New Jersey

Gays Rituals Going Mainstream

Staff Writer
Sarah and Michelle aren't getting married this summer; they're having a commitment ceremony. They are specifically not calling it a wedding and there will be no ketubah, marriage contract. Instead, they will participate in a Talmudic ritual that establishes business partnerships and outline their mutual responsibilities and commitment in a shtar, a Jewish legal document.

Rabbis' Addictions Coming To Light

Staff Writer
In a Trenton, N.J., courtroom last week, Rabbi Juda Mintz, a charismatic Orthodox champion of Jewish pluralism, stood before a federal judge, his fate in the balance. He faced Federal District Court Judge Mary Cooper, charged with downloading child pornography onto his synagogue computer. The rabbi and his followers hoped the judge would allow him to serve his time at the Los Angeles residential Jewish addiction center he moved to a year ago.

New Language For Abortion Debate

Special To The Jewish Week
Jan. 22 marks the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal. Even as political battles over legal abortion again heat up, for most people the topic is difficult to discuss. The language we use amplifies the discomfort. In periodicals I read, from Ms. magazine to the Evangelical Today's Christian Woman, the vocabulary around abortion seems mired in the '70s.

A Haredi Town Confronts Abuse From The Inside

Passaic, N.J., is waging a lonely fight against molestation in the Orthodox community. Will its example spread?

Staff Writer

On the night before Yom Kippur in September, Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman stood before his Orthodox congregation, in a room crowded with men wearing black hats and women wearing sheitels, and moderated a panel discussion among five Orthodox Jews who said they had been the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of other Orthodox Jews. The rabbi regularly uses his pulpit to preach against the evils of sexual molestation.

Rabbis And Scandal: Are We Losing Faith?

Staff Writer
The unsettling reports of rabbis committing crimes against both secular and Jewish law, and against common-sense morality, seem these days to come unrelentingly. Reform Rabbi Fred Neulander from Cherry Hill, N.J., sits in prison awaiting trial for arranging his wife's murder, which happened at the same time he was having an affair. Orthodox Rabbi Baruch Lanner was accused recently in these pages of physically and sexually abusing the young people in his charge in his nearly three decades with the Orthodox Union's National Conference of Synagogue Youth.

Taxing Situation For Teaneck Yeshiva

Associate Editor

To walk through certain Teaneck neighborhoods on Shabbat is to think that everyone is Orthodox. Nary a car disturbs the serenity of curving, tree-lined streets and private homes. Synagogues are standing-room only.

Kaddafi Won’t Pitch Tent In Englewood

Staff Writer
Public protests and behind-the-scenes diplomacy have kept Libyan leader Moammar Kaddafi out of New Jersey. Following weeks of opposition to Kaddafi’s plan to stay in a Bedouin tent on the grounds of an Englewood estate during his appearance at the UN General Assembly in September, Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ) said last week that he was assured by a Libyan “representative” that Kaddafi will stay in a Manhattan hotel instead.

Boteach To Kaddafi: ‘Not In My Backyard’

Staff Writer
When Libyan leader Moammar Kaddafi decided to set up camp, literally, in Englewood, N.J., during his upcoming visit to the U.S. for the United Nations General Assembly next month, he likely did not realize that his next-door neighbor would be one of this country’s best-known and most outspoken rabbis, with a gift for media attention.

NEW: Jet Fans' Dilemma: Pigskin or Shul

Staff Writer
The New York Jets home season will start off poorly this year for some Jewish fans. And at least one of them insists that the Jets knew about a scheduling conflict with the Jewish calendar and did not take action until now.

Zooming In On Righteous Muslims

Staff Writer
He is a headhunter in the securities industry by vocation and environmental photographer by avocation. He is a Jew who grew up in New Jersey and studies Islam’s Sufi mystical tradition. Norman Gershman came here from his home in Colorado five years ago in search of some people to photograph — and found a mission. In Midtown Manhattan he discovered Albania.
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