New York

Coming Out For Gays At JTS?

11/30/2006 - 19:00
Staff Writer
With the Jewish Theological Seminary on the verge of an historic break with tradition (the potential ordaining of openly gay and lesbian rabbis and sanctioning of same-sex unions) the school's faculty, administrators and students were bracing this week for the possible fallout. The rabbinic committee that interprets Jewish law for the Conservative movement (North America's second-largest Jewish denomination) will meet Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss five different religious opinions, some or none of which may be adopted.

Where The Boys Aren't

10/19/2006 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Andrew Roberts, an articulate 16-year-old junior at the Riverdale Country School, enjoys Judaism in an intellectual way, like when he discussed the Torah portion each week while attending the Rodeph Sholom Day School through eighth grade.

$100 Million Gift To Yeshiva University

09/14/2006 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Ronald P. Stanton is hoping his gift to Yeshiva University, announced this week, will spur other Jewish philanthropists to give to major donations to Jewish causes in general and YU in particular. At $100 million — what appears to be the largest gift ever to a Jewish educational institution — it certainly will attract attention. “I’m hoping that this contribution will trigger more” donations to YU, said Stanton, 78, a New Yorker who has made his fortune trading and transporting petrochemicals and chemical fertilizers.

Conservative Movement Seen Ending Ban On Gays

08/31/2006 - 20:00
Staff Writer
In what will be a watershed moment for the Conservative movement — akin to admitting women into the rabbinate a generation ago — the ordination of openly gay and lesbian rabbis and the sanctioning of same-sex unions are likely to be approved by the denomination’s legal scholars, according to movement leaders.

Mikveh, In Their Own Image

07/20/2006 - 20:00
Staff Writer
As growing numbers of non-Orthodox Jews flock to the mikveh — a trend that has spread over the last decade — an inevitable clash between the traditional and the modern is beginning to emerge, with progressive Jews seeking to recast an ancient ritual in their own image. The current interest in mikveh was evidenced by the more than 200 people, men and women, from across the Jewish spectrum, who attended the conference “Reclaiming Mikveh: Pouring Ancient Waters into a Contemporary Vessel,” held last month in the Boston suburb of Newton, Mass.

The Mikveh Goes Upscale

07/13/2006 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Upgrading mikvehs into sumptuous spa-like environments is the new wave these days, and the recently opened ritual bath on the Upper East Side and one being planned for the Upper West Side in the fall are no exception. On East 77th Street, the local Chabad house opened the doors last Thursday to a new $12 million mikveh, making it the only ritual bath on the Upper East Side. The new mikveh brings to four the number of public mikvehs in Manhattan, joining ones on the Lower East Side, the Upper West Side and Washington Heights.

Reform Youth Flexing Their Ritual Muscle

08/09/2007 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Warwick, N.Y. — The sun was setting at the Reform movement’s teen leadership camp in this picturesque upstate town, and in the dying light of a sweet summer day it was time for the evening prayer service. In the lakeside pavilion that serves as Kutz Camp’s synagogue, the visiting musician who led the evening service on the Fourth of July, a Wednesday, set the prayers to an easy-listening jazz sound. It was a musical style, played on an electric keyboard, that almost none of the campers connected with, many said later.

Coming Of Age In Murray Hill

10/14/2004 - 20:00
Staff Writer
In many ways, Karen Bacon is the ultimate “Stern girl.” On her first night at Yeshiva University’s college for women, she met a guy from the men’s school uptown, and married him right after graduation. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in microbiology — defending her dissertation just before giving birth to their first child — and to do two years of post-graduate work in the then-new field of electron microscopy.

Twin Points Of Light

04/22/2004 - 20:00
Staff Writer
When the Jerusalem Open House was being developed, Danny Savitch didn’t expect it to be very big. Even Savitch, one of its founders, wondered how a gay community center would be accepted in one of the world’s most religiously conservative cities. Seven years later, with as many as 200 people attending support and social groups each week, “we are much more successful than I thought. I didn’t know that so many people would use our services,” Savitch says.

Rosh HaShanah Rabbi Flap

09/23/2004 - 20:00
Staff Writer
In a sign of how sensitive the issue of homosexuality is within traditional Judaism, a young, traditional congregation in Park Slope, Brooklyn, is losing the backing of its supporting religious institution because it invited an openly gay Orthodox rabbi to give sermons during Rosh HaShanah, The Jewish Week has learned. Days before Rosh HaShanah, the Union for Traditional Judaism, a breakaway group from the Conservative movement, delivered an ultimatum to The Montauk Minyan: either rescind its invitation to the rabbi or lose their support.
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