Reps of 18 synagogues rally support to make national organization ‘more transparent, accountable and responsive.’
A group of disaffected leaders of 18 Young Israel synagogues has begun soliciting support for constitutional changes that they say would make the National Council of Young Israel “more transparent, accountable and responsive to member branches.”
Of the many things that I admire my wife for, one (surely not the most significant) is her ability to walk into an empty room in a house and imagine how it might or ought to look with furniture and everything else that makes up a room. The couch can go there, the rocker there, that painting over there… it’s this remarkable ability to see beyond what presents right now and have an image of what it might be.
An almost 100-year-old synagogue is being sold to developers, but some congregants claim the vote wasn’t legal.
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.
Once at odds, the two groups now seen reinforcing each other.
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His students have left, and Steven Exler is taking a moment to reflect. He’s just finished his session, presented to representatives of independent prayer minyanim, on how to comfort mourners. It’s a pastoral role that Exler, associate rabbi at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, has performed countless times.
Now, he wonders what’s next.
“There’s sort of a moment of fear,” said Exler, 29. “Am I teaching people to make myself obsolete? I struggle with that question.”
Reform-Conservative merger in Miami provides glimpse of the future
of non-Orthodox Judaism.
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.
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.
Young Jewish singles and families are flocking to Astoria, Long Island City and Jackson Heights — but can the existing synagogues draw them in?
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.