Opposition is building to a city Health Department campaign to warn new Jewish parents against a circumcision procedure it describes as life threatening: even before the plan is launched.
In a full-page ad in last week's Brooklyn Orthodox paper, The Jewish Press, a new group calling itself Friends of Bris Milah (ritual circumcision) urged parents to call a 24-hour hot line "to report any conversation initiated by doctors, hospitals and other professional caregivers" regarding the procedure known as metzitzah b'peh.
One of Brooklyn's most august Reform temples is hiring an innovative rabbi to be its next spiritual leader, in the hope that he will usher in a new era for the Park Slope synagogue.
The rabbinic search committee of Congregation Beth Elohim this month unanimously voted to hire Rabbi Andrew Bachman, late of the group Brooklyn Jews, to take over for Rabbi Gerald Weider, who is retiring after 28 years. At a Jan. 9 board meeting, the synagogue's trustees unanimously endorsed the committee's recommendation, though the final vote will come from the entire congregation in March.
Students preparing to become Conservative rabbis and cantors may soon be required to adhere to a new set of policies issued by the Jewish Theological Seminary detailing how to observe Shabbat and keep kosher, among other things.
It may also require that they not live with a partner before marriage and addresses the ongoing question of gay and lesbian ordination by restating that the rabbinical and cantorial schools at JTS "do not ordain candidates who are gay or lesbian."
Philanthropists partnering up to match new donations to Jewish day schools in the United States, and social service and educational causes in Israel, are producing millions of new dollars in contributions for both areas.
Is a new era dawning in the way American Judaism's religious movements deal with interfaith families?
In his speech last week at the Union for Reform Judaism's biennial convention, Rabbi Eric Yoffie called for more emphasis on conversion: an almost radical move for the leader of the movement considered most accepting of interfaith couples.
A group of 9-11 survivors (parents who lost children and people who lost their spouses in the terrorist attack four years ago) will travel to Israel next week to meet with Israelis and Palestinians who have suffered similar losses.
The 10 participants, plus three leaders from the New York Jewish Healing Center, will meet with bereaved parents and spouses under the auspices of the Koby Mandell Foundation, established in memory of the 13-year-old boy murdered by a terrorist while hiking with his friend in a wadi outside Tekoa in May 2001.
"Reaching for the Infinite: The Lubavitcher Rebbe: Life, Teachings and Impact" was more apt a title for the conference that took place this week at New York University than even its organizers may have realized.
When Aaron Dworkin walks into a room of potential funders "I really freak people out," he tells The Jewish Week. "They see my last name and say 'we were expecting someone old, white, balding and Jewish' and I show up, young, black and seemingly not Jewish."
Pop star Madonna, for years known more for her lurid behavior than praise of the sage Rabbi Isaac Luria, has written a song on her new album in tribute to the master of Jewish mysticism.
While no one claims to have yet seen any of the lyrics, even the idea of including a song, titled "Isaac," on her forthcoming album, "Confessions on a Dance Floor," has incensed those who care for Rabbi Luria's tomb as well as the seminary devoted to study of his teachings in the northern Israel city of Safed.
With the Jewish Theological Seminary on the verge of an historic break with tradition (the potential ordaining of openly gay and lesbian rabbis and sanctioning of same-sex unions) the school's faculty, administrators and students were bracing this week for the possible fallout.
The rabbinic committee that interprets Jewish law for the Conservative movement (North America's second-largest Jewish denomination) will meet Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss five different religious opinions, some or none of which may be adopted.