Judaism

Don’t Dismiss the Jewish Character of Cupid

02/14/2011
JTA

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (JTA) -- What’s Jewish about Valentine’s Day?

The day was first released from the purview of the Catholic Church in 1969, when Pope Paul VI declared that Valentine’s Day was no longer a saint’s day for universal liturgical veneration on the Catholic calendar. This restored Valentine’s Day to its original state, a traditional mating day of birds -- and humans -- in the English folk calendar.

But Cupid isn’t exclusively a pagan symbol.

Why is Patrilineal Descent Not Catching On in Reform Worldwide?

02/13/2011
JTA

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- For three decades now, the American Jewish Reform movement has considered as Jewish the child of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother who is raised as a Jew.

But most Reform Jews in the rest of the world still do not accept “patrilineal descent.”

That makes the debate about “Who is a Jew” not just between the Orthodox-dominated Israeli Rabbinate and American Jewish liberal movements, but also between American Reform Judaism and most of the Diaspora.

The Evolving Religious World and Conservative Judaism's Challenge

02/11/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

There is a great deal of talk swirling around about my movement- the Conservative movement- and its state of being. The lead article in this week’s print edition of The Jewish Week reports on a new strategic plan for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and the changes that it is intending to make in both its organizational structure and sphere of operations. The article implies- not too subtly- that the proposed changes reflect an organization, and a movement, in crisis.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Head, Heart, Gut: Your Internal Advisory Committee

02/03/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

When it comes to country music, I am parve. You won't catch me downloading any Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood or "Country" Hootie songs on iTunes, but I also didn't roll my eyes when my husband Michael happily happened upon our new minivan's XM radio station playing all C&W, all the time. Yes, when it comes to country music, y'all could say I'm parve.

Deborah Grayson Riegel

Snow Days, Facebook and Cheating

02/03/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - I am a high school student. My math final was postponed because of a mid-day snow storm, but a friend of mine had taken the test earlier that day. That night while I was studying, I paused to take a peek at my Facebook news feed and saw that my friend had posted a page from the test. I didn't realize what it was at first so I looked at it. But when I realized what it was, I deleted it. I took the test the next day and did not say anything. I had studied hard and would have gotten those answers right anyway. Was I right to say nothing?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Report from Davos: Where Are the Women?

02/03/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

It has been hard not to notice that speaker after speaker here in Davos are men. Where are the women in these conversations?

This year, for the first time, the World Economic Forum introduced a gender quota that one in five delegates sent by strategic partners must be female. Women have never made up more than 17 percent of total attendees at the Forum. This is not surprising given that women hold less than 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

California, Redux

01/28/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Shortly after my vacation this past summer in California, I wrote a piece for this column about California and its charms. Having slowly and lovingly driven the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I lamented how coming back to New York City- which I admittedly love- was not so easy. Concrete jungle and all that….

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

A Life Without Limbs, a Life Without Limits

Special Report from the World Economic Forum

01/24/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

In this exciting gathering in the snowy Alps, where does a humble man with no arms or legs fit into conversations about speed, power, innovation, wealth, and the global future?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Marketing God

01/21/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

My youngest son, who is a senior in the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School in Manhattan, is studying economics for the first time, and he’s finding it fascinating.

His teacher is introducing the basics of marketing, and the dynamics that drive the consumer market. Each student has been assigned to focus on a particular product, and assess how the advertising for that product has shaped the marketplace’s opinion of it, and, of course, sales.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Gabrielle Giffords' Jewishness

01/13/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - I am a traditional Jew who subscribes to the traditional definition of Jewish identity (you are Jewish if your mother is Jewish or if you've converted). By this definition, Gabrielle Giffords is not Jewish. But by other definitions, including her own, she is. Given all she has done and what she has gone through, and given the strong possibility that her assailant attacked her in part because of her self-declared Jewish identity, what is the proper ethical response to all this?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman
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