News

Above And Beyond

05/11/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
The first time Jacob Dechter received his medals of honor for service during World War II, there wasn’t much fanfare. They came in the mail, he said, with nice letters, but there was no ceremony. The second time, last month, drew more attention as two employees of an Arizona electronics firm — surrounded by news cameras — returned them following a delivery mishap. In between lies a tale of an ex-Marine who got the wrong package, a hero who voluntarily risked his life on behalf of his adopted country, and the genealogist who brought them together.

Carter Challenging Baptists On Conversions, Says Rabbi

05/11/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
Wading into the delicate fray over the alliance between Jews and pro-Israel Evangelicals, former President Jimmy Carter last week reportedly said it was a mistake for Jews to accept such ties, and that he was working to convince Southern Baptists to change the way they look at Judaism and the Middle East. Christian Zionists can be better friends of Israel by challenging its government’s policies, while accepting Judaism as a legitimate path to God, Carter told a group organized by Rabbi Michael Lerner in California last week, according to the rabbi.

700 Shuls Hosting Shabbat Across America

05/04/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
(JTA) – More than 700 synagogues will take part in Shabbat Across America on Friday. Created by the National Jewish Outreach Program, the evening involves a beginner’s service and traditional Shabbat meal, with all the rituals explained. It has attracted more than a half-million people in the past decade.

Lawsuit Over Shul Turned Mosque Ends

05/04/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
A state judge has thrown out the claim by a group of plaintiffs that the Mapleton Park Jewish Center in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, was sold to a mosque without the knowledge of members. “The documents submitted in support of the sale indicate that the sale was duly authorized,” wrote Judge Mark Partnow in granting a motion to dismiss the case against the Ahmadiya Movement in Islam and several other defendants.

Home Found For Louise Wise Records

12/10/2004
Staff Writer
Story Includes Video: 
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Nearly 10 months after ceasing its operations, an adoption agency with Jewish communal origins has reached an agreement with a similar organization to house and manage documents from some 80 years of services.

The decision between the defunct Louise Wise Services and Spence-Chapin means that thousands of people whose lives were affected by adoptions will continue to have limited access to birth records and other material that might aid them with reunion efforts or health crises.

Religious Right Attacks Spitzer

05/04/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
A powerful Christian right group says it pressured Gov. Eliot Spitzer into proclaiming a day of prayer and reflection in the state on Monday — just four days before the event. According to the Web site of Focus on the Family, which has a National Day of Prayer Task Force, Spitzer’s office did not initially return phone calls from the organization regarding the proclamation.

Cracking The Old Boys Network

04/20/1997
Staff Writer
The CEOs are out; the respiratory therapist is in.On the heels of a series of male moguls, the president of Hadassah, June Walker, has been nominated to chair the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. She’ll be the second woman to chair the umbrella group, and the first leader of a women’s organization, adding another crack in what has been considered a glass ceiling for women in Jewish organizational life.

West Side Shul Hit With Swastika

12/24/2004
Staff Writer
A vandal painted a two-foot high, black swastika on the outside of Shaare Tzedek, a Conservative congregation on the Upper West Side last weekend. The police department’s Bias Crime Unit was investigating the incident, according to the shul and the Anti-Defamation League. The vandalism was noticed around 12:30 p.m. Sunday, and took place sometime after the building closed at around 5:30 p.m. Saturday night. “People are always shocked when this kind of thing happens, and kind of scared,” said Lolita Pogrebitskaya, the shul’s office manager.

Paterson Seen As Favorable To Tuition Break

03/26/2008
Assistant Managing Editor
If Gov. David Paterson gets past the continuing controversies over his private life, he may emerge as a formidable advocate for private-school families. Paterson “is a friend to efforts to secure help for tuition-paying families,” says Michael Tobman of Teach NYS, the group lobbying for a tax break for private school parents. “As Senate minority leader he supported the 2006 education tax credit campaign.”

New Fire Safety Effort After Tragedy

04/29/2005
Staff Writer
The New York Fire Department was stepping up safety education efforts in Orthodox areas this week after a fire in Williamsburg on the second day of Passover left three chasidic boys dead. “We passed out over 5,000 fliers [before the holiday] to explain hazards and precautions that should be taken, and we’ll be back out there again and do it this week,” said the FDNY’s chief of operations, Salvatore Cassano. “The holiday isn’t over yet.”
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