Rabbis

Simchat Torah Mysticism in the Age of YouTube

Google Images and YouTube videos are helping Jewish educators create new midrash and bring sacred meaning to age-old traditions. Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz created an innovative, interactive experience for the seven hakafot (circles) of Simchat Torah.

Her "Seven Dances for Simchat Torah in the YouTube Era" is available on the Sh'ma Koleinu website. Sh'ma Koleinu is an online center for spirituality and connection from Congregation B'nai Israel in Bridgeport, CT, which seeks to bring sacred meaning to convey something of the deeper meanings of the High Holy Day liturgy.

"The Dance of Eternity" brings spirituality to Simchat Torah (Artwork of Francene Hart)

The Shul Jinx?

I think I may have the opposite problem of Rabbi Marc Schneier, the prominent Orthodox spiritual leader who has been divorced four times — and is facing ethics charges from the Rabbinical Council of America.

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.

The Mosque's Imam Is A "Moderate" But Abe Foxman Is A Bigot?

I trust the Imam and the Muslims at the new Ground Zero "Cordoba" mosque to tell me the truth of what they think about Israel and the United States. After 9/11, the Imam said America shared responsibility for the destruction of the World Trade Center. Now, that same imam refuses to condem Hamas.

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.

A Rabbi, a Flip Camera & YouTube

 If the answer is "A Rabbi, a Flip Ultra Video Camera and YouTube," then the question is surely "How did Helen Thomas' career end?"

Aspiring filmmaker Rabbi David Nesenoff, a Conservative rabbi at Long Island's Temple Tikvah Synagogue of Hope, took his Flip video camera and 17-year-old son/webmaster along with him to the White House for last week's annual Jewish American Heritage Month celebration.

David Nesenoff - Rabbi, Filmmaker, Career Killer

Will Smartphones & Handhelds Lead to an Educational Revolution?

In a recent blog post, my colleague and teacher Rabbi Hayim Herring writes about the Fast Company article that questions whether the introduction of smartphones and handheld computers into classrooms worldwide will be the start of an educational revolution. Anya Kamenetz, author of the book DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education wonders "How technology could unleash childhood creativity -- and transform the role of the teacher."

Is an Educational Revolution Ahead?

Closing RCA Conference To The Press Sends Wrong Message

The Rabbinical Council of America, on the eve of its three-day annual convention, starting Sunday, has decided to make all of it off limits to the press.

The group, the rabbinic arm of the Orthodox Union, will be meeting at the Young Israel of Scarsdale through Tuesday afternoon, grappling primarily with the issue of boundaries for women's leadership roles in the synagogue and community. The participants are expected to pass a resolution that the majority of the more than 900 members can embrace dealing with which roles are permissible under halacha and which are not.

The Rabbinical Council of America should:

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