In the latest effort to define its religious boundaries, the Conservative movement has directed its summer camping system to notify parents that prospective campers must be Jewish according to halacha, or Jewish law, to be accepted.
The notification, included in this year's application, marks the first such written statement of policy in the 53-year history of the Camp Ramah system, said its national director, Rabbi Sheldon Dorph.
Groucho Marx once said he would never join a club that would accept him as a member. Presumably, he knew what the requirements were for joining.
But that's apparently not the case with the nation's premier America Jewish umbrella group, the Conference of President of Major American Jewish Organizations, at least according to one Jewish organization. Meretz USA, a group supporting civil rights and peace in Israel, says it can't get into the President's Conference, and worse, hasn't been able to find out why.
At the Society for the Advancement of Judaism on the Upper West Side, students in the Hebrew school are learning to paint murals on biblical themes. The children are having fun, say parents.
In response to intermarriage, the Reform Temple of Suffern in Rockland County is trying to strengthen the entire synagogue community with intensive family programs.
For 13 years the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, a now-independent organization, has provided moral and financial support to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
As the generation of rescuers passes away, the foundation faces the problem of how to continue to honor their memory.
Its solution: education.
Rabbi Joseph Ozarowski finds an empty seat on the 8:12 from Valley Stream and takes a few photocopied pages with Aramaic printing from his briefcase. By the time his LIRR train reaches Penn Station, he’s completed the day’s daf yomi Talmud study.
A brisk walk cross-town, and he is at his office at NYU Medical Center, First Avenue and 34th Street.
His business card identifies him as Jewish chaplain, “but they’ve changed it to hospital rabbi,” he says.
In the last six months, Temple Emanuel of Long Beach, L.I., opened its doors for a social adult day-care program for seniors with dementia. Seven seniors attend twice a week and the synagogue's spiritual leader, Rabbi Bennett Herman, described it as "probably the best example of group work activity I've ever seen."