In a surprise move, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, the Brooklyn yeshiva teacher charged with having sexually molested his students, pleaded guilty Monday to two lesser counts of child endangerment and was sentenced to three years’ probation.
Under the plea agreement, Rabbi Kolko, 62, made no admission of sexual wrongdoing. He will not have to register as a sex offender, and pleaded guilty only to a misdemeanor — not a felony.
How do you preserve a culture and yet move forward in a changing world? That dilemma is at the heart of the Jewish experience, so it comes as no great shock that almost all the films in this year’s New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival center on that theme. The documentaries in this year’s event are particularly sensitive to the nuances of evolving cultures and the results are frequently as dramatic and poignant as you will find in any fiction feature this year.
Thirty years after the Revolution, a new generation here is breaking free of their parents’ insularity but holding onto their Persian heritage.
Arranged meticulously across a wooden dining table was a Shabbat meal that could have served 30 — fluffy gondhi, “Persian
Meatballs,” still steaming from their broth, Middle Eastern salads and ghormeh sabzi, a green vegetable stew. A Shabbat candle hovered between a spread of tahdig, a crispy rice dish, and shirini polo, a sweet rice blended with almond slivers, orange peels and pistachios.
It’s been so long since I celebrated the High Holidays as a layperson that I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like. Truth to tell, I miss the chance to have those precious days be cathartic for me personally, as opposed to being focused on making them cathartic for others. The pressure on rabbis and cantors to “be at their best” during this season is enormous, for all the obvious reasons. As my nephew would say, “it is what it is.”
In lieu of a regular posting this week, I am sharing with you the message that I delivered in my own congregation in Forest Hills on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.
I do so because it speaks to a subject that I think needs to be on our communal agenda, and about which I feel passionately: how and about what we in the Jewish community disagree, and its implications for our relationship with the world as a whole, and particularly with Israel.
Conservative shul hopes new center will be spur to membership.
Special To The Jewish Week
After sending her two daughters to nursery school in portable classrooms at Temple Beth Sholom, Rachel Schor was thrilled that her 2-year-old son Noah would be among the first preschoolers to start the school year in a new, state-of-the-art, eco-friendly building.
Personal experiences draw big crowd to school’s campus, even as rabbis reaffirm ‘abomination’ of homosexual acts.
A standing-room-only public forum last week at Yeshiva University could take the discussion about gay Jews in the Orthodox community from a single meeting hall to the entire movement, focusing on the balance between empathy for individuals and the halachic ban on homosexual activity.
An estimated 600 to 800 people last week attended “Being Gay in the Modern Orthodox World,” a panel discussion on the university’s Washington Heights campus sponsored by YU’s year-old Tolerance Club and its Wurzweiler School of Social Work.