As I pushed through the jampacked Kotel on Rosh Hodesh Sivan, thousands of religious girls pointed at my kippa and screamed in my face. Not only did they stick out their tongues, but they made the shape of a gun with their hands and rotated between pointing it at their heads and pointing it at mine. Scanning through the faces of the young girls, I wondered if in a different setting, we could’ve been braiding challah or lighting Shabbat candles together as friends. Some of their eyes leaked with hatrid and disgust, while some overflowed with intrigue, curiosity, and at times boredom. A large portion of the girls seemed to be mulling about, happy to be spending time with friends, and waiting for us to leave.
Barbara Friedman, recently elected as the first woman to chair the board of governors of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, remembers how she first became involved in volunteer work for the 131-year-old Reform seminary.She was on a UJA-Federation of New York committee discussing allocations to Jewish summer camps and was struck by one woman’s suggestion that priority be given to the Orthodox camps because “at least their grandchildren will be Jewish,” Friedman recalls.“And as someone who was Reform, I thought to myself, ‘Am I betting on the
Did Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati buckle under to a gay basher this week or take constructive action in response to his diatribe?
That was the question being asked after the institution canceled classes Tuesday afternoon at almost the same time the protester, the Rev. Fred Phelps, announced plans to picket the campus to protest the Reform movementís recognition of same-sex civil marriages.