The Orthodox rule barring Jews from entering Christian churches has once again triggered a denominational flap among Jewish clergy that threatens a scheduled Sept. 9 interfaith service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on behalf of New York’s poor.
It could also signal the end of the New York Board of Rabbis as a group that includes all Jewish rabbis.
At issue is a letter sent out by the New York Board of Rabbis — perhaps the last Jewish group around that boasts Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis as members.
After a rocky first year, the much-heralded UJA-Federation Unity Campaign designed to help the Conservative, Orthodox and Reform movements raise money for their own projects in Israel has raised nearly $10.5 million in pledges and organizers said they have begun to pull their act together. This effort comes at a time of a booming economy that has helped 36 federations across the country achieve record high levels of donations.
The only Jewish woman running for statewide office this year insists she has a lock on the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. “I believe I am well-positioned [to] win the primary,” says Sandra Frankel, supervisor of the town of Brighton, N.Y.
She may be right. Being the only Jew and the only woman on the ticket may have its advantages in a year in which a high turnout among Jewish women is expected. “The response of the Jewish community has been very positive,” she says of those she met while campaigning.
The end of the first Nazi-era denaturalization trial held in Manhattan marks the beginning of a long wait for a verdict — a decision many court observers believe may favor the defendant.
But representatives of local Jewish groups are saying that the trial itself, widely covered in the nation’s media capital, may be as important as the verdict for its educational value.
Advocates of a creative method to dissolve religious marriages on behalf of Orthodox Jewish women have for the first time publicly issued a detailed explanation of their process. In a two-page advertisement on pages 26 and 27 in this week’s Jewish Week, the group, Agunah Inc., in cooperation with Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, one of Modern Orthodoxy’s leading figures, published the “Halachic Principles and Procedures For Freeing Agunot.” Agunot, Hebrew for chained wives, refers to Jewish women whose husbands refuse to grant them a religious divorce, or get.
James Larocca, unknown and underfunded, is a prohibitive underdog in the Democratic primary for governor. “We’re broke and proud of it,” he boasts. Larocca recently completed a petition drive to get on the ballot after failing to gather enough support at the statewide nominating convention for an automatic spot.