News

‘A Cohesive Voice?’

04/03/1998
Staff Writer
When the Synagogue Council of America — the only national rabbinic group representing Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewry — broke up in 1994 after 68 years, observers said it underscored the growing rift between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews. “Maybe it has outlived its usefulness,” mused member Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld of the Young Israel of Kew Garden Hills at that time.

Ford Fuels Beth Simchat Torah

10/15/1999
Staff Writer
The Ford Foundation, one of the country’s largest private foundations, has set a course of late to influence the religious debate in America, and this week its largesse reached to the world’s largest gay and lesbian synagogue. “I have been funding a number of projects to bring new voices into theological discussions and debate,” said Ford program director Constance Buchanan, explaining the $250,000 grant to Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in Greenwich Village, believed to be the first time Ford has funded an individual synagogue.

Interfaith Body Gets Vote Of Confidence

05/07/2009
Staff Writer
Jewish interfaith leaders, with one exception, have decided to reinvigorate the international coalition that represents the Jewish community to the Vatican, The Jewish Week has learned. The decision came at an April 29 meeting of members of IJCIC, the International Jewish Coalition for Interfaith Consultations, which has been criticized in recent weeks by Vatican officials.

Hillary Modifies Statehood Stance

02/26/1999
Staff Writer
Hillary Rodham Clinton, meeting at the White House this week with 25 rabbis, appeared to back away from her previous support for a Palestinian state, reportedly saying the issue should be left to Israel and the Palestinians. But Clinton’s Communications Director Marsha Berry, after consulting with the first lady, told The Jewish Week that Clinton’s “personal position” favoring a Palestinian state remains unchanged.

Rabbis Unite Under National Entity

02/26/1999
Staff Writer
Over the strong objections of the nation’s major rabbinic organizations, New York Board of Rabbis President Marc Schneier this week launched a new national rabbinic group that includes 30 members from Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism. The creation of the North American Boards of Rabbis in Washington, D.C., Monday marks the first time an interdenominational rabbinic group has formed since the Synagogue Council of America disbanded under a cloud in 1995, partly for financial reasons and the growing isolationist philosophy of some Orthodox groups.

After The Fire, Hope Burns

09/04/1998
Staff Writer
In the lobby of the Coffey Community Center on Manhattan’s East Side, Judy Klemperer gingerly picked up a black prayerbook from a large pile lying in a laundry bin and wiped off the ashes. “It’s all wet and warped,” she said, shaking her head sadly. “It won’t be used again.” She then placed it into a large plastic garbage bag. Someone wrote down the dedication on the inside cover for future reference.

King Hussein’s New Middle East

03/20/1998
Staff Writer
Jordan’s King Hussein, addressing rumors about his sickness, declared himself to be “in good health, thank God,” and pledged to spend the rest of his days trying to transform the warring Middle East into a region of peace and economic cooperation that includes Israel.

Non-Orthodox Leaders Enthused Over Poll

03/06/2007
Staff Writer
Reform and Conservative leaders are pointing to the findings of a poll — ironcially, commissioned by an Orthodox group — as proof that Israelis are increasingly receptive to the liberal streams of Judaism. The non-Orthodox leaders contend that the responses to six of 16 questions from a recent survey commissioned by the Orthodox Union, a large, mainstream American group, prove that the Conservative and Reform movements have gained significant recognition and support among Israelis in the religious pluralism battle.

Pulling The Plug In Times Square

03/06/2007
Staff Writer
For years the small group of black men has occupied the center island of Times Square several times a week preaching against white devils and declaring that they are the true descendants of the biblical Hebrews.

Jews, Catholics In ‘Search For Truth’

12/10/1999
Staff Writer
For the first time in history, Jewish and Catholic scholars — with the backing of the Vatican — will work together to try and determine what the Catholic Church did and did not do to save Jews during the Holocaust. Calling the project both “bizarre” and unprecedented, six historians from around the world, three Jewish and three Catholic, pledged to search for the truth, notwithstanding any political or religious pressures.
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