A religious court in Jerusalem has taken up the case of sex abuse charges levThe roughly once-in-a-decade UJA-Federation of New York population survey has huge implications for the country’s largest federation in terms of its funding priorities and allocations. John Ruskay, president and CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, sat down with The Jewish Week on Monday, the day the survey was released.
Jewish Week: What was the most surprising aspect to you of the new population study?
Richard Joel is well aware that on the eve of his being chosen president of Yeshiva University last December, a number of students and rabbis were so opposed to his election that they recited Tehillim (Psalms), a prayerful response to times of crisis and danger. For some, the fact that Joel was not a rabbinic scholar and, moreover, had for years headed Hillel, the Jewish campus organization that celebrates pluralism, signaled an impending revolution for Yeshiva, away from its Torah roots.
Responding to increasing signs of anti-Semitism at home, most recently an arson attack on a Jewish school near Paris the day after the Istanbul synagogue bombings, the French government has created a new ambassadorial position to deal with Jewish organizations around the world and with Holocaust restitution.
Bookstores are having a tough time deciding how to categorize Julie Salamon’s new book, “Rambam’s Ladder,” a slim but compelling volume on what motivates people to give charity.
Some stores display the book in the Self-Help section, others under Philosophy or Judaica, explains Salamon, who writes on culture for The New York Times.
Her preference? “Just put it out on the table near the entrance,” she laughed during a recent interview.
On the surface, the suit and counter suit filed by a small Jerusalem yeshiva, Derech Etz Chaim, and Modern Orthodoxy’s flagship institution, Yeshiva University, are about an alleged breach of contract.
But underneath, at the simmering center of the case to be heard in federal court in Manhattan next week, are questions about the behavior of a charismatic, American-born rabbi, Matis Weinberg, 57, a prominent Torah scholar and author alleged to have a history of sexual abuse against yeshiva students.
An 11th_hour agreement was expected to be finalized this week between Derech Etz Chaim, a small Jerusalem yeshiva, and Yeshiva University, the major Modern Orthodox institution, canceling out competing lawsuits on the eve of a federal court hearing in Manhattan, according to sources close to the case.
What remains an open question, though, is what, if anything, will come of the allegations of sexual abuse against Rabbi Matis Weinberg, a leading Torah scholar and author, which were at the crux of the case.
Just 10 weeks into Larry Zicklin’s tenure as president of the board of UJA-Federation of New York in 2001, came the attacks of 9-11. Much of the next three years was spent responding to the enormous social and economic after-effects of that trauma, as well as the ongoing terror in Israel and the financial crisis faced by the Jewish community of Argentina.
After months of internal turmoil at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York, prompted by the discovery of serious financial problems, the agency’s top executive has stepped down.
At an emergency meeting with staff late Tuesday, Jeff Corbin, the newly elected president of the BJE, announced that Chaim Lauer, its executive vice president, had resigned for personal reasons.
When, if ever, is it appropriate to criticize the politically incorrect statements of a leading rabbinic figure?
That question is being asked in Modern Orthodox circles these days after Rabbi Hershel Schachter, rosh yeshiva and rosh kollel at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, seemed to compare women to animals in expounding on a religious practice.
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