Religion

Shul Fracas In The East Village

An almost 100-year-old synagogue is being sold to developers, but some congregants claim the vote wasn’t legal.

08/15/2008
Staff Writer

At 7:20 p.m. on a recent Monday, only nine people had shown up for the 7:15 Mincha service at Anshei Meseritz synagogue, a crumbling relic from the turn of the last century that sits directly across the street from the Village View public housing project in Lower Manhattan. Past the sheaths of peeling gray paint and decaying stained glass Stars of David, the shul’s inside houses dysfunctional toilets that are said to be more frequently visited by rats than humans.
 

Anshei Meseritz on East 6th Street. Sharon Udasin

Rainbow Flags Under The Chupah

In Connecticut, Jewish same-sex couples celebrate their newfound right to marry.

10/31/2008
Staff Writer

Born in Guatemala and adopted by two American mothers, 9-year-old Ellie Cooper has grown accustomed to standing out in her predominantly white Christian town of Middlefield, Conn. But now that her parents have gained the right to marry under Connecticut law, she’ll have more in common with her classmates.
 

“Often people will say, ‘Are you married?’” said one of her mothers, Jane Cooper. “I just want to say yes, and I want for my daughter to have parents who are married.”
 

Robin Baslaw and Susan Smith’s March 2006 civil union ceremony, performed by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum.

Photo Editing Israel’s Online Image

On open-source sites like Google Maps and Flickr, the picture isn’t always pretty. Media Consul David Saranga hopes a blogger tour will help.

03/06/2009
Staff Writer

A simple search for “Israel” on Google Maps will give you more than just roadways and town names: photographed piles of Gazan rubble will pop out of the map, taking precedent over images of Israel’s popular landmarks and landscapes.
 

David Saranga hopes to replace images of destruction like this one with photos of everyday, "real" Israeli life.  Google images

Liberal-Branch Shuls Aiming For A More Perfect Union

Reform-Conservative merger in Miami provides glimpse of the future
of non-Orthodox Judaism.

04/27/2010
Staff Writer

Miami — The banner in front of the synagogue here says it all: “One Synagogue — Two Traditions, Embracing Reform and Conservative Judaism.”

It has been nearly a year since this Reform congregation of about 325 families, Temple Bet Breira, merged with a neighboring Conservative synagogue of 250 families, Congregation Samu-El Or Olom. The union is still being tweaked, and while officials at both congregations are proclaiming it a success thus far, questions linger about the long-term viability of such an arrangement.

The merged synagogues are now in Bet Breira’s building. Inset: Rabbis David Schonblum and Jaime Klein Aklepi.

Can Palin Win Over Jews?

Could Obama’s growing problems with the community translate into popularity
for our least-favorite Sarah? Despite a new website, most experts say no.

04/27/2010
Staff Writer

If you believe the conventional wisdom about the 2008 presidential election, Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama was having a very tough time garnering Jewish support before Sen. John McCain picked a running mate. Polls in the Jewish community had Obama getting about 55 percent of the Jewish vote, as much as 20 percentage points lower than John Kerry or Al Gore, the two previous Democratic presidential candidates.

Sarah Palin.

Dolan Steers Clear Of Troubling Issues

In shul visit, he praises state of Jewish-Catholic relations, sidesteps Pius canonization.

04/27/2010
Staff Writer

A year after he became head of New York City’s Roman Catholic community, Archbishop Timothy Dolan visited a prominent Manhattan synagogue last Thursday, praising the state of Jewish-Catholic relations and calling for increased dialogue between Jews and Catholics.
 

Archbishop Dolan, right, with Park East’s Rabbi Arthur Schneier, visited shul two year after Pope Benedict appeared there.
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