The margins have become the mainstream—and the vast majority of Jews today are not actively connected with a “temple” (a.k.a. synagogue). So it seems unlikely that a mid-summer day of mourning for the destruction of two ancient temples in Jerusalem could have much to recommend it. Throw in the prohibitions on eating, drinking, and shmoozing and the ruin of Tisha B’Av itself seems certain.
The leadership of organized Jewry, from the Jewish Federations of North America to the Jewish Agency for Israel, is expressing frustration, anger and a sense of betrayal — understandably — with the Netanyahu government for allowing a controversial conversion bill to go forward in the Knesset, even though it would alienate the vast majority of diaspora Jewry.
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld spent a few days around fishermen near the Gulf of Mexico last week and thought of the Israelites in the Sinai Desert.
Rabbi Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, was part of a 12-member, interfaith clergy group that toured the Gulf Coast area for 2½ days under the auspices of the Sierra Club and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life.
Remembering Rabbi Yehuda Amital, who helped found Meimad party and challenged religious Zionist orthodoxy.
Rabbi Yosef Blau
Special To The Jewish Week
Rabbi Yehuda Amital, who died last Friday in Jerusalem at 85 after a long illness, was a unique blend of Talmud scholar and political activist who balanced his love of Israel with his advocacy for territorial concession to save lives.
$100,000 for a wedding? $20,000 for a bar mitzvah? When did extravagance and luxury become such primary Jewish values? I can’t remember the last simcha (Jewish celebration) I attended at which there were not tremendous amounts of wasted food, overly expensive napkins and bands large enough for a royal banquet.
Reps of 18 synagogues rally support to make national organization ‘more transparent, accountable and responsive.’
A group of disaffected leaders of 18 Young Israel synagogues has begun soliciting support for constitutional changes that they say would make the National Council of Young Israel “more transparent, accountable and responsive to member branches.”