Reform Judaism

The Evolving Religious World and Conservative Judaism's Challenge

02/11/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

There is a great deal of talk swirling around about my movement- the Conservative movement- and its state of being. The lead article in this week’s print edition of The Jewish Week reports on a new strategic plan for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and the changes that it is intending to make in both its organizational structure and sphere of operations. The article implies- not too subtly- that the proposed changes reflect an organization, and a movement, in crisis.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Debbie Friedman Talks About Being Gay

I left out any mention of Debbie Friedman's romantic history in my farewell piece. (Correction: Debbie Friedman was born in 1951, not 1952 as reported).

 I spoke about this topic with Debbie enough times to know that she wasn't interested in that aspect of her private life being discussed in print.

The Healing Of Debbie Friedman

Beloved singer, writer, musical game-changer dies at 59.

01/11/2011
Associate Editor

To a broken generation, Debbie Friedman delivered a mystical truth: You don’t have to be cured to be healed.

She, who suffered for so long from elusive, debilitating neurological illnesses that finally took her life Sunday after 59 years, understood, with humor and faith, that she was singing and writing with one foot in Heaven and the other on a banana peel. It was as if from Heaven, however, that her most ethereal music seemed to come, transforming not only lives but whole denominations.

Beloved singer, songwriter Debbie Friedman

Debbie Friedman, Jewish Songwriter and Performer, Dies

01/09/2011

(JTA) -- Debbie Friedman, a popular singer and songwriter who is widely credited with reinvigorating synagogue music, has died.

Friedman died Sunday after being hospitalized in Southern California for several days with pneumonia. She was in her late 50s.

"Debbie influenced and enriched contemporary Jewish music in a profound way," read a statement published Sunday on the website of the Union for Reform Judaism. "Her music crossed generational and denominational lines and carved a powerful legacy of authentic Jewish spirituality into our daily lives."

Singer Debbie Friedman Hospitalized

01/07/2011

NEW YORK (JTA) -- Songwriter Debbie Friedman has been hospitalized in Orange County, Calif.

Friedman is sedated and on a respirator, according to an email sent Wednesday from the West Coast branch of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. A source at the college told JTA Thursday there had been no change in Friedman's condition.

The email asked that prayers be said on Friedman's behalf, as well as for her mother, sister and aunt.

Female Israeli Reform Rabbis Speak Out in Favor of Contact with Arabs

12/30/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Female Israeli Reform rabbis issued a letter slamming some elements of a call earlier this week for Jewish women to shun contact with Arab men.

Generation F

Theological fluidity of young Jews posing tough challenge to Jewish institutions on eve of 2011; rash of new efforts to reach ‘drifters.’

12/28/2010
Staff Writer

Her grandparents — “cultural” Jews on one side of the family, more traditional on the other — came to the United States from the Old Country a century ago and didn’t change their level of religious observance (or non-observance) during their lives. Their spiritual lives were a straight line.

Her parents, newly married, moved to Westchester County in the early 1970s, joined a Reform temple and never left it. Their spiritual lives were also a straight line.

Abby Sher’s spiritual life is a curve.

Abby Sher, the girl who couldn’t stop praying.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

11/16/2010
Editor and Publisher

One of the enduring images of Hurricane Katrina for the Jewish community of New Orleans, and well beyond, was of a kipah-wearing rescue worker, in waist-high water, carrying one of seven Torahs out of the sanctuary of the century-old Orthodox congregation, Beth Israel.

The Torahs did not make it; water-logged beyond repair, they ultimately were buried in the synagogue’s cemetery, along with 3,000 prayer books.

Gary Rosenblatt

Two Sides to Every Debate - And I Want My Side to Win

11/04/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

The East Bank of the East River is where I’ve lived for the past twenty years, in a territory known as Brooklyn, which began as Native American land and was then settled by the Dutch. George Washington and his troops beat a hasty retreat from the British in the park where I run. It is now among the most sought after places to live in New York City.

Rabbi Andy Bachman

Jamaica Farewell

Escorting a murdered black Jew, and lonely Jews, to the grave.

09/15/2010
Associate Editor

No one gets out of here alive. The only question is “who by fire, who by water,” say the services on the Days of Awe:

In a Jamaican cemetery, mourners from Brooklyn join local mourners at the burial of Yosef Robinson.
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