New York

Assessing Barack And Bibi

09/14/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Less than a year into new administrations in Washington and Jerusalem, diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel are bleak, but not that bleak, Middle East experts in an academic conference here agreed this week. The participants in “U.S.-Israel Relations: In the Era of Obama and Netanyahu,” held at the Schottenstein Cultural Center in Manhattan, said the continuing pressure on Israel by the Obama administration to halt the expansion of settlements in the Palestinian territories is not likely to improve the relations.

The Politics Of Repentance

09/14/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Two theological underpinnings of the approaching High Holy Days season have become more topical this year: apology and forgiveness. Classical Jewish thought, formulated by scholars like Maimonides centuries ago, consider those twin acts as preludes to the Ten Days of Repentance, direct apologies for the previous year’s slights a prerequisite for Divine forgiveness. In “No Enemy to Conquer: Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World,” British journalist Michael Henderson argues that apologizing and forgiving have a value on both a personal and political plane.

Test Prep Patriarch Dies

08/25/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Stanley Kaplan, the Brooklyn native who started tutoring during college and founded a firm bearing his name that earned him the title of the father of the test preparation business, died Aug. 23 in his Manhattan home. He was 90. Mr. Kaplan established what grew into a nationwide network of Kaplan testing centers to ensure meritocracy in college admissions, because he had been rejected from five New York medical schools during an era of Jewish quotas. He was a contributor to several Jewish causes.

Boteach To Kaddafi: ‘Not In My Backyard’

08/25/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
When Libyan leader Moammar Kaddafi decided to set up camp, literally, in Englewood, N.J., during his upcoming visit to the U.S. for the United Nations General Assembly next month, he likely did not realize that his next-door neighbor would be one of this country’s best-known and most outspoken rabbis, with a gift for media attention.

Tracking The Rise In Hate

08/25/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
The Southern Poverty Law Center, an independent civil rights organization in Montgomery, Alabama that serves as a leading clearinghouse for information about hate and hate crimes, recently issued a report on the resurgence of right-wing militias in the United States. “They’re back ... appearing in large numbers around the country,” the report stated. “And once-popular militia conspiracy theories are making the rounds again.”

Happy Campers, Unhappy Memories

08/11/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Evyatar, a kindergarten student in Israel 13 years ago, sensed that something was wrong when neither of his parents picked him up from school. An uncle showed up a few hours later and told his nephew what had happened – Evyatar’s parents had been attacked by terrorists at an Israeli toy store; his father was dead, his mother injured.

Jewish Business Ethics In An Age Of Scandal

08/04/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
A yeshiva graduate and lifelong resident of Brooklyn’s Orthodox community, Hershey Friedman is a professor of marketing and business, and director of the business programs at Brooklyn College. He has created a course on Jewish business ethics for high school and college, and teaches a course called “Business Practices and the Jewish Tradition.” His most recent paper, “The Financial Meltdown of 2008: The Perspective of Jewish Law,” is available at the JLAW.com Web site.

The Intermarriage Dividend?

08/04/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
The latest major demographic study of American Jewry offers new insights into the post-intermarriage landscape. The good news: the potential size of the country’s “extended” Jewish community, members of intermarried families, is growing. The bad news: the number of Jews, mostly in intermarriages, who affiliate with another religion, is increasing.

Jewish-Muslim Dialogue: The Risks And Rewards

07/14/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Rabbi Burton Visotzky, professor of Midrash and interreligious studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, was on foreign but familiar ground recently. A veteran of interfaith discussions with Muslims around the world, he was among three rabbis — the others were Jack Moline of Alexandria, Va., and Gerald Serotta of Chevy Chase. Md. — who took part in a panel discussion at the Islamic Society of North America’s 46th convention in Washington, D.C.

Askenazied!

06/23/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Linda Askenazi, happily working at the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, didn’t plan to apply for an opening as executive director of Brooklyn College’s Hillel chapter. But when an insider told her “They wanted a rabbi” and it had to be a man, Askenazi got annoyed and applied. Once hired at Hillel, Askenazi didn’t plan to stay there very long. Two years, she thought. Twenty-five years later — thousands of students and countless we-met-at-Hillel-shidduch-stories later — she’s leaving.
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