RCA: Bill Is Not Matter For American Liberals

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.

Conversion Controversy: A Perfect Storm (And A Way Out)


The showdown over a controversial conversion bill in the Knesset will likely be averted for the moment. But any sigh of relief you may hear around the Jewish world is premature. 

Gary Rosenblatt

Even Orthodox Rabbis Here Bemoan (Privately) The Conversion Controversy

Amid all the furor from opponents of the proposed Knesset conversion bill that would turn the de facto Orthodox control into law, it’s instructive to note who isn’t speaking out, and why.

And one can appreciate how this controversy underscores the enormous gap in understanding between Jewish leaders here and in Israel.

Hanky Panky on a Shul Board

Special to the Jewish Week

 Q - I'm a shul president and I've just discovered that two of my board members have been carrying on an affair, using board meeting nights as cover for their trysts. I like them both and they are very hard workers. I like their spouses too. I'm not sure what to do. Do I confront them? Do I tell the rabbi? Do I kick them off the board?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Speak Truth to Power

Special to the Jewish Week

"Speak truth to power!" "Power is corrupt!" These popular mantras have fueled rhetorical wars among the classes for generations and are still voiced by many activists today. The disdain for power long predates the Marxists and the counter-culture activists; it enters the discourse of the early Rabbis in the Mishnah: "Love work, hate holding power, and do not seek to become intimate with the authorities," (Pirke Avot 1:10).

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Are we Indeed One People?

Special to the Jewish Week

As I write this article, furious negotiations are underway in Jerusalem regarding the so-called “Rotem Bill,” which might possibly be introduced to the plenum of the Knesset as early as next week. In a Jewish world that often hyperbolizes potential disasters, this bill, if passed, has the capacity to drive a major wedge between the State of Israel and the non-Orthodox Jewish community here in North America. I suspect that certain sectors of the Orthodox community are not anxious to see it passed, either.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Tisha B’Av 2010. Why Bother?

Special to the Jewish Week

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.

Career Paths Take A Detour To Israel

Three young New Yorkers with solid jobs make the leap to Jewish state.
Special To The Jewish Week

 Note: In the third installment of “Aliyah Journal,” we report on three New Yorkers — one married couple and one single woman — who are leaving successful careers to start over in Israel.

 She worked in Mayor Bloomberg’s office. He was a New York City cop.

Their lives couldn’t be more “New York” — until the Serkins decided to fulfill their dream of making aliyah.

 Tracey Goldstein,  shut down her own event planning company to move to Israel.

Israel: Overhaul The Conversion Process


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.

Peoplehood: A Cloudy Concept


With the coming and going of our national holiday of barbecues - I mean - our holiday of national independence, JInsider has been grappling with the concept of peoplehood in the Jewish community.

Jewish peoplehood exercise
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