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.
Evangelical Christians, long seen as a monolith in lockstep support of Israel, publicly fractured last week as two significant evangelical factions lobbied President Bush with criticism of Israel from opposite points of view.
For the first time, Christians United for Israel, a major Christian Zionist group with strong ties to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, lobbied President Bush against the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — a solution advocated by Israel, the Bush administration and the pro-Israel Washington lobby itself.
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.
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
(Here’s a press release for the great Debbie Friedman and an honorable cause. — JM)
“DEBBIE & FRIENDS:” CONCERT TO BENEFIT HUC-JIR AND ITS SCHOOL OF SACRED MUSIC
- Launching of National Cantorial Scholarship Initiative
As growing numbers of non-Orthodox Jews flock to the mikveh — a trend that has spread over the last decade — an inevitable clash between the traditional and the modern is beginning to emerge, with progressive Jews seeking to recast an ancient ritual in their own image.
The current interest in mikveh was evidenced by the more than 200 people, men and women, from across the Jewish spectrum, who attended the conference “Reclaiming Mikveh: Pouring Ancient Waters into a Contemporary Vessel,” held last month in the Boston suburb of Newton, Mass.
Warwick, N.Y. — The sun was setting at the Reform movement’s teen leadership camp in this picturesque upstate town, and in the dying light of a sweet summer day it was time for the evening prayer service. In the lakeside pavilion that serves as Kutz Camp’s synagogue, the visiting musician who led the evening service on the Fourth of July, a Wednesday, set the prayers to an easy-listening jazz sound. It was a musical style, played on an electric keyboard, that almost none of the campers connected with, many said later.
Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk, a Holocaust refugee who as a longtime leader of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion oversaw the growth of the rabbinical school’s four campuses and strengthened the Reform movement’s ties with Israel, died Sept. 12 in his Cincinnati home following a recent automobile accident. He was 79.
Houston — In one second-floor classroom of Congregation Emanu El, a young Chabad rabbi is teaching a class on Jewish values. Down the hall, a newspaper editor from a Reform family is leading a civics discussion. In another classroom, a Reconstructionist rabbi and her students are talking about basic Jewish principles.
More remarkable than the diversity of the teachers at the largest Reform religious school in Houston is the makeup of the students. All are high school-aged. All are in religious school because they want to be there.
Friday, October 23rd, 2009
Despite claims by Christian conservative leaders that it result in jails overcrowded with pastors and other critics of the “homosexual lifestyle,” the Senate yesterday gave final approval to a hate crimes law that’s been a top priority for the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish groups for an embarrassing number of years.