religious freedom

Six Women Detained For Wearing Prayer Shawls At Western Wall

11/15/2012

 

Six women were detained by Jerusalem police for wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall as more than 100 women gathered there for the monthly Women of the Wall service.

The detainments Thursday, on the first day of the Hebrew month Kislev, follow the arrest at last month's service of Women of the Wall leader Anat Hoffman. Hoffman was not at Thursday’s service, as she was banned from the Wall for 30 days following her arrest on Oct. 17.

The detainments occurred before the service began as women were putting on their tallitot.

Religious Concerns: In Israel, Too

09/19/2012
Editorial

Religious freedom is, naturally, of great concern to Jews everywhere. That is why there has been much consternation about a German regional court ruling in May that said circumcision of boys for religious reasons causes bodily harm and is unlawful. A rabbi in northern Bavaria was criminally charged for performing a brit milah as part of his duties.

Religious Freedom Has Limits, For Good Reason

08/21/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

The recent Catholic manifesto for religious freedom, “Protecting Consciences” (www.usccb.org/conscience), presents a view that seems hard to contest: “What we ask is nothing more than the right to follow our consciences as we live the life of our teachings.”  Yet, it cannot be that simple when one person’s conscience directs him to discriminate. Determining when our laws should tolerate religiously motivated discrimination is actually a nuanced question.

Michael J. Broyde

UPDATED: Maryland Teen Must Convince High School He Needs A Kippa

02/05/2012

 A Jewish student at a Maryland high school was asked to prove that he wore a head covering for religious reasons.

Caleb Tanenbaum, 17, was asked by the administration of Northwood High School in Silver Spring to provide a letter from a rabbi explaining that he was wearing his Rastafarian-style head covering for Jewish religious reasons. A school rule forbids all headwear, with the exception of students who verify that their headwear is religious in nature. Other students also have been asked for verification.

Battle Over Circumcision is Shaping Up in California

05/31/2011
JTA

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- In November, San Franciscans will vote on a ballot measure that would outlaw circumcision on boys under the age of 18.

Although experts say it is highly unlikely the measure will pass -- very few state propositions pass, much less one this controversial -- the mere fact that it reached the ballot, and in such a major city, has caused much concern for Jews and their allies.

Rabbi Files Lawsuit Against D.C. Elections Board

05/31/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- An Orthodox rabbi in Washington and two of his congregants have filed a class-action suit against the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics.

The complaint, filed May 27, claims that the board placed an unconstitutional burden on observant Jews by scheduling a special election on the last day of Passover this year.

S.F. Archbishop Raps Proposed Circumcision Ban

05/26/2011

(JTA) -- San Francisco’s Catholic archbishop expressed his opposition to a city ballot initiative that would ban circumcision for minors.

Archbishop George Niederauer condemned the initiative in a May 23 letter sent to the San Francisco Chronicle, his archdiocese’s newspaper reported.

S.F. Circumcision Referendum

05/24/2011
Editorial

Religious freedom is both precious and precarious. Case in point: the circumcision ban that will be on the ballot as a referendum in San Francisco in November.

The proposed measure would make it unlawful to perform a ceremony critical to the identity of Jews; worse, it states that “no account shall be taken of the effect on the person on whom the operation is to be performed of any belief on the part of that or any other person that the operation is required as a matter of custom or ritual.”

Talk about blatant violations of the First Amendment.

Alaska Airlines Detains Passengers Over Tefillin

03/14/2011

(JTA) -- An Alaska Airlines flight crew issued a security alert after three Mexican Orthodox Jews began praying with tefillin.

The flight attendants, who were concerned by the prayers being said aloud in Hebrew and the unfamiliar boxes with leather straps hanging from them, locked down the cockpit and radioed a security alert ahead to Los Angeles International Airport.

The flight originated Sunday in Mexico City. It was met at the Los Angeles airport by fire crews, foam trucks, FBI agents, Transportation Security Administration personnel and police, according to Reuters.

Romney and Huntsman: Are Mormon politicians catching up to Jews?

 There's been a lot of buzz in recent days about Mormons in politics – and the claim that church members, long the victims of discrimination in the political world, may be coming into their own in much the same way as Jews have entered the political big leagues in recent decades.

Former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney remains a strong contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination; Jon Huntsman Jr. , a former Utah governor and now U.S. ambassador to China, is widely expected to make a run for the nomination.

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