The Reform movement admits it has a big youth problem. North American Judaism’s largest denomination (about 1.5 million members) says it has failed over the past 20 years to retain the interest of the majority of its teenagers past the age of 13.
To address the crisis, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations has announced a half-million-dollar youth initiative to help some of its 875 local congregations develop new programs to entice disinterested teens.
by Lawrence Cohler-Esses
Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert last week staunchly rejected Palestinian vows to make east Jerusalem their capital while declaring his commitment to equal rights for Palestinian city residents under Israel’s exclusive rule.
Last December, the appointment of women rabbinic interns in two Orthodox synagogues here sparked heated debate about leadership roles for women within Orthodoxy.But a year later, the debate seems to have dropped off the radar screen and the hirings remain a pioneering — if isolated — experiment at the two Modern Orthodox congregations.
In pressing ahead this week with its demand that the French government release all 2,058 paintings looted by the Nazis, the World Jewish Congress provided details on the theft of one of those paintings — information it gleaned from the National Archives in Washington.
The single most serious threat to Jewish continuity in America is not intermarriage but Jewish illiteracy, according to Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of the New Republic and author of the recent, highly acclaimed book, “Kaddish.”
Two Orthodox rabbinical groups conspired with a Brooklyn chasidic man to discredit his wife in a divorce proceeding, claims a lawsuit filed last month in state Supreme Court. Motivated by payoffs of as much as $50,000, the rabbis issued a document that disgraced Helen Chayie Sieger rather than assist in preparing a religious divorce, or get, allege Sieger and her lawyers, who are seeking at least $14 million in damages from the rabbis.