Religion

OK To Pressure Israel

04/27/2010

Stewart Ain’s article “U.S.-Israel Tensions Now Hitting Pulpits” (April 23), illustrates a high degree of ambivalence among American rabbis over President Barack Obama’s unprecedented serious, forthright and evenhanded efforts to achieve a lasting two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is entirely understandable after eight years of totally laissez-faire U.S. diplomacy, which left the parties to their own devices, resulting in today’s virtually intractable stalemate, with the positions of both sides moving even further apart.

Selling Synagogues Short

04/27/2010

A young woman looks at me from her hospital bed and confesses that grappling with her illness has helped her understand what her bat mitzvah Torah portion — which concerned isolating people with certain afflictions from their community and welcoming them back in once health was restored — was really all about.

Understanding Obama As Our First PC President

04/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Three mysteries underlie the current crisis between America and Israel. The first one is biographical: How can President Barack Obama call himself Israel’s friend, yet display such animus toward the Jewish state, exemplified most recently by refusing even to be photographed with Israel’s Prime Minister when hosting Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House?
 

Sephardic Charities Warned On Ethical Guidelines

Oversight committee will publish a list of those who comply and those who don’t in the fall.

04/27/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

A committee appointed to promote more transparency among charities in the Sephardic communities of Brooklyn and Deal, N.J, prompted by the arrests last year of three prominent Syrian rabbis on money-laundering charges, says that only six of some 30 organizations with tax-exempt status have agreed to a slate of voluntary operating guidelines.
 

Attorney Eli D. Greenberg wants stricter oversight of Sephardic charities. “We don’t want to have egg on our face,” he says.

David Solomon: Making Jewish Wisdom Accessible and Relevant

04/27/2010

David Solomon is a brilliant scholar and highly sought-after lecturer in the Jewish community. His wide range of general knowledge, deep textual scholarship and great sense of humor allow him to be a hugely charismatic educator. We acknowledge David as a Top Jew for his unselfish effort as a one-man teaching machine — in 11 countries over the past few years — with no organized fundraising or institutional support. Watch the videos on Jinsider or visit his teaching site www.inonehour.net.

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Newest Brew Offers Ethical Buzz

04/27/2010

Saving the world is something people usually leave for after the day’s first, if not second, cup of coffee.
 
Nonetheless, the American Jewish World Service is urging the Jewish community to start focusing on social justice even before the caffeine buzz takes hold.
 

AJWS partnering with fair-trade coffee company.

The Bonfire This Time

04/27/2010

 
In Israel, Lag b’Omer — the holiday that occurs this year on Saturday night and Sunday — has many traditions.
 
It’s a day off from school.
 
It’s a time when many 3-year-old boys get their first haircut and adult couples get married.
 
It’s a nationwide celebration of bonfires and picnics, especially a days-long Woodstock-type gathering for an estimated half-million people at Meron, a town in the northern Galilee.
 

Photo by Getty Images

Facing Israel’s Many Faces

New documentary by a 24-year-old provokes heated discussions about the key issues facing the Jewish state.

04/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

‘When you think about Israel, what are the two or three things that stick out for you, which define a Jewish state?” Amy Beth Oppenheimer asked her audience at the Barry & Florence Friedberg Jewish Community Center in Oceanside.
 
One by one, voices called out enthusiastically, “The language!” “Jewish education!” “The right of return!” “Observance of Shabbat!”
 

“Faces of Israel” director Amy Beth Oppenheimer, top, at Friedberg JCC event marking Israel’s 62nd birthday.

Rally Here Slams Obama, Jewish Democrats

Organizers of rightist protest say Rep. Weiner
asked to speak but was nixed.

04/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

As the rain came down Sunday and a crowd estimated at about 1,000 people listened to speeches, the organizers of a right-wing rally opposed to President Barack Obama’s policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fielded a request from U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn and Queens).
 

Some of the 1,000 or so people who turned out for Sunday’s rally. Photos by Michael Datikash

Sondheim, Unrevealed

The great composer who held up a mirror
to us remains elusive himself in new production.

04/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

If Andrew Lloyd Webber supersized the Broadway musical, inflating it with an operatic grandeur that distanced it from everyday life, Stephen Sondheim made it about us — our relationships, our struggles for self-esteem, our wrestlings with our yearnings and fears.
 

The cast of “Sondheim on Sondheim,” including Vanessa Williams, left, and Barbara Cook, seated at center.
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