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?
Beloved singer, writer, musical game-changer dies at 59.
To a broken generation, Debbie Friedman delivered a mystical truth: You don’t have to be cured to be healed.
She, who suffered for so long from elusive, debilitating neurological illnesses that finally took her life Sunday after 59 years, understood, with humor and faith, that she was singing and writing with one foot in Heaven and the other on a banana peel. It was as if from Heaven, however, that her most ethereal music seemed to come, transforming not only lives but whole denominations.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama spoke with the rabbi of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during a series of calls to friends and families of victims of the weekend shooting in Tucson.
A White House official said Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Tucson's Congregation Chaverim was among the Tucson-area officials, victims and families Obama reached Monday in the wake of the Jan. 8 attack that left Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, critically injured and six dead.
(JTA) -- The first African-American female rabbi will leave her congregation this summer.
Rabbi Alysa Stanton's contract with Congregation Bayt Shalom in Greenville, N.C., was not renewed, the Forward reported Thursday.
"We felt Rabbi Stanton has brought a lot of gifts to the congregation, but we felt she wasn’t a good fit for the direction we’re going,” board president Samantha Pilot told the Forward. “I can tell you with certainty that race -- I never heard that come up once during her tenure or now. It’s a non-issue."
There is an expression still used in modern Hebrew that is actually obsolete. I suspect that people still use it because it’s so wonderfully expressive. It is what Israelis say when someone finally “gets it,” when he/she actually understands what’s going on, and gets the point. The expression is “nafal ha’asimon:” the phone token has fallen.
Jewish learning conference attracts 2,000 — but not chief rabbi.
Editor and Publisher
Two of the most successful efforts to strengthen Jewish identity in recent years were created, and have been sustained, in opposite ways.
Much has been written, here and elsewhere, about Birthright Israel, which has provided a 10-day Israel experience to more than 250,000 young people in its first decade. A top-down creation, Birthright was conceived and funded by a small group of mega-philanthropists, offering these memorable trips as a gift, free of charge to participants ages 18 to 26.
Having moved between countries and cities throughout my childhood, I recall often standing alone at recess feeling as if I was invisible. In a very small way, I feel like I can relate to the hundreds of people feeling the powerlessness of invisibility in a society that does not see them.
Or, Why It’s Hard to Make a Minyan in a Snowstorm in Queens
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik
Special to the Jewish Week
Writing an on-line article is a tricky business.
When you write for a hard copy local newspaper, which the Jewish Week is in the New York area, you are, essentially, writing for a local audience. New Yorkers will catch the regional references that won’t necessarily make sense to people reading my article online in, say, Des Moines, Chicago, or, for that matter, Jerusalem.
Theological fluidity of young Jews posing tough challenge to Jewish institutions on eve of 2011; rash of new efforts to reach ‘drifters.’
Her grandparents — “cultural” Jews on one side of the family, more traditional on the other — came to the United States from the Old Country a century ago and didn’t change their level of religious observance (or non-observance) during their lives. Their spiritual lives were a straight line.
Her parents, newly married, moved to Westchester County in the early 1970s, joined a Reform temple and never left it. Their spiritual lives were also a straight line.