News

The Fear Hits Home

10/27/2000
Staff Writer
"Will the Arabics throw rocks or bombs at us while we're having recess?" my 6-year-old son asked. His class party in the school sukkah had been canceled, and he wanted to know why. Aryeh's school, located near the heart of Brooklyn's downtown Arab community and in an area where Jews have been targeted by stone-throwers several times in recent weeks, was sufficiently concerned about nighttime security to cancel the party.

Memorable Moments At Past GAs

11/11/2009
Editor and Publisher

The most dramatic moment I’ve ever experienced at a GA (General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America) took place in 1977, in Dallas, on a Shabbat afternoon, when Golda Meir walked onto the stage for what many of the several thousand in the audience suspected might well be her last appearance in the U.S. And it was. She died in Jerusalem less than a year later.

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In Northeast Queens, ‘Tradition And Change’ at Conservative Synagogue

11/11/2009
Staff Writer

Claire Heymann, an Auschwitz survivor who grew up in a strictly Orthodox home in Germany, had a bit of trouble adjusting to the idea of an egalitarian synagogue.

But a female rabbi? Don’t ask.

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In Northeast Queens, ‘Tradition And Change’ at Conservative Synagogue

11/11/2009
Staff Writer

Claire Heymann, an Auschwitz survivor who grew up in a strictly Orthodox home in Germany, had a bit of trouble adjusting to the idea of an egalitarian synagogue.

But a female rabbi? Don’t ask.

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A Haredi Town Confronts Abuse From The Inside

Passaic, N.J., is waging a lonely fight against molestation in the Orthodox community. Will its example spread?

11/11/2009
Staff Writer

On the night before Yom Kippur in September, Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman stood before his Orthodox congregation, in a room crowded with men wearing black hats and women wearing sheitels, and moderated a panel discussion among five Orthodox Jews who said they had been the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of other Orthodox Jews. The rabbi regularly uses his pulpit to preach against the evils of sexual molestation.

More Kosher Soup Kitchens Aiding The Newly Poor as Recession Impact Deepens

New centers to open in Brooklyn, Queens as need soars for struggling families.

11/11/2009

The storefront on Lee Avenue had yet to open for “business” last Wednesday evening when a large, hungry crowd filed in and found places at its brand-new tables.

Some 30 families — some of whose breadwinners have lost jobs in the recession and are struggling to make ends meet — had been invited to inaugurate the Masbia kosher soup kitchen in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the first operatedby the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. They consumed 120 meals of breaded chicken, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

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A Chill In The D.C. Air as Obama, Netanyahu Meet

11/11/2009
Washington Correspondent

Speaking at Monday’s Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sounded very much like a man who didn’t want to antagonize the president he was about to meet under visibly strained circumstances.

Several hours later the White House distributed a meeting “readout” that may have set a new record for brevity. Amid an almost total clampdown on leaks, the statement said only that the two leaders “discussed a number of issues in the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship” and that President Barack Obama “reaffirmed our strong commitment to Israel’s security, and discussed security cooperation on a range of issues.”

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You've Got Mechila

09/29/2000
Staff Writer
It's a question rooted in an age-old practice but made new by the vicissitudes of modern technology: Is it kosher to ask mechila by e-mail? Asking forgiveness, or mechila, for wrongs committed against others is emphasized during the month of Elul, and given particular attention during the 10 Days of Repentance from Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur.

God Didn't Get An Invite

09/15/2000
Staff Writer
Suddenly, God is seemingly everywhere these days: on the presidential hustings, in the stands at high school football games in the South, overflowing the shelves of the neighborhood bookstore. But He/She wasn't at Cooper Union last weekend when the International Federation of Secular Humanistic Jews gathered for its biennial conference. Didn't even get an invite.

Rabbis And Scandal: Are We Losing Faith?

07/28/2000
Staff Writer
The unsettling reports of rabbis committing crimes against both secular and Jewish law, and against common-sense morality, seem these days to come unrelentingly. Reform Rabbi Fred Neulander from Cherry Hill, N.J., sits in prison awaiting trial for arranging his wife's murder, which happened at the same time he was having an affair. Orthodox Rabbi Baruch Lanner was accused recently in these pages of physically and sexually abusing the young people in his charge in his nearly three decades with the Orthodox Union's National Conference of Synagogue Youth.
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