Don’t Ask, Don’t Shave?

Brooklyn rabbi, an aspiring chaplain, sues Army to allow his beard.
12/27/2010 - 19:00
Washington Jewish Week

WASHINGTON (Washington Jewish Week) – Rabbi Menachem Stern’s bushy black beard is at the center of a federal court case.

Rabbi Stern, 29, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi from Brooklyn, filed suit recently against the U.S. Army saying that a no-beard restriction violates his religious freedom.

In January 2009, Rabbi Stern had applied to become a chaplain in the Army, which has been historically short on Jewish spiritual leaders.

For Charters’ Jewish Cousins, So Near, So Far

The tricky relationship between Hebrew charter schools and their religious after-school programs.
12/27/2010 - 19:00
Associate Editor

Inside the Kings Bay Y, a modest, postwar, two-story Jewish community center on a busy stretch of Nostrand Avenue adjacent to a housing project, the sounds of schoolchildren’s shouts, laughter and footsteps ricochet over the linoleum floors, through the chlorine-scented cinderblock-walled corridors, from the gym to the fluorescent-lit classrooms and activity rooms, to the swimming pool.

A Jewish after-school program at the Kings Bay Y.

Generation F

Theological fluidity of young Jews posing tough challenge to Jewish institutions on eve of 2011; rash of new efforts to reach ‘drifters.’
12/27/2010 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Her grandparents — “cultural” Jews on one side of the family, more traditional on the other — came to the United States from the Old Country a century ago and didn’t change their level of religious observance (or non-observance) during their lives. Their spiritual lives were a straight line.

Her parents, newly married, moved to Westchester County in the early 1970s, joined a Reform temple and never left it. Their spiritual lives were also a straight line.

Abby Sher’s spiritual life is a curve.

Abby Sher, the girl who couldn’t stop praying.

American Sabra

Israeli population in U.S. surges, but exact figures hard to determine.
12/27/2010 - 19:00


SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — The number of Israelis living in the United States grew by about 30 percent over the past decade, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau figures.

Some 140,323 people living in the United States today were born in Israel, up from 109,720 in 2000. Of the Israelis living here, 90,179 have U.S. citizenship and 50,144 do not.

Israel ex-pats were among those who showed up in Los Angeles for an Israel Independence Day celebration.

Oldest Ancient Teeth Found In Israeli Cave

12/27/2010 - 19:00

 (JTA) — Eight teeth found in a cave in central Israel are reportedly the earliest remains of Homo sapiens ever discovered.
The teeth, discovered in a cave near Rosh Haayin, east of Tel Aviv, have been estimated to be about 400,000 years old. If the initial findings are confirmed, it would overturn accepted scientific theory that Homo sapiens, the direct descendent of modern man, evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago and migrated north.

Netanyahu: No Apology To Turkey

12/27/2010 - 19:00

(JTA) — Israel’s prime minister said Israel will not apologize to Turkey for the interception of a Gaza-bound ship or the loss of life on board.

However, Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview on Israeli national television Monday night, Israel would express its regret.

Orthodox Blog Banned

12/27/2010 - 19:00

The popular ultra-orthodox blog, Vos Iz Neias, was the target of a recent ban issued by 36 prominent rabbis from Brooklyn, Lakewood, Philadelphia and Europe, including such names as Rabbi Aaron Moshe Schechter, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn and Rabbi Yerucham Olshin, of the Lakewood Yeshiva.

The statement issued strong words against the site, saying its anonymous publisher

Wikileaks: U.S. Did Not Help Hamas Hit Investigation

12/27/2010 - 19:00

(JTA) — The United States has reportedly declined a request by the United Arab Emirates to help investigate the assassination of a Hamas leader in a Dubai hotel room.

Iranian Hung For Spying For Israel

12/27/2010 - 19:00

(TJA) — Ali-Akbar Siadat was hanged at a prison in Tehran on Tuesday morning after being convicted of spying for Israel, according to the Iranian news agency IRNA.

End of the Decade: Finding Hope and Optimism

12/27/2010 - 19:00

A As we close out this decade, there is a pervasive underlying pessimistic mood about our nation’s long-term prospects.

Rabbi Benjamin Blech
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