New York

Surprise! U.S. Jewry May Be Growing

09/26/2002 - 20:00
Staff Writer
On the eve of a much-anticipated national Jewish population survey, a leading demographer has found that there are 18 percent more Jews in America than earlier reports have stated. In a new national survey to be released this week, Gary Tobin, president of the San Francisco-based Institute for Jewish Community Research, reveals that 6.7 million Americans say that Judaism is their primary religious or ethnic identification. That is significantly more than the 5.5 million people in the "core Jews" category reported by the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey.

Hope In A Honey Jar

09/12/2002 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Soon after 9-11 last year I went to the grocery store around the corner from my house in Brooklyn to stock up on a few things. The Orthodox Muslim cashier, her face surrounded by a white scarf, dropped the change into my hand from a distance and without looking at me directly. I wondered if it was because I was Jewish.

The New Gen-X Judaism

08/01/2002 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Tamara Charm had a watershed experience when she chanted the Torah portion at Yom Kippur services last year at Drisha, the women's Torah learning academy, for a congregation of both women and men. "It was incredible to daven in a way which conformed to traditional halacha but felt like the women's section was participating as well as the men's," said Charm, 29. "It was very spiritual."

Freshman Facts

07/25/2002 - 20:00
Staff Writer
As teens across the country prepare to leave home for the start of college next month, a new nationwide study of freshmen reveals that Jewish students, more than their non-Jewish peers, would rather paint than pray. The study, "America's Jewish Freshmen: Current Characteristics and Recent Trends Among Students Entering College," showed significant differences in the attitudes and goals of Jews and non-Jews when it comes to spirituality, interest in the arts and culture, self-image: and time spent partying.

Dream Job

07/25/2002 - 20:00
Staff Writer
People always ask Ayelet Cohen why she, as a straight rabbi with every option, wants to work at a gay and lesbian synagogue. In response, she smiles and shares some of the reasons that working at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah is her dream job.

Gay Policy Put To Test

07/25/2002 - 20:00
Staff Writer
The first case testing a decade-old policy permitting Conservative rabbis to serve gay and lesbian congregations has illuminated the movement's many struggles and inconsistencies in connection with homosexuality-related issues. A day before her ordination this spring at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Ayelet Cohen informed the Rabbinical Assembly that she had been offered a job at New York's gay and lesbian synagogue. She had served at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah as a rabbinic intern (placed there by the seminary) for the past two years.

The Humanitarian Touch

06/27/2002 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Israeli Eyal Milles has been around Palestinians much of his life: fellow students at Tel Aviv University and co-workers at the two urban weekly newspapers he edits. But, says the 35-year-old self-described pro-peace left-winger, they've never been more than passing acquaintances.

Christian-Backed Aliyah Set For July

06/06/2002 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Steven and Esther Accardi, with their two young children, will soon be leaving their Rockland County home and jobs to join a group of 531 American Jews from across the country who are making aliyah, en masse, next month. That the tab, in part, is being picked up by Evangelical Christians (some of whom want to bring Jews to the Promised Land to hasten the Second Coming of Jesus) apparently doesn't faze them.

Talking With 'The Enemy'

05/09/2002 - 20:00
Staff Writer
After listening to news accounts of Palestinian homicide bombers and Israel's military response, Eddy Ehrlich feels ready "to explode." Then Ehrlich, a self-described political centrist, goes to his monthly Jewish-Arab dialogue circle and comes away feeling like a changed man. "Thirty souls have opened up and the humanity flows," Ehrlich says. "I go out so relieved."

'There Are No Secrets'

10/02/2003 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Fort Dix, N.J.: Juda Mintz may look like an ordinary guy (middle aged, medium height, with a comb-over and thick glasses) yet there is something about the Modern Orthodox rabbi that makes him stand out among the 4,500 inmates at the Fort Dix Correctional Institution, a federal prison in southwestern New Jersey. Under the glaring fluorescent lights of the large cinder-block walled prison visiting room, Rabbi Mintz walks calmly over to greet a visitor. He is dressed in the same beige work-shirt and pants that every inmate wears from the day he arrives until the day he is freed.
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