News

Real Men & Real Mensches

11/15/2010 - 19:00

Why is it so difficult for our male leaders to just admit to their mistakes and publicly apologize? The news media reminds of this character flaw on a 24/7 basis. On his book tour, George Bush refuses to acknowledge his grave error about Iraq’s not having WMDs; Barack Obama can’t bring himself to admit that he has failed to live up to commitments to voters; Keith Obermann, in trouble for conflict-of-interest political contributions, can’t simply say “I’m sorry. I screwed up.”

Nat’l Young Israel Rejects Petition

11/15/2010 - 19:00

It has come down to this in the long-running battle between the leadership of the National Council of Young Israel and a group of dissident members wanting changes to the movement’s constitution: “disembodied signature pages.”

In the latest skirmish between the two, a lawyer for the NCYI rejected a petition the dissident leaders assembled, which they said was from 25 percent of NCYI congregations. It called for the proposed constitutional changes to be considered at the group’s next national meeting, which is to be held here on Dec. 15.

UNRWA’s John Ging: In eye of storm at Columbia.

High Court Mulls Religious Ed Credit

11/15/2010 - 19:00

A Supreme Court hearing over Arizona’s embattled $500 tax credit for private schools, including parochial ones, is being closely watched by advocates of private tuition aid across the country.

The Orthodox Union filed a brief in August urging the high court to uphold the credit after Arizona’s state court and the U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit ruled it unconstitutional.

AJC’s Marc Stern: Case’s questions “up in the air.”

Settlers: ‘We’re Helpless’

With building freeze resumed, Jews in West Bank feel like ‘pawns.’
11/15/2010 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Barkan, West Bank — After Israel lifted a 10-month settlement construction freeze at the end of September, Koby Kalabrino hesitated. Was it safe to start building a new four-bedroom home or would Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree to a moratorium extension requested by the U.S. to keep peace talks with the Palestinians going?

But when talks with the U.S. appeared to stall in October, Kalabrino gave builders a green light in the hope that he could finish the foundations and avoid getting caught by a new freeze on housing starts. He guessed wrong.

Mali Kalabrino stands next to two shipping containers where her family belongings are stored.

Is Reform Movement Going Kosher?

Discussion about kashrut and Jewish values part of broader discussion about rituals; new guide to dietary practice is a first.
11/15/2010 - 19:00
JTA

Kosher — it’s the first word in the book. And tackling the “k” word head-on is part of what makes the first Reform guide to Jewish dietary practice so significant.

“The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic,” to be published next month by the Reform rabbinical association, uses an array of essays by Reform rabbis and activists to challenge Reform Jews to develop a conscious dietary practice grounded in Jewish values.

And it’s not shy about suggesting kashrut, both traditional and re-imagined.

“The Sacred Table,” soon to be published by CCAR Press, suggests that Reform Jews develop a Jewish dietary practice. CCAR Press

Susan Sher To Leave White House

11/15/2010 - 19:00

 

 

(JTA) — First Lady Michelle Obama's chief of staff Susan Sher, who has served as an administration liaison to the Jewish community, will leave the White House.

Sher has plans to return to Chicago early next year, and no successor has been named, according to Politico.

“Susan has brought tremendous skill and dedication to the First Lady’s office, as well as my Administration’s outreach to the Jewish Community and our efforts to pass health care reform, and I thank her for her service,” President Obama said.

Holocaust Museums Study Ways To Counter Genocide

11/15/2010 - 19:00

(JTA) — An international symposium in Paris looked at ways to improve often sluggish international cooperation on genocide prevention.

Senior international human rights officials gathered Monday and Tuesday at the French Memorial de la Shoah in an event that was convened also with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Samantha Power, senior director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the U.S. National Security Council, said she and other U.S. officials traveled to Paris to help streamline proactive, multilateral responses to the threat of genocide.

Seven Mild Earthquakes Hit Northern Israel

11/15/2010 - 19:00

(JTA) — An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale hit northern Israel, the seventh temblor in two days.

Tuesday morning's earthquake hit near the border with Lebanon, and marked the highest magnitude quake of the seven that began on Sunday evening with a 2.7 temblor, Haaretz reported. Residents of the Upper Galilee reported feeling the quake on Tuesday, according to the newspaper. No injuries or damage were reported.

Israel sits on the Syrian-African fault, and mild earthquakes are not unusual in the region.

Fight Erupts Between Jewish Voice For Peace, Standwithus

11/15/2010 - 19:00

(JTA) — A dispute between right-wing and left-wing Israel activists in Berkeley, Calif., resulted in a physical altercation involving pepper spray, police and paramedics.

Lincoln Square Gets $20 Million, Conditionally

Funds to complete West Side shul’s new building contingent on members’ donations.
11/15/2010 - 19:00
Staff Writer

An undisclosed donor has committed $20 million to complete construction of the Lincoln Square Synagogue’s 50,000-square-foot building on the Upper West Side and provide a small endowment, the congregation told its members Thursday.

The gift, however, comes with a string: It is contingent on the synagogue raising an additional $3 million by April 30, 2011. The donor, whose identity is known only to the synagogue’s rabbi, Shaul Robinson, also stipulated that “an overwhelming majority” of the synagogue’s membership donate to the cause.

 Rabbi Shaul Robinson.
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