-million Jewish victims buried in mass graves at the death camp.
How best to honor the memory of half a million Jews buried in the horrific and long-neglected Belzec death camp in southeastern Poland?
That's the heart of a running dispute pitting several rabbis and Jewish organizations that support the approved design plan against New York activist Rabbi Avi Weiss, who insists the plan desecrates the victims and violates Jewish law.
The dispute echoes the debate in New York City over the memorial for the Sept. 11 World Trade Center victims.