New York

Damaging Dialogue

Staff Writer
What is the conventional wisdom today among some of the leading Islamic thinkers and opinion leaders about Israel and the Jews? At a groundbreaking meeting here between seven of these figures and leaders of the American Jewish Committee, the unquestioned truths came tumbling out: “Jews, in the eyes of the Torah, are the master. And non-Jews, regardless of nationality, are their servants,” complained Ahmed Abu Halabia, dean of the faculty of religion at the Islamic University of Gaza. He cited the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as evidence.

Minister To Orthodox: Liberals Have Shifted

Staff Writer
The struggle for Reform and Conservative legitimacy in Israel remained clouded this week as the chief rabbinate studied the recommendation of a government committee to effectively recognize them yet preserve Orthodox hegemony over conversions in Israel. Chief Rabbis Yisrael Lau and Eliahu Bakshi-Doron were to meet this week with members of the Knesset Absorption Committee, who favor the Neeman Committee’s proposals, and with the chairman of the government committee, Finance Minister Yaakov Neeman.

Whose Judaism Is It, Anyway?

Staff Writer
For the sake of religious freedom, Jews in Israel should be allowed to select the rabbi of their choice for marriages, conversions and burial, argued Manhattan businessman David Arnow. For the sake of Jewish unity, there must continue to be only one recognized form of Judaism in Israel — Orthodoxy — countered Jerusalem writer Jonathan Rosenblum.

U.S.: Swiss Banks Misled Jews

Staff Writer
The heir of a French Holocaust victim went to a Swiss bank seeking the money from his relative’s account. Although the bank had a handwritten note stating that the account had been drained dry by bank fees in 1972, the bank turned the heir away by saying no such account then existed.

Urban Guerrillas

Staff Writer

Spaghetti sauce simmers in a pot as hot as this August afternoon, the aroma wafting through the three-stories of a dull-red row house in Brooklyn: Rabbi David Rosenn memorizes it all. The new organization he founded, Avodah, was in its inaugural day, Aug. 23, 1998, and as with all birthing, the ordinary was infused with the sanctity of dreams.

What Iranian Crisis?

Staff Writer

It was a story about blacks and Jews, those ever-newsworthy New York perennials. It was about Rev.

Jewish Test Scores Seen As ëWake-Up Callí

Associate Editor

In a development that has Jewish educators looking inward, more than half of all fourth-graders in New York City area Jewish schools failed to meet state standards for reading and writing, according to statistics on private schools released last week.The passing rate of 48.6 percent for Jewish schools was slightly higher than the 41 percent for Catholic schools.

Day Schools Facing New Dilemma

Associate Editor

With Jewish day schools reeling from a statewide test revealing that more than half of their fourth-graders failed to meet state reading standards, Jewish schools are now being confronted by a new test ó but only for principals and with only one question:Will the strategy be to improve academically, or to simply exclude those students who might drag down the scores?That question was posed by Rabbi Martin Schloss, director of school services for the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York.ìMy great fear is that some of schools that didnít do well will become overly

Sadness Of A Summer Vigil

Staff Writer


The Last Kaddish

Staff Writer

An ethereal chasidic melody is sung in a small room by a minyan waiting for evening prayer. Yakov B., having led the afternoon prayer as mourners will, and having said the final Kaddish of his mournful year, now sits in a pew, closing his eyes. On waves of the wordless tune, his soul slips from earthly mooring; he has an inner vision: He is at a family simcha, the end of something. His father, for whom Yakov was saying Kaddish, looked young, beatific, in the middle of a circle dance.

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