New York

Where Will Joel Take Yeshiva U.?

Editor and Publisher
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.

France Reaching Out To Jewish Groups

Editor and Publisher
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.

Up The Rungs Of Charity

Editor and Publisher
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.

The Passion Of Abe Foxman

Editor and Publisher
Poor Abe Foxman.The national director of the Anti-Defamation League says he is being criticized from both sides for his response to Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”

Trial Here To Focus On Abuse Charges

Editor and Publisher
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.

Yeshiva‘s Case Ends Before It Begins

Editor and Publisher
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.

Changing Of The UJA-Fed Guard

Editor and Publisher
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.

Shakeup At BJE

Editor and Publisher
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.

Rabbinically Incorrect

Editor and Publisher
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.

Disconnect For Gen-Y Jews

Editor and Publisher
Los Angeles — The Jewish community is obsessed with continuity and survival, worrying endlessly about attracting the younger generation to Jewish life, especially since polls show that Jews in their 20s are less committed than their parents to affiliation with synagogues, organizations and Israel. Who, the elders wonder, will be the communal leaders of the future, both lay and professional?
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