The New York Police Department is planning to put its officers through a new police tolerance training center being launched in Manhattan next year by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, The Jewish Week has learned.
Police Commissioner Howard Safir has held several discussions with Wiesenthal Center founder Rabbi Marvin Hier about using its Tools for Tolerance program to sensitize the nation's largest police force, which has been rocked by a series of tragic incidents involving ethnic minorities.
Can you name the Top 10 religion stories of the past 1,000 years? As the second millennium rushes to a close, the people at "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly," the PBS TV show, decided to compile such a daunting list. The results, selected by staff after consultation with scholars, are a fascinating journey through the world's significant religious developments: many of which have resulted in untold pain and suffering. Jews were profoundly affected by virtually all of these stories.
Presented in chronological order they are:
When two Jewish songwriters teamed up with a former “Shabbos goy” in 1956, it helped change the face of popular music.
The “Shabbos goy” was Elvis Presley (who died 24 years ago last week).
When Elvis covered “Hound Dog,” a rhythm-and-blues song composed by Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber — originally recorded in 1953 by Big Mama Thornton — it propelled the young Presley’s career to new heights.
But perhaps equally as important, it brought Leiber and Stoller to the attention of top music executives.
He was accused of being too political. Others said he was too spiritual. Certainly he melded the ancient wisdom of the prophets with a modern sensibility to become the symbol of Jewish social action in America during the turbulent 1960s.
When Abraham Joshua Heschel barely escaped Nazi Europe in 1940, the 33-year-old scholar began teaching at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. There he found himself disregarded as a chasidic traditionalist out of step with the Reform movement’s modern, non-observant world.
Like the biblical prophets Samuel and Nathan, who admonished their kings for sinning, the spiritual head of the Conservative movement found himself a lone Jewish voice in the nation this week following his daring call for President Clinton to resign.
Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, last week thus became the first national Jewish religious figure to urge Clinton to quit because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He said the president’s moral authority has been “destroyed” and in effect cannot be recovered.
A spate of vandalism against Reform and Conservative Judaism in Israel has non-Orthodox leaders worried about a new, intensified level of physical violence against them by Orthodox opponents.
The concern by both American and Israeli leaders is being expressed following a window-breaking attack last week against the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem — the second attack at HUC in less than a month.
Two weeks ago, vandals torched a Conservative synagogue in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood.
Jordan’s King Hussein, addressing rumors about his sickness, declared himself to be “in good health, thank God,” and pledged to spend the rest of his days trying to transform the warring Middle East into a region of peace and economic cooperation that includes Israel.
It always makes me feel old to start a post with “When I was a kid …”
But when I was a kid it was embarrassing to be seen in public with ripped clothes. Outside of the playground, after an afternoon of rough-housing, wearing torn pants in a social setting or at school would send the message that your family is too poor to even mend the damaged garment, let alone replace it.
During the reign of King Hussein, Jordanian currency would be printed with an empty space next to the image of a prominent site or prominent citizen. Hold the dinar up to a light, and a faint picture of the king would appear.