Reading about New York Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino's homophobic turn in front of an ultra-Orthodox audience last Sunday, my thoughts drifted back to painful memories of my middle school years.
The Jewish campus community continues to address the emotional and spiritual needs of students on campus in the wake of the suicide of Tyler Clementi at Rutgers. Hillels are taking the lead in creating accepting environments for students of all sexual preferences.
Upset that Republican Carl Paladino disavowed portions of the speeches he made at two Brooklyn synagogues on Sunday, Rabbi Yehuda Levin on Wednesday withdrew his support for the candidate.
“If he continues on this path, not only can’t I vote for him, but I will call on all religious people to write in ‘morality’ or something like that [on the ballot],” said Rabbi Levin in a phone interview.
This past spring, my partner and I moved to Cincinnati. Soon after we arrived, an Orthodox synagogue in town prohibited our attendance. The rabbi of the shul called apologetically to inform us that the ruling had come from a rabbi whose authority exceeded his own. I decided to call this rabbi, who is the head of a prominent yeshiva and a respected halachic authority. I wanted to meet him personally to discuss the decision with him. He agreed to speak with me on the phone.
Apparently Carl Paladino, the Republican/Tea Party candidate for governor of New York, has a Jewish strategy: find the fringiest elements of the Jewish community, take positions that a majority of Jews will find offensive, and then sit back and wait for the Jewish votes to come your way.
Standard’s publishing and about-face of same-sex wedding announcement sparks battle on diversity and inclusion.
The decision by a major New Jersey Jewish newspaper to include the wedding announcement of two men in its “Lifecycle” section (and then to apologize, and reverse policy soon after) is fueling a debate about the role of Jewish newspapers in the communities they cover.
The future is happening now. In Manhattan’s Union Square, typical Sukkahs get a cool, modern makeover. Shabbat in a box is being handed out at the University of Southern California. Traditions are taking on a new twist as Jewish students incorporate interesting ideas to make the holidays more exciting. Jews and Muslims are taking on a modern and mature approach by sharing the holidays with each other.
Just in case you need more evidence of the paralysis gripping Capitol Hill, consider yesterday's successful effort by Senate Republicans to block debate on legislation repealing the military's “don't ask, don't tell” policy on gay soldiers.
And the threatened filibuster wasn't even on a vote on the bill itself; instead, GOP lawmakers effectively prevented it from even being discussed.
(JTA) -- A Saudi Arabian diplomat based in Los Angeles has requested political asylum because he is gay and close friends with a Jewish woman.
The diplomat was identified Saturday by NBC News as Ali Ahmad Asseri, the first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles. Asseri said he was effectively fired from his position since his diplomatic passport was not renewed by Saudi officials. He told NBC in an email message that he would be killed if he returned to Saudi Arabia.