News

The Longest Translation

Forty-five years after he began his revolutionary reworking of the Talmud, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz takes time to celebrate its completion — through learning.
11/02/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

When Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz began his monumental project of translating the Talmud into contemporary Hebrew, piercing the dense layers of wisdom and commentary contained in the ancient text, Levi Eshkol of the now-defunct Mapai party was Israel’s prime minister, the young country’s population stood at a mere 2.5 million, and when a Beatles concert there was canceled, it was assumed the country’s leaders thought the Fab Four would corrupt its youth.

When he began the project, Rabbi Steinsaltz, then only 28, thought it would take a decade or two “at most.” JTA

Caution, Planning After Cargo Bomb Plot

Secure Community Network briefing jittery institutions amid heightened threat.
11/02/2010 - 20:00
Assistant Managing Editor

On Monday a representative of a Jewish organization in Brooklyn called the police and asked whether the arrival of a package of toner cartridges should be of concern.

When asked the origin of the package, the representative said it was the company’s usual supplier of office products. Open the package without suspicion, the police counseled.

Community Bracing For Post-Election Perfect Storm

Voter fears of big government, deficit could lead to dramatic service cuts; confluence of issues clouds GA.
11/02/2010 - 20:00
Washington Correspondent

A Jewish federation system that was beginning to recover from the deepest recession in postwar history could be facing a new perfect storm in the wake of this week’s congressional elections and a tidal wave of voter unhappiness about big government and a runaway federal deficit.

New Yorkers at the polls Tuesday.

Media Watch: The Rest Of The Kristallnacht Story

Was the assassin avenging his parents or affair gone wrong?
11/02/2010 - 20:00
Associate Editor

A thin veil and close calls separates this world from the world of the dead. Two weeks ago, four radical Muslims were convicted of attempting to bomb a pair of New York synagogues, a plot foiled by the FBI. Last week, terrorists in Yemen, presumably al Qaeda, mailed two bombs to a pair of Chicago synagogues, a plot foiled by the Saudis, of all people. And next week, we have the anniversary of Kristallnacht (the night of Nov. 9-10, 1938), when 267 German synagogues were destroyed in a devil’s night of fire and broken glass.

Herschel Grynszpan after his arrest in November 1938.

GOP Sweep Makes One Jew a Star, Unseats and Disempowers Others

11/02/2010 - 20:00
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A historic Republican sweep of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday has propelled Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the minority whip, to the verge of becoming the highest-ranking Jew in U.S. political history.

"We are excited for Eric Cantor to become the next House Majority leader," said Matt Brooks, director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. "The highest ranking Jew to ever serve in the House!"

Rallying Against The Meshuggenehs

NIF, J Street and J Funds for Justice among the liberal groups at Jon Stewart’s Washington ‘sanity’ demo.
11/01/2010 - 20:00
JTA

Washington — When “Saturday Night Live” alum “Father Guido Sarducci,” delivering the benediction at Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity, ran through a list of religions seeking the true faith, Judaism received the biggest applause.

That didn’t surprise Rivka Burstein-Stern.

“There were a lot of Jews there,” she said of Saturday’s rally. “But when it comes to rallies and social activism, you’re going to have a lot of Jews.”

The Rally to Restore Sanity attracted 250,000 people to the Washington Mall last week.

Jews In The Crosshairs: From Riverdale To Chicago

11/01/2010 - 20:00

The Jewish Week asked eight rabbis, thinkers and communal leaders to reflect on the foiled Chicago synagogue bomb plot and what it says about Jews in America today. While it is unclear whether Jews were actually the target of this latest plot (authorities now believe the addresses on the packages did not match those of Chicago synagogues and believe the explosives were intended to go off in the air), it is clear that the Yemeni plot, like many before it, has ignited fear and consternation in the Jewish community.
 

Abraham H. Foxman

Federation’s GA Reaching Out To Young People

New push is part of wider focus on service.
11/01/2010 - 20:00
JTA

The Jewish federation system is set to kick off its annual General Assembly in New Orleans with an eye toward figuring out how to reach those not typically associated with Jewish federations.

UJA-Fed’s Greenberg  Nets $43.5 Million

Big Easy, Big Yiddishkeit

At Tulane, using Jewish studies program to grow Jewish life.
11/01/2010 - 20:00
JTA

Three years ago, Tulane University seemed like fertile ground to grow a more robust Jewish studies program.

Approximately one-third of the school’s 6,000 undergraduates are Jews, Tulane was in the early stages of an ambitious project to construct a new building for its Hillel center and New Orleans —where the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly is taking place next week — was becoming a draw for young Jews involved in rebuilding projects after Hurricane Katrina.

21st Century Judaism According to Satirist Jon Stewart

11/01/2010 - 20:00

Last week was a big week for Jon Stewart: He held a mock rally on the Washington Mall and interviewed President Barack Obama. Stewart could be one of the most influential — and at times one of the most controversial — Jewish personalities in the media. He is an “equal opportunity” satirist whose popular fake news show and best-selling books use humor in a thoughtful and provocative manner. “Earth: A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race” (Grand Central Publications), Stewart’s newest book, is no exception.

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