religious freedom

S.F. Circumcision Referendum

05/23/2011 - 20:00
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

03/13/2011 - 20:00

(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.

Is the Jewish church-state focus fading?

In thinking about the top Jewish stories of 2010, it occurred to me there wasn't a single major church-state battle on the list. That's a big change from, say, a decade ago.

Almost two years into the administration of President Barack Obama the faith based initiatives created by his predecessor are mostly still in place, and groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State are howling mad.

Rabbi Sues Army Over Beard Ban

12/08/2010 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A rabbi is suing the U.S. Army, saying it refused his services as a chaplain because he would not shave his beard.

Rabbi Menachem Stern filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Washington on Wednesday, his law firm, Lewin and Lewin, said in a news release.

Stern says the Army rejected his application to serve as a chaplain only because he would not shave his beard as a matter of conscience.

Jerrold Nadler on Steve Solarz: Son Of Brooklyn, Foreign Affairs Expert

Remembering Rep. Stephen J. Solarz.
11/29/2010 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Former Rep. Stephen J. Solarz, who died Monday night  at the age of 70 after a long battle with esophogeal cancer, was an outstanding public servant. Steve served the people of Brooklyn in the House of Representatives from 1975 to 1992 with distinction, boundless energy, great intellect, and a true passion to pursue justice.

Stephen Solarz: “True passion to pursue justice.”

U.S. Report Highlights Israel’s Religious Freedoms Violations

11/16/2010 - 19:00

(JTA) -- Government allocations favoring the Orthodox, extra legal protection to Jewish holy sites and Orthodox hegemony over life-cycle events are among Israel's religious freedom violations highlighted in a U.S. State Department report.

Westboro Church Case Poses Dilemma for Jewish Groups

10/05/2010 - 20:00
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish defense organizations long -- and proudly -- have upheld a delicate principle in defending the First Amendment: Hate the speech, defend the speaker.

But a Supreme Court case whose arguments were scheduled for Wednesday have put that precept to the test: A Maryland family is suing the Westboro Baptist Church for picketing the funeral of its scion, Matthew Snyder, a soldier killed in a noncombat accident in Iraq.

Brandeis Students, Alumni Demand Peretz Apology

09/12/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- More than 350 students and alumni at Brandeis University called on columnist Martin Peretz to apologize for saying Muslims do not value human life or deserve free speech.

Syndicate content