News

Weiss Moves Beyond ‘Rabba’

Woman cantor at HIR praised, rapped in new round of Orthodox feminist wars.
08/03/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

This time, in the pitched battle between Rabbi Avi Weiss and the Orthodox establishment, the “rabba” was merely the undercard.

Sara Hurwitz is a spiritual leader at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, and her promotion in March to rabba, a member of the shul’s rabbinic leadership, by Rabbi Weiss set off a brushfire of criticism at HIR and across the Orthodox world. She was at shul as usual last Friday night, but she was hardly the main event.

Rabbi Avi Weiss allowed woman to lead services last Friday night.

Will Chelsea Clinton - Marc Mezvinsky Union Weaken Co-officiation Taboo?

Strong opposition to rabbi-minister weddings, but some cracks appearing.
08/03/2010 - 20:00
Associate Editor

 A ketubah behind them, the bride and groom stood under a chupah with a rabbi, listened to friends recite the Sheva Brachot — and at the end of the ceremony, the tallit-wearing groom stepped on a glass.

But Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky’s long-awaited wedding Saturday night was not your average Jewish ceremony. 

That’s not just because the parents held aloft on chairs at the reception included a former U.S. president, the current U.S. secretary of state and two former members of Congress. 

Marc and Chelsea under the chupah: Intermarriage for the ages.

New Threats As Crisis Deepens At Young Israel

Thirty-five congregations press for special meeting with leadership to amend constitution.
08/03/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The schism between the National Council of Young Israel and its member synagogues deepened this week amid fears by some congregants that the donations they make to their local synagogues might be subject to seizure by the National Council.

Those concerns surfaced in the wake of the recent aborted attempt to seize the assets of a member synagogue in upstate New York. 

The ‘Journeymama’ Leading Kabbalat Shabbat

08/02/2010 - 20:00

 The woman at the center of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale’s historic Kabbalat Shabbat last week has made history before.

Lamelle Ryman, who became the first female — as far as is known — to lead the preliminary Friday evening service at an Orthodox synagogue in the United States, was the first woman, in 1996, to head the student government at Harvard University.

Ryman, an active member of the Hebrew Institute, is the founder of Journeymama.net, an online resource center for mothers and expectant mothers.

Lamelle Ryman led Kabbalat Shabbat last weekend at HIR.

In Wake Of ADL, Jewish Groups Back Ground Zero Mosque

After ADL’s call to build mosque elsewhere, AJC, JCRC support project, with reservations.
08/02/2010 - 20:00
Assistant Managing Editor

The controversial Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero cleared a significant hurdle Tuesday when the city Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously declined to protect the 152-year-old building site on historic grounds.

But the Anti-Defamation League’s call for the center to be built elsewhere has touched off a controversy of its own, prompting criticism that the civil rights group is siding with bigotry and setting it apart from much of the organized Jewish community.

The former Burlington Coat Factory building on Park Place, future site of a proposed Islamic cultural center.

Israeli, Lebanese Troops Exchange Fire

08/02/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli and Lebanese soldiers exchanged tank and artillery fire on Israel's northern border.

Residents of Israel's North were ordered to enter bomb shelters early Tuesday afternoon.

The soldiers were conducting routine operations in an area that lies between the international recognized border between Israel and Lebanon and the security fence, which is considered Israeli territory, according to an Israeli army statement.

ADL, AJC Weigh In On Ground Zero Mosque (Updated)

08/01/2010 - 20:00

The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement Friday against the building of a mosque near the World Trade Center memorial site. And on Monday, the American Jewish Committee entered the fray as well, saying the Cordoba Initiative's $100 million cultural center on Park Place "has “has a right to be built.” But the organization urged the founders of the center to "urgently address concerns about funding and support for terrorism."

Rockets apparently from Sinai strike Eilat

08/01/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Five rockets suspected to have been fired from Sinai hit Eilat and Aqaba.

A Jordanian man was killed and three people were wounded when one of the rockets hit central Aqaba, a Jordanian Red Sea port city. There were no casualties reported in Eilat, where the rocket struck north of the hotel area.

Israel's military said it was in contact with the Jordanian and Egyptian armies following the incident.

Sendak gives $1 million to N.Y. Jewish agency

08/01/2010 - 20:00

NEW YORK (JTA) -- Children's book author Maurice Sendak has given $1 million to the Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services of New York.

Sendak, 82, who wrote the iconic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are,” gave the money in honor of his life partner, Eugene Glynn, a longtime psychiatrist for the organization.

The money will go toward general operating support, and the organization will name one of its 15 clinics after Glynn, who died in 2007, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Riverdale Orthodox Shul To Have Woman Lead Kabbalat Shabbat Tonight

07/29/2010 - 20:00

In a move that apparently would make history for an Orthodox synagogue in the United States, the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale is scheduled Friday night to have a woman lead a Kabbalat Shabbat service where both men and women are expected to be in the pews.

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