In mid-May 2013, just before Shavuot, the first winner of the annual $1 million Genesis Prize, described as the “Jewish Nobel Prize,” is scheduled to be announced in Jerusalem amidst much media hoopla.
A yeshiva rebbe in Bnei Brak, the largest haredi city in Israel, has come up with a great plan for making army duty more equitable in the Jewish state.
Well, make that half a great plan and half a potential disaster.
Rabbi Simcha Avraham Halevi says that for the sake of fairness, with the government pushing to end army exemptions for haredi young men who are full-time yeshiva students, all secular young Israelis should be required to study Torah.
Only about 2 percent of the respondents to the New York Jewish Population Study are “Jewish by conversion.” Twice as many people — 5 percent of the study — describe themselves as “Jewish by personal choice.”
Jerusalem — “Tomorrow” was the theme of this year’s Israeli Presidential Conference, a three-day program that attracted more than 4,000 guests from around the world here this past week. But there was an air of nostalgia on the opening evening when host Shimon Peres, the 88-year-old president of Israel, bestowed the Presidential Award of Distinction on Henry Kissinger, 89, praising the former U.S. secretary of state as “a great statesman and a great Jew” for statecraft performed in the 1970s.
Simon Kuh didn’t chant a Haftorah for his bar mitzvah several Shabbat mornings ago at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. Instead, the 13-year-old reported on his recent ride alone on a city bus, the 720 Wilshire, across Los Angeles on a Friday at rush hour “to see my city from a different perspective.”