Brian Burstin has been praying at Congregation Talmud Torah of Flatbush in Brooklyn since 1967, when he was 11.
Before that, his parents were members at the stately yellow brick Modern Orthodox synagogue on Coney Island Avenue, near the busy Avenue J kosher shopping strip in the Midwood section. The shul's late Rabbi Leo Landman, one of only three spiritual leaders in the synagogue's 80-year-history, performed Burstin's wedding.
In March, some 200 members of Brooklyn's Congregation Talmud Torah of Flatbush received an unusual letter. They were informed that three shul officers had been put in a form of religious excommunication called a seruv.
With tensions mounting on American campuses over anti-Semitism and the Israel-Palestinian conflict, hundreds of college presidents have signed onto a landmark petition calling for "intimidation-free" campuses.
But the document itself has become the subject of controversy.
That's because the statement, released by the American Jewish Committee, specifically mentions only intimidation against Jewish students.
As a result, some university presidents have declined to sign.
Chanukah starts this weekend, but for some American Judaica merchants and artists the holiday season was over weeks ago.
In fact, they say the Chanukah gift-buying season, traditionally a major source of their annual sales, never began.
Besides the U.S. economic recession affecting many businesses, they are blaming another culprit: the proliferation of Israel expos and fairs promoting Israeli retailers and craftspeople being sponsored around the country by synagogues and Jewish community centers, with millions of dollars at stake.
Like a runaway train, the assault on Judaism by prominent Islamic religious leaders keeps gaining momentum.
The latest blow came last Friday when a top Saudi Arabian cleric called on Allah to kill the Jews, whom he described as "the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the killers of prophets and the grandsons of monkeys and pigs."
Speaking in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam's holiest site, Sheik Abdul Rahman al-Sudais also called on Arabs to abandon peace efforts with Israel because they were "impossible."
The presidents of Columbia University and Barnard College are publicly opposing a faculty-sponsored campaign calling for their institutions to divest from Israel.
Lee Bollinger of Columbia and Judith Shapiro of Barnard issued written statements last week as a group of faculty and staff members prepared to lobby Columbia's Board of Trustees to endorse their divestment petition this week.
To save or not to save Jews. That is the question suddenly embroiling leading Catholic theologians.
On one side are progressive Catholic scholars who believe that in the 21st century it is no longer theologically acceptable to include Jews in the Church's global mission of conversion. That would mean accepting that Jews have their own legitimate path to salvation.
Rejecting this historic new approach are traditional Catholic leaders who insist that Jews still ultimately need to accept the divinity of Jesus to be saved, and Catholics must continue to proselytize them.
met at the Wingate Institute in the 1990s and competed at the highest levels of international tennis, won the doubles title at the Australian Open last week.
Their victory marked the first Israeli championship in a Grand Slam tournament — Ram had twice shared a Grand Slam mixed doubles title with a woman from another country.
The social hall of the Queens Jewish Center, an Orthodox congregation in Forest Hills, will be filled with football fans watching the Super Bowl Sunday evening. But only one will be wearing a Super Bowl ring — Alan Veingrad earned it as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, who won the 1993 National Football League championship.
The Super Bowl, this Sunday’s National Football League championship game, isn’t the only notable sports event to take place on a Feb. 3 — there was also the 26 points scored by Phil Rabin of the Kingston Colonials against the Brooklyn Jewels in a 1937 American Basketball League game, and the Buffalo Bisons’ Max Kaminsky’s 1943 appearance in the first American Hockey League All-Star Game.