Fernando Manuel da Costa will speak for a few minutes tonight at the Ashkenazic synagogue in Lisbon.
That's not unusual for the 32-year-old native of the Portuguese capital; he's been attending Shabbat services there for nearly two decades. Now da Costa wants to tell other Portuguese with suspect Jewish roots how they can return to the fold.
by Debra Nussbaum Cohen |
The non-religious Jew, the secular, the humanist, the cultural Jew: in a city rich with synagogues and tradition-oriented classes, where are they to turn?
There will soon be a new haven for such folks, whose ranks, according to recent studies, are swelling.
Those in the region who describe themselves as "just Jewish" or "secular" or "having no religion" have nearly doubled in the last decade, from 13 to 25 percent, according to the recent New York population study.
Determined to stop construction of a "desecrating" sunken walkway through Poland's Belzec concentration camp, activist Rabbi Avi Weiss filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the American Jewish Committee, this time naming himself as a co-plaintiff.
But AJCommittee executive director David Harris labeled the lawsuit "frivolous" and defended the walkway, or "trench," as part of a necessary $4 million permanent memorial to the nearly half-million Jewish victims buried in mass graves at the death camp.
The lone survivor of a crash in upstate Monticello that killed three members of a Lubavitcher family has returned to her home in Brooklyn.
Rachel Leah Scheinfeld, 10, received only minor injuries when a car driven by her grandfather was run over by a tractor trailer on Route 17B. The grandfather, Isaac Scheinfeld, 65, was killed, as was his daughter, Bella Raksin, 44, who was Rachel's aunt. Scheinfeld's wife, Rose, 62, died at the scene.
Jennifer Mesrie had planned to study drama this summer. Michal Benzaquen was going to earn some money as a lifeguard. Shaanan Meyerstein "was definitely going to travel somewhere."
All three are traveling to South America this month: as Jewish community volunteers, not tourists.
Gary Rosenblatt |
Editor and Publisher
A religious court in Jerusalem has taken up the case of sex abuse charges leveled at Rabbi Matis Weinberg, the noted Torah scholar, author and lecturer accused of making advances toward former yeshiva students, The Jewish Week has learned.
The bet din is affiliated with the Badatz Eida Haredi, a well-known religious court in the fervently Orthodox sector of the community.