The New York Board of Rabbis held its annual sermon seminar last week to permit rabbis to share ideas for their High Holy Days sermons. Rabbi Marc Schneier of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, L.I., and president of the board, chaired the discussion featuring spiritual leaders from all movements.
Jewish Week: What will be some of the themes of sermons this year?
As the Labor Party reaffirmed its intention to stay out of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's new government, the chairman of the secular Shinui Party spoke of joining: and for the first time softened his demand that government handouts end for fervently Orthodox men who don't work.
"You have to do it gradually," Shinui leader Tommy Lapid told The Jewish Week. "We don't want to cause unnecessary suffering to large families. But people who are able-bodied men should go and work.
Rush Limbaugh, just before his blitz on black quarterbacks, said presidential candidates claiming Jewish ancestry is ìgetting out of hand.î Limbaugh was ticked off by reports that the retired Gen. Wesley Clark is descended from five generations of rabbis before being raised as a Christian.
As Israelis buried their dead following back-to-back Palestinian suicide bombings Sunday in Tel Aviv that killed 22 bystanders (seven of them foreign workers) political campaign commercials began running on Israel TV Tuesday night and analysts wondered how the terror attack and new political scandals would impact the Jan. 28 national election.
Yehudit Moch of Park Slope walked into St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village last week sporting a T-shirt embroidered with a large Star of David.
"You'd better close your jacket," said the receptionist, who was half-Jewish. "It's not safe to be wearing that on the streets of New York."
Friday, August 14th, 2009
Those “most read/most emailed” boxes that have become fixtures on most newspaper Web sites can be pretty scary for reporters and editors.
More often than not, the stories we consider the most important don’t make the cut, while journalistic fluff – the latest adventures of J.Lo, or silly little stories about fads and fashion – fill out the top rungs of the ratings, along with stories about practical economics.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
Here’s an update on an earlier item on the three Americans arrested and detained by Iran and the way the inaccurate story that one of them was a yeshiva student and Jewish Week writer spread across the Internet.
One of the Web sites that spread the story was DEBKAfile.com, which fashions itself a source of in-depth intelligence and security information, with a focus on the Middle East.
Gaps narrowed in Israeli-Palestinian talks, but no breakthroughs
Lawrence Cohler-Esses and James D. Besser
Like Lucy holding out her football for Charlie Brown to kick again, President Clinton, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat once more raised the world’s expectations Monday for a breakthrough on their long-stalled peace agreement.
But when the three faced an expectant White House press corps after their meeting, Clinton again voiced the phrases heard so often before.
Was the new ‘crisis’ manufactured to tie settlement issue to holy city?
This week’s U.S.-Israel diplomatic dustup over building additional Jewish housing in east Jerusalem may have as much to do with domestic politics in the Jewish state — and a desire to mobilize American Jews to oppose additional U.S. pressure — as with any shift in Obama administration policy.
Publicly raising its disagreement over Jerusalem may “focus the American Jewish community, which is mostly opposed to settlements, on the fact that when the U.S. demands Israel cease building settlements that includes Jerusalem,” said Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman.
And touching the Jerusalem nerve may help galvanize Evangelical Christians, many of whom have a growing commitment to preserving Jerusalem as Israel’s unified capital, to oppose new administration peace pushes.
Thursday, July 23rd, 2009
Like many in our community, I’ve been transfixed by the dramatic FBI arrests in New Jersey that netted prominent rabbis as well as mayors, city council presidents and other officials.
It’s both titillating and scary; first Bernie Madoff, now this. There haven’t been so many high-profile Jewish baddies since Leopold and Loeb.
And this one looks huge, involving as it does some of the leading figures in the Syrian Jewish community, money laundering and trafficking in human organs.