Staff Writer

Accused Rabbi Rapist Was JTS Student At Time Of Incident

Arrested in parking lot of Arizona synagogue

03/25/2010
Staff Writer

An Arizona rabbi is being extradited back to New York on charges of raping a 7-year-old girl while he was a rabbinical student at the Conservative movement's Jewish Theological Seminary in 2000.

Authorities said the rabbi, Bryan Bramly, 45, is accused of raping the child while she slept over his family's home here. The girl, now 17, did not report the attack until last August.

UJA-Fed. Leaders: Connect To Care Will Continue

Jerry Levin, Alisa Doctoroff to take top lay spots in July; recession initiative supported.

03/24/2010
Staff Writer

The incoming top two lay leaders of UJA-Federation will start their tenure during an ongoing recession and high unemployment. But a major program that was created to help the Jewish community deal with the downturn in the economy will continue, says incoming president Jerry Levin.
 
Connect to Care, which was launched by the philanthropy last year with a one-year budget of $6.8 million from UJA-Federation reserves, will receive funding beyond this month, says Levin, who will become president on July 1.
 

Jerry Levin and Alisa Doctoroff, from disparate Jewish backgrounds, will join to lead UJA-Federation for the next three years.

Beyond The Rabba-Rousing

Lost in the furor over Sara Hurwitz’s title is the broader issue of women’s roles within Modern Orthodoxy.

03/24/2010
Staff Writer

 Dina Najman, rosh kehila (head of the congregation) at Kehilat Orach Eliezer on the Upper West Side, spends a majority of her day answering halachic questions, teaching classes expounding upon Jewish texts and counseling couples and individuals who are having personal difficulties. Her male rabbinic colleagues often consult with her on questions of bioethics, her area of expertise.

The bulk of the work that she does, she says, is not gender specific — and shouldn’t be viewed that way.

Rabba Sara Hurwitz: Fallout seen masking deeper concerns. jta

Let My People ... Tweet

Welcome to the Tweder. Can Twitter and the Passover seder coexist?

03/24/2010
Staff Writer

 Last Passover, Dan Berkal spent the first seder dining with family and friends at the James Hotel in Chicago — chanting the prayers and songs of the Haggadah, sipping the four requisite glasses of wine ... and updating his Twitter status.

“Suddenly four children enter the room,” he tweeted at 4:53 p.m. “Nobody seems to like the wise child,” he added a minute later, followed by the 4:55 p.m. announcement: “We tell the wise son, ‘No dessert for you!’”

Screenshot from last year’s Tweder, featuring a matzah background on Dan Berkal’s Twitter page.

Gauging The Fallout From British Expulsion

Action against Israeli diplomat could pave way for possible arrests of IDF officers in England.

03/24/2010
Staff Writer

Britain’s expulsion of an Israeli diplomat over the use of a dozen forged British passports in the killing of a Hamas terrorist in January means Israeli army officers could be arrested if they visit Britain, according to a specialist on the United Kingdom and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

When Personal Politics Distorts Jewish History

03/23/2010
Staff Writer

When the Israeli historian Shlomo Sand released his book “The Invention of the Jewish People” in America a few months ago, journalists here wondered if it would attract the same attention it did abroad. It was a bestseller in Israel upon its initial release in 2008, and later won the French journalists’ highest honor, the Aujourd’hui Award. So far, however, the book has made little impact here.

Taking Humor Seriously

Staff Writer
03/18/2010

 

Ruth Wisse has taught a course on Jewish humor at Harvard for years, but you might not know it given her most recent work. “Jews and Power,” published by Nextbook/Schocken in 2007, was a very serious book.

It argued that throughout history Jews have often blamed themselves for problems not of their own making. Since the destruction of the Second Temple, in 70 C.E., Wisse detected a pattern in Jewish history in which Jews aligned themselves with ideas that ran counter to their own interests in the hope that it might save them.

Ruth Wisse

Mineola Mezuzah

Over two decades, Chabad’s Rabbi Anchelle Perl has gradually rebuilt the Jewish presence in the county seat.

03/18/2010
Staff Writer

 

 
Mineola is the home of Nassau County’s government and its major court complex, but it would be a real stretch to suggest it has a thriving Jewish community. Anchelle Perl, a Chabad rabbi now in his 20th year in the community, has been trying to change that one step at a time.
 

Rabbi Anchelle Perl: His Lubavitch synagogue has spread Yiddishkeit in Mineola.

The Glass Pulpit

08/06/2004
Staff Writer

Female rabbis in the Conservative movement face obstacles to career advancement not unlike those encountered by women in other historically male-dominated professions.

A new report shows that women rabbis earn $77,000 annually on average, while men make about 50 percent more, earning an average of $119,000 per year.
The study also found that women tend to lead smaller and less populous congregations, and hold fewer influential non-pulpit positions than do their male counterparts.

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