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.
Last October when Michael Bloomberg was named the first recipient of the Genesis Prize, billed as “the Jewish Nobel Prize,” more than a few eyebrows were raised at the choice of the then-New York mayor.
Watching a first-rate documentary a few weeks ago on Showtime about David Steinberg, the controversial but loveable Canadian-born comedian, actor, writer and director, brought back a flood of memories for me.