Charities Anxious Over Market Volatility

Staff Writer
Does the collapse this week of Bear Stearns, with its long history of strong philanthropic ties to UJA-Federation of New York, mark the beginning of a major tailspin affecting Jewish charities? Voicing concerns that parallel worries over the impact of the Bear Stearns’ buyout on the market in general, Jewish officials say it is too early to assess the impact but recognize that the coming period will be marked by uncertainty and belt-tightening.

What’s In A Name? Millions Of Dollars

Staff Writer
Editor’s Note: This is the second of two articles on controversies involving naming gifts in philanthropy. Last September, a Jewish day school known since its 1946 founding as Akiba Hebrew Academy changed its name to the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, after the deceased brother of a major donor, in exchange for a $5 million pledge.

A Conversion Critique From Within

Staff Writer
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, spiritual leader of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and recently retired head of the Ramaz Jewish day schools on the Upper East Side, is one of Modern Orthodoxy’s elder statesmen. He will soon celebrate the 50th anniversary of his ordination, but rather than reflecting on his accomplishments with unfettered joy — which include helping between 300 and 400 people convert to Judaism — he is feeling deeply pained about the direction the Orthodox rabbinate is taking when it comes to conversions, and conflicted about his own role in the system.

Conservative Rabbis Consider Gays’ Status

Staff Writer
Differing religious perspectives on the status of gays and lesbians in the Conservative movement, from maintaining the status quo to radical alterations, were offered last week at a special two-day meeting of the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. “It went well, quite well, and we finished the meeting without anybody yelling at anybody else,” Rabbi Kassel Abelson, chairman of the law committee, said in an interview.

BREAKING NEWS: Birthright NEXT Hosts Evangelical Leader Who Promotes Messianic Judaism

Staff Writers

POSTED WEDNESDAY, NOV. 4,  6:00 p.m.

An Evangelical leader who believes Jews can accept Jesus without giving up their Jewish identity will be the keynote speaker in two weeks at an event for Birthright Israel alumni, sponsored by Birthright NEXT and the Jewish Enrichment Center.

No Lull In War Of Words

Associate Editor

Many of us are convinced that language has been a weapon of mass destruction during Israel’s four years of war. But wait a second –– what’s the name of that war, anyway? Israelis can’t figure it out. For a while HaMatzav, or the situation, was the Hebrew euphemism of choice. Last month, the Jerusalem Post actually ran a name-that-war item, with the headline, “rename the intifada,” indicating that even the J-Post editors couldn’t think of an English or Hebrew word that matched the perfect branding of the Arabic word.

Covering Mideast Wars At Columbia

Associate Editor

For almost five months, Columbia University has been at the heart of the campus wars over just how the Middle East ought to be taught in universities where both students and professors are overtly political, in disagreement, and possessing more passion than the pristine objectivity to which academia aspires.

A Voice For The Homeless Of Gush Katif

Staff Writer
Like many of the 8,000 Israelis who were evacuated by the Israeli Army from Gaza in August, 2005, Dror Vanunu who lived in Gush Katif and served as a spokesman for the evacuees, is now based in temporary quarters, a pre-fabricated home in Nitzan, near the Mediterranean coast between Ashdod and Ashkelon. He was in New York recently as part of a lobbying and public relations mission.

Get Out Of Africa

Associate Editor

The story of Hannah and her seven sons is among the most famous of Chanukah. This Chanukah we have another mother, another seven children: Esther Galia was shot dead by Palestinians and her seven children just concluded shiva.

The American media ignored Galia’s death; so did the Jewish media. Even the Israeli papers of Nov. 19 pretty much ignored it: Maariv had the killing on page 8; Yediot Achronot, page 9.

The Medals Of Mettle

Staff Writer
Mira, a sergeant in the Red Army during World War II, moved from unit to unit, treating wounded soldiers. Yakov served as a captain, stationed by the navy in several places. Emanuel, an officer, was stationed at the front. If they were still in the former Soviet Union, they would take part in a national celebration last week of Victory in Europe Day, a holiday commemorating the end of what was called in the USSR “The Great Patriotic.”
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