Park51 On The Bima For Holy Days Sermons

08/31/2010 - 20:00

 The high-volume debate about the planned Islamic center — aka “The Mosque” — near the site of the former World Trade Center is, according to politicians and journalists, about freedom of religion or Muslim extremism.

Some local rabbis will tell you next week that it’s really about civility. Their message: listen to people who disagree with you, stop shouting, stop accusing.

Former Burlington Coat Factory near Ground Zero.

JCCs, Shuls Here In Competition?

92nd Street Y’s new bar/bat mitzvah training program raises concern.
08/31/2010 - 20:00
Associate Editor

 With the 92nd Street Y’s recent decision to offer bar/bat mitzvah training at Connect, its supplemental school, could Manhattan’s JCCs and synagogues, like those in Boca Raton, Fla., be on a collision course?

Like Boca’s JCC, the Y holds High Holy Day services; in addition, it runs weekly children’s Shabbat services, called Shababa. And across town, the JCC in Manhattan runs a supplemental school, called Havurah.

Or, in a city teeming with Jews (and Jewish institutions), is competition a non-issue?

The Passions (And Perils) Of Pamela Geller

The vehement Park51 opponent and day school mom sits down with Jewish Week, up to a point.
08/31/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

 Pamela Geller had had enough.

The right-wing blogger, whose vehement opposition to the planned Islamic community center near Ground Zero (a “mega-mosque” in her parlance) has earned Geller national headlines, rose from her seat at a Midtown diner last week and, fed up with the line of questioning, stormed out of a Jewish Week interview.

“Shame on you,” she shouted, “shame on you. Stop slamming the good guys.”

A journalist’s offense? Asking questions about her accuracy and her red-meat rhetoric.

Pamela Geller speaks in opposition to the proposed Islamic cultural center.

JCC, Synagogues In Holy War In Boca

Bitter turf battle as JCC offers Rosh HaShanah services for first time; move is ‘usurpation,’ cries a rabbi.
08/31/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Boca Raton, Fla. — Since moving here five years ago, Laura Reiss and her husband have not found a synagogue they are comfortable enough to join.

But when the High Holy Days begin Wednesday night, they and their three young daughters plan to attend a two-hour program featuring selected prayers at the Levis Jewish Community Center here — accompanied by their mothers, who have not been to synagogue services in more than 20 years. Reiss’ sister, who is intermarried, is also coming and bringing her family.

Hebrew Charters On Sharp Growth Curve

As schools open, Miami’s central Jewish education agency now eyeing partnership with Ben-Gamla.
08/31/2010 - 20:00
Associate Editor

 When New Jersey’s Hatikvah International Academy Charter School opens on Tuesday, it will join five other Hebrew charter schools operating in the United States, two of them brand new.

Launched only three years ago with the opening of the first of three “Ben Gamla” elementary schools in South Florida — and with planning under way for almost 30 more Hebrew charter schools throughout the country — the national Hebrew charter school movement is moving at a rapid clip.

Students chat with teachers at an orientation for Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, a Hebrew charter middle school in CA.

‘An Equal-Opportunity Recession’

As economy continues to falter, middle-class families forced to turn to Jewish food banks.
08/30/2010 - 20:00

San Francisco — Robert M., 58, worked for a news organization in the San Francisco Bay area until September 2008, when he lost his job in layoffs that eliminated 15 percent of the company’s workforce nationwide.

Robert had eight months of savings. They ran out in six months.

After 14 months of unemployment, in December 2009 Robert turned to San Francisco’s Jewish Family and Children’s Services for help with rent, utilities and, hardest of all, food.

New York’s Met Council on Jewish Poverty delivered Rosh HaShanah food packages throughout the five boroughs last September.

Bibi’s Man In Washington

Isaac Molho — a pragmatic deal broker and Netanyahu’s longtime personal attorney — is widely respected as Israel’s chief negotiator.
08/30/2010 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — As Israel-Palestinian peace talks resume for the first time since 2008, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be relying on his longtime personal attorney Isaac Molho to broker the deal of his life.

Israel’s chief negotiator to the peace talks, a highly respected Jerusalem corporate lawyer who stays out of the media spotlight regarding his political work, was first drafted by Netanyahu into diplomacy back in the 1990s as an emissary to Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and as a delegate to the Wye Plantation talks.

Isaac Molho, right, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sarah, and President Shimon Peres.

Campaign Pushing Yom Kippur As Device-Free Day

08/30/2010 - 20:00

(JTA) — A new campaign is promoting Yom Kippur as a day to disconnect from technology.

Offlining, Inc. is the brainchild of advertising and public relations CEOs Eric Yaverbaum and Mark DiMassimo, self-professed children of the Silicon Revolution who launched just before Father’s Day in June urging dads to put down their mobile devices, turn off the TV and spend time with their families.

Now they are urging all Americans, Jewish or not, to do the same on Sept. 18.

Academics Backing Boycott Of West Bank Center

08/30/2010 - 20:00

(JTA) — Some 150 academics and authors have thrown their support behind a boycott of a new West Bank cultural center.

In a letter released late Monday, the academics said they would not lecture in settlements and expressed their support for the theater professionals’ refusal to perform in Ariel.

“We will not take part in any kind of cultural activity beyond the Green Line, take part in discussions and seminars, or lecture in any kind of academic setting in these settlements,” the letter read.

Arab Teens Indicted In Beating Death

08/30/2010 - 20:00

(JTA) — Two Arab teenagers from eastern Jerusalem were arrested in the beating death of a 60-year-old Jewish American man.

The teens accused of the crime, ages 13 and 15, were indicted Tuesday on manslaughter charges in Jerusalem District Court. The victim, Lance Wolf, had died the previous day from his injuries.

Wolf was beaten with a stick on Aug. 18 in central Jerusalem. The U.S. Embassy did not release any further information on Wolf, citing privacy concerns.

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