Two new reports released this week paint a new picture of the American Jewish community, suggesting it numbers more than 6 million — not the 5.2 million reported by the United Jewish Communities’ 2000-2001 study — and that the high rate of intermarriage is creating “two Jewries.”
“The gaps between the in-married and intermarried are so large and persistent that it seems we are developing into two distinct populations: the in-married and the intermarried,” wrote sociologist Steven M. Cohen.
A survey of Conservative clergy released last week found that more than 80 percent eat warmed fish in non-kosher restaurants, prompting the chairman of the movement’s rabbinic kosher subcommittee to begin writing a legal opinion that will likely restrict what Conservative Jews may or may not eat in non-kosher restaurants.
As widely expected, a large majority of Conservative rabbis, cantors, professionals and lay leaders support gays and lesbians becoming rabbis and cantors, although about half have their doubts as to whether it is compatible with Jewish law. And a majority of professional and lay leaders admitted to being “confused” and “somewhat embarrassed” by a rabbinic law committee’s decision in December to both accept and reject gay ordination.
The Bush administration is likely to rebuff a reported push by Russia to lift the international boycott of Hamas as part of the Quartet’s efforts to “re-energize” the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process, according to a former State Department official.
The meeting, scheduled for Friday in Washington, comes as a British parliamentary study warned that the West’s isolation of Hamas is only pushing it closer to Iran.
The action this week by the upstate Village of Pomona just north of Monsey to limit the size of college dormitories is evidence of “overt, direct, anti-Semitic discrimination” aimed at a proposed $350 million Orthodox rabbinical college in the village, according to the college’s lawyer.
The law adopted Monday night by the village’s trustees, limits the size of college dormitories to 20 percent of the size of the total square footage of the college’s buildings.
Israeli President Moshe Katsav suspended himself this week to fight sex charges, including rape, that the state’s senior law officer planned to file. But some government officials and the media said that wasn’t good enough and called for the president’s immediate resignation or ouster.
“In the present situation it is impossible to educate students to respect the presidential institution and ask them to hang pictures in every school of a president charged with grave offenses,” Education Minister Yuli Tamir was quoted as saying.
Displaying a new independence after losing its Israeli affiliate, World ORT has suddenly tripled the amount of money it is giving to Israeli students — bypassing ORT Israel’s highly respected network of private schools that broke away last fall.
World ORT announced this week that it plans to send nearly $9 million to Israeli public schools in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Education. It is to be used to improve science and technology education in Israel, which the organization said it considers the basic foundation of the Israeli school system.
Every Israeli prime minister since Golda Meir has received the same request from a group of people in India: We are descendents of the Jewish people and we want to be recognized and allowed to settle in Israel.
Those pleas fell on deaf ears until 1996, when a similar letter was sent to then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and spotted by a deputy press officer, Michael Freund.
The children on the television program seen climbing a slide in a playground look like any kids one might see on "Sesame Street" in the United States except for one thing: they speak in Hebrew, Russian and Arabic. Welcome to "Rechov Sumsum," Israel's version of "Sesame Street."
The Vaad Hakashrus of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway has told Gourmet Glatt Emporium that it would resume supervision of the Cedarhurst, L.I., kosher supermarket if the owners brought in a partner it could approve.
"The only way the Vaad will physically supervise the premises wherein Gourmet Glatt is located is if it will have a partner it will trust, [thereby] ensuring kashrut to the Five Towns community," said Franklyn Snitow, the Vaad's lawyer.