It was like theater: A conversation about a new book seemed to turn into a live version of the book. As soon as we began talking, the two co-authors, both rabbis, were conversing as friends, but disagreeing with each other all the way.
Rabbi Jan Uhrbach is at morning and evening services every day at the East 55th Street Conservative Synagogue. That she’s the first and only woman rabbi to lead a Manhattan shul with a daily minyan is one of her many distinctive steps in a distinguished and unusual rabbinic path.
The 44-year-old rabbi, who was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2003, joined the 150-member, 101-year-old synagogue this fall, after their leader of 40 years, Rabbi Reuven Siegel, retired.
Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
James Besser in Washington
Remember the recent controversy over proselytizing at the U.S. Air Force Academy? And charges by some groups that the service branch has become a very uncomfortable place for religious minorities, including Jews?
That could change with Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ appointment last week of a new Air Force chief.
His pick: Lt. General Norton Schwartz, a 1973 Air Force Academy graduate, onetime cargo aircraft pilot and official Member of the Tribe.
Two months after apparently squelching an insurrection, the leadership of the World Jewish Congress is facing renewed calls in its ranks for an independent audit and increased accountability.
Isi Leibler, a senior vice president of the organization whose public appeals for improved governance and transparency regarding WJC financial dealings prompted his dismissal in September, has refused to step down, and he seems to have found allies among the leadership of the Swiss branch of the WJC.
On Day 10 of the Israeli mission in Haiti, Danny Biran paused during a phone conversation as a helicopter hovered above him.
“He’s looking for a place to land,” said Biran, an official of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs who has been in Haiti since 36 hours after the Jan. 12 earthquake.
The Orthodox world is one letter — the letter “i” — away from calling a woman rabbi.
Sara Hurwitz, who has for almost a year filled rabbinic roles at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale alongside the Orthodox shul’s longtime rabbi, Avi Weiss, recently took on the new title “rabba” (pronounced ra-BAH).
Yesterday the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) urged candidates in both parties to sign a "pledge to condemn and repudiate abusive Holocaust comparisons and anti-Semitic rhetoric carried out by anyone claiming to support my candidacy or attending my campaign events.”
The election is over, and President-elect Obama has won his race in a landslide. Clearly, American voters, across all lines, were sending a message that the last eight years were essentially a train wreck, and that they saw in Senator Obama the promise of a better future for themselves and for our country. On the former, I think they’re right. On the latter, I hope they’re right; I hope I was right- I hope we’re right- because I voted for him as well.
* (JTA) — Jewish groups praised President Obama for reversing a Bush administration order banning U.S. assistance to overseas groups that provide abortions or information about other providers.
“The repeal of the Global Gag Rule represents a major victory for international family planning programs and renews America’s position as a leader in the global community,” Mark Pelavin, the associate director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center, said Friday.
In a city where so many cultures seek spiritual reawakening, scientists in Jerusalem are harvesting their own type of rebirth, as they develop more ways to save lives through the use of undifferentiated stem cells.
The laboratories of Israeli universities boast some of the newest advancements in molecular biology, and two potentially life-changing stem cell projects are unfolding at Hebrew University – Hadassah Medical School.