Judaism

Obama Calls Giffords’ Rabbi

01/11/2011
JTA

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.

Remembering Debbie Friedman

01/10/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

To the many thousands of words of tribute that have been written about Debbie Friedman this week as the Jewish world mourns her untimely death, I humbly add these few…

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

First Black Female Rabbi to Leave Congregation

01/07/2011

(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."

A Feeling that Never Grows Old

01/07/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

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.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

LimmudUK: Success On A Grand Scale

Jewish learning conference attracts 2,000 — but not chief rabbi.

01/04/2011
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.

Gary Rosenblatt

Invisible People: We Have The Power to Make Them Visible

12/31/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

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.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

I’ve Got the Outer Borough, Tertiary Street Blues

Or, Why It’s Hard to Make a Minyan in a Snowstorm in Queens

12/30/2010
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.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Generation F

Theological fluidity of young Jews posing tough challenge to Jewish institutions on eve of 2011; rash of new efforts to reach ‘drifters.’

12/28/2010
Staff Writer

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.

Abby Sher’s spiritual life is a curve.

Abby Sher, the girl who couldn’t stop praying.

Why LimmudUK Draws 2,000 People:A First-Hand Report

Coventry, England -- If you want to know why Limmud -- the grassroots, all-volunteer, non-denominational organization that fosters Jewish religious study, culture, history and more -- is now active in 55 communities around the world, come to LimmudUK, the granddaddy of them all.

The whole movement started here in England 30 years ago this week as an antidote for Jews who had little to do during Christmas week, when much of the country shuts down. Why not do Jewish together?

The Rental Controversy In Israel: A Time For Bold, Ethical Halachic Decision-Making

12/23/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Much has already been written about the letter signed by dozens of communal rabbis in Israel proscribing Jewish residents from renting or selling property to gentiles on halachic grounds. It is clear from the context of the controversy that the motivation behind this provocative step is the concern for the demographic makeup of neighborhoods in the north of Israel, fueled by the fear of a concerted effort to undermine Jewish majorities in those locales.

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