In recent weeks we have commented on the longstanding debate over whether there is too much redundancy and duplication in the Jewish communal world — comments that have touched a raw nerve, judging by the e-mails we’ve received and the blogs we’ve read.
So it’s nice to report on a Jewish organization that has had more than its share of woes in recent years but is now experiencing a kind of rejuvenation, thanks to a membership energized by the national debate over health care reform.
Jewish community here, in outpouring
of care, pitches in after quake.
At a Jewish Y on Long Island, Jewish employees take up a collection for the families in Haiti of two maintenance men. In Brooklyn, members of the haredi Orthodox community hold a historic meeting with representatives of the borough’s Haitian-Americans. In southern Florida, a former New Yorker travels to Haiti on short notice to help the relatives of his Haitian-born employees.
At New Jersey conference — the first collaboration by all the movements —
educators seek ways to lower costs, engage families.
Teaneck, N.J. — A little-known foundation based in the Philadelphia suburbs is piloting an adult Jewish education program for parents of local day school students, one that aims to increase parental buy-in for the day school system while also easing some of the tuition burden.
The Kohelet Fellowship is providing a tuition credit of $1,000 for individual parents and $1,500 for couples at four Jewish day schools in the Delaware Valley in return for participation in 16 weekly phone sessions with a Partners-in-Torah mentor over the course of the school year.
Orthodox marriages are happier than others, but are nonetheless plagued with stressors, study reports.
Orthodox marriages may be happier than their secular counterparts. But religious unions are rocky enough to concern a team of researchers and rabbis who presented the results of their recent study on marital satisfaction at the Orthodox Union here last week.
“Traditional family values and religious values tend to overlap,” said Eliezer Schnall, an assistant professor of psychology at Yeshiva University, who was responsible for analyzing the data. “But there are also those in this community who are not as happy with their marriages.”
Though so many people go away for Pesach these days, we congregational rabbis tend to stay at home, for the most obvious reason. Leaving for a holiday is not really in the job description of a pulpit rabbi, unless you have lots of clergy on staff to cover you. So, with more that a little wistfulness, my wife and I watched a few weeks ago as many of our friends left for here and there- little cleaning, no shopping!!!- and we went about welcoming our children home and hosting both seders, as we have for many years, each for somewhere near twenty-five people.
There are few more banal ways to open any kind of blog, article or sermon about Israel than to say “These past few days have been extraordinarily difficult ones for Israel.” But- that having been said- these past few days have indeed been extraordinarily difficult ones for Israel.
We Jews are famously accused of seeing everything that happens through a single lens: how it impacts us. Sometimes it comes out as “Is it good or bad for Israel,” other times it’s more parochially about the ramifications of any given policy or event for our own communities. But we watch out for ourselves, and tend to be keenly on top of things as they affect us.
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Another poll, another bit of evidence Jews remain more liberal and more Democratic than any other religious group.
This time it’s from Gallup, which came up with the less-than-startling conclusion that 43 percent of Jews consider themselves “liberal,” with only 20 percent identifying as “conservative.”
National organizations press their cases for relevancy anew.
Editor and Publisher
A report has been commissioned by the national policy-making body on Jewish community relations to study the relationship between and among the top national defense agencies — including the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress and Anti-Defamation League — specifically dealing with longstanding complaints about their “duplication, excessive competition, lack of coordination and actual conflict.”
But before you breathe a sigh of relief and think to yourself, “it’s about time,” let me point out that the report in question was commissioned in January 1950, exactly 60 years ago this week.