Micah Goodman, 39, a rising star in Israel as a philosopher, author, television personality and catalyst for change, makes a strong case that the deep divide between religious and secular Jews in Israel is narrowing.
In a rare quiet moment, John Ruskay, who is stepping down at the end of the month after 15 years as CEO and executive vice president of UJA-Federation of New York, sat in his office on East 59th Street and described his feelings these days as “running in a relay race, trying to hand the baton” to his successor, Eric Goldstein, as seamlessly as possible.
The chance to address several hundred people from around the country who, deeply attentive, have come to New York for three days and one purpose — to find speakers for their local Jewish community book fairs, sisterhood luncheons and other cultural programs.
The Jewish Federations of North America, or JFNA, may soon launch an effort that would include supporting groups in Israel working to limit or end Orthodox control of personal-status issues such as marriage, divorce, conversion and burial, The Jewish Week has learned.
The Israeli government is about to finalize a major initiative intended to inspire, engage and empower Jews around the world. At a cost of up to several hundred million dollars annually over the next six or seven years, it seeks to promote Jewish identity throughout the diaspora, particularly among young people.
On Shabbat mornings, when I go outside to pick up the newspaper from the front stoop of my house, I am aware of a deep sense of responsibility. I know that where and how I open the paper to check the scores during the baseball season determines whether my beloved Baltimore Orioles won or lost the previous night’s game.