News

Half-Hour With A Hero

02/07/2003
Staff Writer
After years in journalism, interviewing heads of state and religious leaders (and seeing feet of clay on a fair number of both) I don't usually get too jazzed about talking even to the "important" folks. But despite attempts to stay cool and professional, interviewing Col. Ilan Ramon was a plain old thrill. After weeks of requests through the Johnson Space Center's bureaucracy, one September day a press relations person called with the news that I had a half-hour to interview Colonel Ramon the next day.

Mixed Readings OK'd At Halachic Shul

02/07/2003
Staff Writer
In a first for an Orthodox-in-practice American synagogue, Kehilat Orach Eliezer in Manhattan has voted overwhelmingly to permit both men and women to read from the Torah at the same worship service. And despite synagogue leaders' efforts to make clear that the decision is applicable to their community alone, others say the move could have a far-reaching impact.

Hebrew College To Ordain Rabbis

01/24/2003
Staff Writer
Boston's Hebrew College, the 82-year-old center of secular Jewish studies, plans to open the doors of a new rabbinical school in September, adding to the handful of Jewish independent ordaining institutions in the United States. The new program will likely create competition for students among New York-based seminaries. The move by Hebrew College, which has about 400 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs in Jewish studies and Jewish education, is being welcomed in some quarters and criticized in others.

New Language For Abortion Debate

01/17/2003
Special To The Jewish Week
Jan. 22 marks the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal. Even as political battles over legal abortion again heat up, for most people the topic is difficult to discuss. The language we use amplifies the discomfort. In periodicals I read, from Ms. magazine to the Evangelical Today's Christian Woman, the vocabulary around abortion seems mired in the '70s.

Mainstreaming The V Word

01/10/2003
Staff Writer
Attention Jewish women: Eve Ensler thinks you're hot. "Jewish women are really sexy," said the creator of "The Vagina Monologues" this week, after shooting publicity photos for an upcoming benefit performance of her hit show. Proceeds from the Feb. 12 performance, being presented at Town Hall by the women of UJA-Federation of New York, will aid Jewish victims of domestic violence.

Gay Issue Gets Personal

12/27/2002
Staff Writer
For Rabbi Elliot Dorff, the gay issue being grappled with by the Conservative movement has hit home: literally.

A New Consensus For Gays?

12/27/2002
Staff Writer
The job looked like a perfect fit. A Solomon Schechter day school had offered a Judaic studies teaching job to an experienced Conservative rabbi, and had wrapped up negotiations over salary and benefits. Signing the contract was all that was left. But just before signing, the rabbi wanted to make sure the principal knew she was a lesbian. The next day the school's rabbinic authority informed the rabbi that the job offer was being revoked on the basis of that information.

The Fear Hits Home

10/27/2000
Staff Writer
"Will the Arabics throw rocks or bombs at us while we're having recess?" my 6-year-old son asked. His class party in the school sukkah had been canceled, and he wanted to know why. Aryeh's school, located near the heart of Brooklyn's downtown Arab community and in an area where Jews have been targeted by stone-throwers several times in recent weeks, was sufficiently concerned about nighttime security to cancel the party.

Memorable Moments At Past GAs

11/11/2009
Editor and Publisher

The most dramatic moment I’ve ever experienced at a GA (General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America) took place in 1977, in Dallas, on a Shabbat afternoon, when Golda Meir walked onto the stage for what many of the several thousand in the audience suspected might well be her last appearance in the U.S. And it was. She died in Jerusalem less than a year later.

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In Northeast Queens, ‘Tradition And Change’ at Conservative Synagogue

11/11/2009
Staff Writer

Claire Heymann, an Auschwitz survivor who grew up in a strictly Orthodox home in Germany, had a bit of trouble adjusting to the idea of an egalitarian synagogue.

But a female rabbi? Don’t ask.

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