New York

Adrift Branch Searches Anew For An Anchor

10/31/2007
Staff Writer
In the face of criticism that contradictory rulings on gay ordination have left the Conservative movement ideologically adrift, a new approach suggested by a young Chicago rabbi edges toward a new middle ground in an attempt to anchor the movement. Trying to bridge the traditional view that the Torah is infallible with the liberal one that stresses critical analysis of sacred texts, Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove argues that there is sufficient common ground to meld the two positions into a theologically coherent message, one seen as crucial for the continuation of the movement.

What About Jewish Refugees?

10/31/2007
Staff Writer
As 40 delegates from 10 countries gather here Sunday for a two-day conference focusing on Jews displaced from their Arab homelands, there is growing concern that this issue will not be a priority for the Olmert government when the topic of Palestinian refugees is raised at the Israeli-Palestinian summit in Annapolis, Md.

A Tense Calm In Lakewood

10/18/2007
Staff Writer
There were fears that the already polarized community of Lakewood, N.J. — where an Orthodox influx has roiled tensions with African Americans — would boil over in the wake of a savage beating of an Orthodox rabbi by a black man. But an organization formed a year ago of representatives of the major ethnic groups in Lakewood is credited with defusing tensions there following the baseball bat beating there last week of Rabbi Mordechai Moskowitz.

Court Holds Up Generali Settlement

10/11/2007
Staff Writer
A federal appeals court has given new life to efforts by some Holocaust survivors to overturn a court-approved settlement of wartime life insurance claims against the Italian insurance giant Generali. But Robert Swift, a Philadelphia lawyer for other survivors who sought court-approval of the settlement, has sought to minimize the court decision. And he complained that reopening the case would only delay the payment of life insurance claims already approved.

The New Business Of N.Y. Shuls: Synagogue Mergers

10/11/2007
Staff Writer
Members of two Conservative synagogues in Westchester, one in Mt. Vernon and the other about six miles away in Tuckahoe, watched over the years as the Jewish community gradually drifted north to Scarsdale and their aging congregations shrunk. In 1998 the two congregations merged, sold their buildings and relocated to Scarsdale. Today, their new congregation, Shaarei Tikvah, the Scarsdale Conservative Congregation, is not only flourishing but is in the process of building a new $7 million synagogue.

Reform Draws Fire For Muslim Outreach

09/06/2007
Staff Writer
On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary and with Jewish-Muslim tensions running high over the opening of the nation’s first Arab-language public school in Brooklyn, the head of the Reform movement is proposing a far-reaching dialogue with a major Muslim group. The suggestion by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of Reform Judaism, is believed to be the first such outreach by a major American Jewish religious denomination. The group is the largest synagogue body in the U.S. with 1.5 million members.

Day Schools Fear Drain From Charters

09/03/2007
Staff Writer
A Hebrew-English public school that opened last week in Hollywood, Fla., is leading to fears among some Jewish day school administrators nationwide that it could drain students from their institutions. The school also came under withering criticism this week from those who suggested it was deceptive and questioned its motives, saying it might confuse parents into believing it was offering a Jewish education for free.

‘Feminist Moment Of Truth’

01/16/2008
Staff Writer
Ms. Magazine’s rejection of an ad celebrating three Israeli women leaders has prompted Jewish feminists here to charge that the magazine has adopted an anti-Israel posture. “This is a feminism that has been utterly Palestinianized,” said Phyllis Chesler, one of five Jewish feminists who lashed out at the magazine this week.

Tu b’Shevat Chef

01/16/2008
Staff Writer
Ilan Hall, best known as last year’s winner of Bravo TV’s highly rated show, “Top Chef,” was put to the ultimate challenge last weekend — prepare a breakfast dish using the seven species (grains and fruit) associated in the Torah with the Land of Israel.

Millions Diverted From School Guards

10/11/2002
Staff Writer
Only $8 million of the $20 million raised from American Jews to provide security guards for Israel’s schoolchildren will be used for that purpose, The Jewish Week has learned. “Something doesn’t smell good,” said Hilik Goldstein, a spokesman for the Union of Local Authorities, which is hiring the guards for Israel’s 124 municipalities and who revealed the funding cutback.
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