The Ford Foundation, one of the country’s largest private foundations, has set a course of late to influence the religious debate in America, and this week its largesse reached to the world’s largest gay and lesbian synagogue.
“I have been funding a number of projects to bring new voices into theological discussions and debate,” said Ford program director Constance Buchanan, explaining the $250,000 grant to Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in Greenwich Village, believed to be the first time Ford has funded an individual synagogue.
As the "Sensation" storm raged last month, the fact that a Catholic mayor was accusing the Brooklyn Museum's Jewish director of promoting Catholic bashing was noted but not highlighted.
Now with the controversy being decided in Manhattan Federal Court, Jewish involvement in the affair is being scrutinized further, even as it becomes clearer that the city's Jewish community has split along political lines.
Katrin Yaghoubi wanted to find a synagogue with gemutlichkeit. That’s German for coziness. And it had to have eshtemah. That’s Farsi for community.
And a rabbi whose services kept her interest. That’s English for not boring.
It took her almost eight years.
An Iranian Jew born in Germany, Yaghoubi now lives in Manhattan but her shul is in Great Neck, home to her mother, one of her three siblings and thousands of other Iranian Jews.
At the same time the kosher food industry is experiencing record growth, the Orthodox Union’s kashrut division has undergone a major transformation as it keeps up with the burgeoning demand of companies seeking the organization’s well-known OU endorsement.
After an expensive, national six-month search, leaders of the United Jewish Communities, American Jewry’s newly reorganized social service and fund-raising organization, discovered what Dorothy learned years ago in “The Wizard of Oz”: There’s no place like home.
The organization announced on Tuesday that Stephen Solender, 61, executive vice president of UJA-Federation of New York for the past 13 years and acting president of the UJC for the past six months, had been named president.
In the opening salvo of what is expected to be a spirited war for New York’s Jewish vote, Democratic presidential contender Bill Bradley comes to town Monday night for an address to the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.