Mating Patterns and Jewish Anthropology

08/09/2010 - 20:00

With all of its obstacles, complexities and quirks, the search for a soul mate is one of the most exhausting and frustrating processes in modern Jewish society. In celebration of this past month’s Tu B’Av holiday, JInsider commissioned an anthropological study on the mating habits of North American Jews. We wanted to better understand the miracle of finding bashert (romantic destiny) from the text and in-field research. We assigned an undercover intern to research and scientifically document patterns of initial communication implemented in the NYC Jewish dating process.

One Prophet, No Gain

08/09/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The “prophet” Murray rails at the excesses of the Jewish community. The targets of the “prophet” Murray are garish bar mitzvah ceremonies, non-Jewish names stuck on Jewish children, and look-alike synagogue buildings. The “prophet” Murray also makes a case against the clannishness of Brooklyn.

The quotes around Murray’s title are more real than Murray is.

Non-prophet venture: Biblical-style book offers gentle satire of American Jewish community.

Media: Clinton’s Rabbi Is Mainstream, Israel’s Rabbis ‘Extreme’

Victories for intermarriage against the ‘narrow.’
08/09/2010 - 20:00
Associate Editor


Maybe some Orthodox Jews are feeling “triumphalist” these days, with their high birthrates, high degrees of Jewish literacy and low assimilation rates, but to read the papers lately is to see Orthodoxy as a Palooka getting pummeled in a Pier 6 brawl. Between Chelsea Clinton’s intermarriage and the shelved conversion bill in Israel, the Orthodox are certainly getting the worst of it.


Orthodox Rabbis were called "extreme" but not Rabbi James Ponet, above.

Is the Clergy Life Unusually Stressful?

08/05/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

On the first of this month, just as my vacation was beginning, the New York Times published (on its front page!) an article about the phenomenon of “clergy burnout.” I was, of course, touched by the fact that they had timed the publishing of the article to coincide with the o

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Orthodox Solidarity with Frum Homosexuals

08/03/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Three leading Modern Orthodox rabbis and personal teachers of mine (Nathaniel Helfgot, Aryeh Klapper, and Yitzchak Blau) recently released a statement of principles on how Orthodoxy can and must relate to homosexuals in our community.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Weiss Moves Beyond ‘Rabba’

Woman cantor at HIR praised, rapped in new round of Orthodox feminist wars.
08/03/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

This time, in the pitched battle between Rabbi Avi Weiss and the Orthodox establishment, the “rabba” was merely the undercard.

Sara Hurwitz is a spiritual leader at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, and her promotion in March to rabba, a member of the shul’s rabbinic leadership, by Rabbi Weiss set off a brushfire of criticism at HIR and across the Orthodox world. She was at shul as usual last Friday night, but she was hardly the main event.

Rabbi Avi Weiss allowed woman to lead services last Friday night.

New Threats As Crisis Deepens At Young Israel

Thirty-five congregations press for special meeting with leadership to amend constitution.
08/03/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The schism between the National Council of Young Israel and its member synagogues deepened this week amid fears by some congregants that the donations they make to their local synagogues might be subject to seizure by the National Council.

Those concerns surfaced in the wake of the recent aborted attempt to seize the assets of a member synagogue in upstate New York. 

Judge Kindly

08/02/2010 - 20:00

‘Judge everyone favorably,” teaches the Mishna. In my years in the rabbinate I have found this is a principle we observe very strictly when it comes to ourselves. We always put our own actions in a favorable light: “I was only trying to help!” or “I only said it out of concern” or “I’m not mean — you are too sensitive!” But when it comes to others, we are too willing, even eager, to assume unflattering motivations. 

Is it Ethical to Boycott BP?

08/02/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Q- Do you think it's right for people to boycott BP and get their gas elsewhere, as punishment for the oil spill?

There is definitely a "punish at the pumps" mentality afloat with regard to BP and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and I must admit, I haven't stopped at a BP since it happened. Gassing up at BP in this hostile climate would be like wearing a mink at PETA convention.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

RCA: Bill Is Not Matter For American Liberals

07/19/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

While the Reform and Conservative movements here mounted campaigns to convince Israeli lawmakers to vote against the proposed conversion bill, the largest group of Orthodox rabbis here said American Jews should keep out of internal Israeli matters. 

“The legislation is designed to change nothing regarding North American Jewish issues, a matter which in any event is far less significant to the State of Israel and its citizens than the undoubted benefits that the bill promises,” said the statement by the Rabbinical Council of America.

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