Rabbi

RCA Set To Rule On Women’s Roles

Orthodox rabbis seek ‘consensus’ resolution at meeting; will it satisfy anyone?

04/20/2010
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.

Rabba Sara Hurwitz: Pioneering role.

U.S.-Israel Tensions Now Hitting Pulpits

N.Y. area rabbis, some feeling ‘forced,’ wading into rocky political waters; anxiety seen in pews.

04/20/2010
Staff Writer

As the strain in U.S.-Israel relations continues, some area rabbis who generally don’t mix religion and politics on the pulpit are setting aside those constraints.

“People were asking me and my hand was sort of forced,” said Rabbi Perry Rank, spiritual leader of the Midway Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in Syosset, L.I. “My sense is that Mr. [Barack] Obama has unnerved the American Jewish community and people are looking for a perspective on the issue.

Rabbis Andrew Bachman and Perry Rank: Taking to pulpit, with differing views of Obama’s policies.

Hail To The Chief

British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: the Jewish people will continue to thrive if we maintain our pride and develop a sense of optimism.

04/20/2010
Editor and Publisher

Listening to British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks deliver a positive message of Jewish survival and triumph at Lincoln Square Synagogue on Shabbat, and observing the enthusiastic, attentive overflow crowds at each of his three presentations, helped strengthen the impression for me that he has emerged as the leading voice of Modern Orthodoxy and religious Zionism in the world.

Gary Rosenblatt

Mom's Bat Mitzvah

06/20/2008
Editorial Intern

Bonnie Panzok is just trying to catch up with her children.

When Panzok sent her kids to Jewish day school to get the education she never got, she watched as their knowledge grew exponentially and surpassed her own. But now, Panzok, after a crash course in Jewish history and rituals, has soared ahead, filling in the gaps in her own Jewish learning.

A Shmooze Through The Torah

New postmodern commentary offers high-tech,
user-friendly guide to weekly portion.

04/20/2010
Staff Writer

The classical commentaries on Acherei Mot–Kedoshim — the Torah portions in Leviticus read in synagogues this Shabbat — by the classical commentators are black and white, graphically and philosophically.

Long blocks of text parse and examine and explain key biblical words that illustrate such concepts as the Azazel goat ritual in the Wilderness, forbidden relationships, and obligations to the poor.

Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier’s parshah book takes a novel graphic approach.

Who Gets Religious Custody in an Interfaith Divorce?

04/20/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

The case of little Ela Reyes raises many thorny issues about church/state entanglement, parenting in a multicultural world, and the challenge of religious pluralism. Ela’s parents, Rebecca Reyes (born Jewish) and her now ex-husband Joseph Reyes (raised Catholic, converted to Judaism, and now returning to the Church) found themselves in court over the issue of his right to bring Ela to church. Cook County (Illinois) Judge Renee Goldfarb ruled that Mr. Reyes has the right to do so. 

LVMH Honors Rabbi Arthur Schneier On His 80th Birthday

04/20/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

An enchanting Manhattan sunset cast a magical glow over the penthouse of the LVMH Tower on West 57th Street where a radiant Renaud Dutreil welcomed guests. Dutreil, the North America chairman of LVMH Moet Henessy Louis Vuitton, Inc., presided over a reception honoring Rabbi Arthur Schneier on his 80th birthday and Park East Synagogue on its 120th anniversary.

Synagogue president Herman Hochberg said this was a kickoff for the main event, a gala celebratory dinner, to take place on June 7 at the Waldorf-Astoria.

LVMH chairman Renaud Dutreil welcomes Elisabeth and Rabbi Arthur Schneier to LVMH Tower in Manhattan. Photo by Tim Boxer

Incentives To Lure Faithful Seen Growing

In bid to stabilize neighborhoods, more Modern Orthodox shuls
offering cash for new blood.

04/13/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

When Phillip and Aviva Angel felt priced out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, and wanted to find a Modern Orthodox community where they could put down permanent roots, they searched the Internet for Jewish housing incentives.

“Being Modern Orthodox and the father of sons, I didn’t feel there were really any options for affordable Orthodox Jewish education in Brooklyn,” said Angel, a self-employed architectural consultant. “We were also looking for a suburb where you can commute affordably to New York City.”

Have money, will relocate? Fleetwood Synagogue in Mt. Vernon is offering up to $30,000 for new families. Michael Datikash

In Western Queens, New Blood Raises Hopes for Jewish Revitalization

Young Jewish singles and families are flocking to Astoria, Long Island City and Jackson Heights — but can the existing synagogues draw them in?

11/18/2009
Staff Writer

When Cara Bernstein walked down the aisle a month ago to meet her fiancé under the chupah, she knew her wedding day was a crossroads not only in her life, but in the life of her Queens synagogue, which had not hosted a bride and groom for 22 years.

Nearly the entire congregation at Astoria Center of Israel celebrated her marriage that day, whether or not they knew the couple personally.

“A fellow congregant told me that I’m part of a new wave of congregants,” said Bernstein, who is 38.

Young Jews in Long Island City celebrate Sukkot on a condo rooftop. Rabbi Zev Wineberg
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