Jerusalem — Have the liberal streams of Judaism been left at the altar by the State of Israel, or can they forge an historic union in their quest for recognition? That’s the issue at the center of the Conservative movement’s annual Rabbinical Assembly convention, attended by some 350 American rabbis here.
Some rabbis say they should support the Neeman Commission’s proposal to create conversion institutes, to be taught by Orthodox, Conservative and Reform instructors — with or without the approval of the Orthodox chief rabbinate.
by Michele Chabin
Jerusalem — As Israelis lined up at hardware stores this week to buy plastic sheeting and rolls of adhesive tape to seal rooms against possible chemical or biological agents, Liora Abramson was taking things in stride — for now.
“We’re feeling really, really calm. If it weren’t for the news reports on TV, I wouldn’t know that a war might be looming,” said Abramson, 21, whose family moved from Borough Park, Brooklyn, to Tel Aviv eight years ago.
Jerusalem — Legitimacy, long sought here by the Reform and Conservative rabbinate, was denied again this week by the Orthodox chief rabbinate, but advanced by the state — leaving the door ajar for a resolution to the religious wars.
Despite the chief rabbinate’s strong disapproval of a key element of the Neeman Committee proposal on conversion, two-thirds of the Knesset is expected to endorse the plan this week.
Shya Herman of Riverdale opened the newspaper last week to learn that Israelis were lining up for new gas masks. Upon learning that his son, a student at Bar-Ilan University, did not have one, he called the Israeli Consulate.
“All I’m asking is for my son to be safe,” Herman said. “Why doesn’t the university have [gas masks] on campus?
“I’m not asking that they be distributed, only that they be nearby. If we can’t be assured of the safety for our son, Aaron, we’re going to bring him home.”