Orthodox

Story of the Year: Pew Study Rocks Community

12/31/2013

“The centre cannot hold,” Yeats wrote ominously in “The Second Coming,” in the wake of the First World War. That sentiment, applied to the fast-morphing demographics of the Jewish community, may be the chief metaphor of 2013. It’s certainly the takeaway from the Pew Research Center’s endlessly-talked-about survey of American Jewry, released in October.

Pew Study found that 22 percent of Jews now say they have no religion. Courtesy of Pew Research Center

The Year Inclusiveness Prevailed

Forget the Pew naysayers: A new, big-tent kind of Jewish community is being forged.

12/30/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

The year gone by was a very good one for the Jewish people — and an even better one for the Jewish Message.

Joshua Hammerman

After Holiday Tragedy, Florida Rabbis Work To Cut Traffic Deaths

10/23/2013
Staff Writer

Following the death of an Orthodox Jewish woman who was killed while crossing a busy Jacksonville road on Yom Kippur, a group of rabbis met this week with a Florida Department of Transportation engineer to prevent a recurrence, the Florida Times-Union reported.

What Pew Does And Doesn’t Tell Us

Trend lines suggest continued erosion, but that’s not the whole story.

10/09/2013
Editor And Publisher

Not surprisingly, there has already been a large wave of reactions to the first major national survey of American Jews in more than a decade, with its sobering, if not bleak, portrait of a community on the fast track toward assimilation.

Source: Pew Research Center 2013 Survey of U.S. Jews, Feb. 20-June 13, 2013.

The Holiday Sprawl

10/02/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

In day school they tell you that the Hebrew month after the jam-packed fall holidays is called Mar-Heshvan; the pre-fix “mar” here means “sad.” We are sad that we have run out of holidays and have a blank month ahead. I feel terrible admitting this, but I feel a bit relieved and, of course — because being Jewish — I feel a bit guilty for feeling relieved.
We all love holidays, but the condensed way that the season barrels into the first weeks of school and work schedules, knocks us over every time. Out-of-office e-mails, the huge outlay of money and the tedium that can accompany meal after meal, service after service, cleanup after cleanup can be daunting. People at the office think Shmini Atzeret must be made up. How many holidays can one religion possibly have in a month?

Erica Brown

The Holiday Sprawl

10/01/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

In day school they tell you that the Hebrew month after the jam-packed fall holidays is called Mar-Heshvan; the pre-fix “mar” here means “sad.” We are sad that we have run out of holidays and have a blank month ahead. I feel terrible admitting this, but I feel a bit relieved and, of course — because being Jewish — I feel a bit guilty for feeling relieved.
We all love holidays, but the condensed way that the season barrels into the first weeks of school and work schedules, knocks us over every time. Out-of-office e-mails, the huge outlay of money and the tedium that can accompany meal after meal, service after service, cleanup after cleanup can be daunting. People at the office think Shmini Atzeret must be made up. How many holidays can one religion possibly have in a month?

Erica Brown

State of The Campaign

Weiner still defiant, Quinn exuberant; Thompson, Lhota and de Blasio on tour; Liu takes a financial hit.

08/05/2013
Assistant Managing Editor

There may be thousands of New York City Jews upstate in Catskills camps and rentals for the summer, but the area seems to have lost its cachet as a political hotspot. So far, despite new life being breathed into the area by non-Orthodox city dwellers, only longshot candidates for mayor have traveled up Route 17 to press the flesh (among males) at bungalow colonies and pizza joints in such hamlets as Monticello, Woodburne and Swan Lake.

When the dust settles, one of these candidates will run City Hall next year.

At Mayoral Forum, Weiner and Liu Fervently Court Frum Vote

Naturally, all the Democrat candidates for mayor tried to score points with the mostly Orthodox audience at a debate sponsored by the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition earlier this week.

 But Anthony Weiner and Jon Liu seemed to be the most over the top in trying to connect.

The Jewish ex-congressman turned comeback hopeful greeted people with “Shalom aleichems,” on two occasions referred to “shekels” instead of dollars, threw in an Eretz Yisrael or two and used his standard remark about understanding the Orthodox community “in his kishkes.”

Raised Reform, A Mom Finds Her Kids' Disabilities Give The Lie To Labels

I always assumed I would raise my children as Reform Jews, just as I had been raised. Actually, when I was growing up, I considered our  family "observant Reform."  We went to temple every Shabbat and holiday. My father was president of our congregation; my mother chaired innumerable committees and my sister and I served as youth group presidents. We were proud Jews, but liberal ones. Few people in our synagogue (ourselves included) kept kosher or wore kippot. In college, I was one of the few Hillel regulars who needed to learn the Birkat Hamazon. Some years after college, when my husband and I married, we joined a Reform congregation, fully expecting our own new family to follow a similar path.

Joanna Dreifus
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