Reform Judaism is the largest of the religious streams, with some 900 synagogues in North America, but it is far from immune from the challenges facing Jewish life in the diaspora.
A position paper drafted last month by the rabbis of the 18 largest congregations and circulating now among their colleagues offers a sober assessment of the social changes in the national Jewish landscape, and a tough critique of the movement’s key organizations.
As the bombs and cruise missiles rain down on the strongholds of Libyan dictator Muammar Kaddafy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has maintained an official silence on the latest Middle East crisis.
That silence is smart. Israel may ultimately gain by the anti-authoritarian surge that is now hitting Libya and by the possible removal of the virulently anti-Israel Kaddafy, but there are also risks in a region where the Arab “street” may be just as hostile to the Jewish state as the despots it wants to depose.
One of the questions we ask ourselves each year when reading the Megillah on Purim is why the dramatic story, otherwise so carefully paced and plotted, has such an anticlimactic ending. Haman has been hung, Esther and Mordechai have been rewarded, and we’re ready to party, yet there are three more chapters to go. Why?
As we join Israel in mourning the death of five family members killed in a vicious terror attack in Itamar last Shabbat, it is important not to read too much into the horrific event — or too little.
The pain all Israelis feel at this wanton act of violence is real, and is shared by countless Jews in this country and around the world. The photos released of the small children stabbed to death in their sleep were horrifying, and it is difficult to think of the perpetrator or perpetrators as human.
Faced with an aging population, low birth rate, economic recession and increasing jitters about Israel’s standing in the international community, American Jewish organizations are seeking new ways to reach and engage young Jews — and ensure their own future.
The Jewish Week finds itself, unfortunately, in a war of words with Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services. To be clear: we have no animus toward the Brooklyn-based social service agency or any other Jewish organization; our mission and goal is to report the truth, as best we can, and inform and strengthen the Jewish community. Sometimes that makes for hard feelings.