Admitting that his Reform movement's controversial 20-year-old outreach program has failed to reach its potential, Rabbi Eric Yoffie has called for new efforts to bring Reform Judaism to tens of thousands of unaffiliated North American Jews and intermarried couples.
"We have not accomplished all that we should have," Rabbi Yoffie, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), told about 75 Reform officials at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue last Sunday, while addressing a 20th anniversary celebration of the denomination's outreach program.
by Lawrence Cohler-Esses |
Peering out at the reporters and TV cameras clamoring around the entrance of his religious girls school in Brooklyn last week, Rabbi Hertz Frankel's mind raced as they demanded he comment on his crime. It was a serious crime, a federal felony involving no-show teachers, fund diversions, false job titles and clear breaches of the separation of church and state. It was one Frankel had quietly pleaded guilty to the previous week.
Stephen Solender, who oversaw the successful 1986 merger of the United Jewish Appeal and Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, is being asked to do the same thing on a national scale.
Solender, the executive vice president of UJA-Federation, was tapped this week to assume the professional helm of the new national entity for the Jewish community's central fund-raising organization, the United Jewish Communities. But it is to be for no longer than six months while the search for a president continues, and while Solender maintains his current post as well.
Henreich Heine, the German-Jewish poet, wrote more than a century ago, ìder vorhang fallt, das stuck ist aus,î the curtain falls, the play is done. Then, in that tragic coda, the ax fell, too. Yet the drama goes on, a few German-Jews puttering around on a stage they refuse to leave, enchanted by that language.ìWir haben viel fur einander gefuhlt,î how deeply we were wrapped in each otherís lives, wrote Heine.
Her campaign for Senate may be in deep freeze while Hillary Rodham Clinton toys with her own campaign, but Rep. Nita Lowey insists she holds no grudges. "I respect Hillary Clinton's decision-making process," she told Political Memos in a recent interview. "In the meantime, I'm doing what I have to do, should I be the candidate."
A Brooklyn native voluntarily returned to New York from Israel and pleaded guilty for his role in a drug-money laundering scandal involving members of the Bobover chasidic sect, two prominent Orthodox community leaders and a Colombian cartel.
In the unusual scenario, Michael Halberstam agreed to a plea bargain last month with the office of the U.S. Attorney's Eastern District. His surrender contrasts with recent episodes (notably the Samuel Sheinbein murder case) in which the United States has attempted to extradite Americans from Israel.