Last week, thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews came out for mass protests across Israel. What was the contested issue: defense for Israel? Support of Agunot? Parents against child molestation? An end to violating business ethics and Israeli law? Not in the least bit. Sadly, this mass protest, the largest of its kind in years, was for the right to keep Sephardim out of Ashkenazi schools.
In the book of Genesis, God allows Adam to create names for all the beasts and birds in existence. With that powerful act, the first man establishes the identity of every earthly creature. From then on the image and function of a whale or a dove would always be tied to its name.
Regarding “Can We Afford To Make Others A Priority?” (March 12), I have conducted religious services at senior residences for close to a decade. In order to qualify for government funds, beds had to be full, forcing historically Jewish institutions to admit non-Jews. At first these admissions were limited in order to maintain their Jewish character, but gradually many institutions became Jewish in name only, catering basically to non-Jews, but still receiving Jewish communal funds. Fewer homes schedule services for remaining Jewish residents.
Rotem determined to push bill, despite serious opposition from liberal Jews.
The author of a proposed Israeli conversion bill dismissed this week criticism of the legislation by non-Orthodox Jewish leaders here and said he is determined to see it enacted.
“I will have to think how to continue because the most important thing for me is how to solve the problem of the half-million new immigrants from Russia” who wish to convert to Judaism, Israeli Knesset member David Rotem told The Jewish Week Monday.
The case for the evolution of gender roles in Jewish life.
Rabbi Shai Held
Special to the Jewish Week
This past week, Rav Hershel Schachter, eminent Torah scholar and leading figure at Yeshiva University, issued fighting words. The ordination of women as rabbis is such a serious infraction of Jewish Law, he insisted, that it technically falls under the rubric of “Yehareg Ve-al Ya’avor”—one should sooner be killed than violate the Law.
After much debate and despite predictions of a schism, the Rabbinical Council of America, the nation’s largest group of Orthodox rabbis, this week approved without dissent a carefully balanced resolution on women’s communal roles in Orthodox Jewish life.
The statement affirms a longstanding prohibition of women rabbis but allows congregational rabbis flexibility in determining appropriate roles for women in their synagogues and communities.
Last year the Avi Chai Foundation published a watershed study on Hebrew school education. One of the most intriguing findings was the emergence of a new force in this arena: Chabad-Lubavitch. The report, authored by former Jewish Theological Seminary provost Dr. Jack Wertheimer said that Chabad has taken a bold new approach to Hebrew school. Committed teachers, creative curricula, and a new program are infused with excitement and vitality.
LOS ANGELES (JTA) – A 15-year old Orthodox Jewish girl has become the youngest elected public representative in Los Angeles.
Rachel Lester was elected last week to the South Robertson Neighborhood Council, besting her opponent, a college-educated family man, with a lop-sided vote of 144 to 13.
The 90 neighborhood councils in Los Angeles are official municipal bodies, which serve as advisory boards to the L.A. City Council and as liaison between the average citizen and the municipal government.
Orthodox rabbis seek ‘consensus’ resolution at meeting; will it satisfy anyone?
Editor And Publisher
As the controversy over women’s roles within Modern Orthodoxy has roiled over the past few months, the leadership of the largest body of Orthodox rabbis in the U.S. has consistently pointed to its upcoming national conference as the time for sorting out, dealing with and resolving the thorny issue.
Now, on the eve of the Rabbinical Council of America’s convention — and with women edging closer to rabbinic duties in some high-profile synagogues — some members suggest expectations may be too high.