Boston's Hebrew College, the 82-year-old center of secular Jewish studies, plans to open the doors of a new rabbinical school in September, adding to the handful of Jewish independent ordaining institutions in the United States. The new program will likely create competition for students among New York-based seminaries.
The move by Hebrew College, which has about 400 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs in Jewish studies and Jewish education, is being welcomed in some quarters and criticized in others.
The most dramatic moment I’ve ever experienced at a GA (General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America) took place in 1977, in Dallas, on a Shabbat afternoon, when Golda Meir walked onto the stage for what many of the several thousand in the audience suspected might well be her last appearance in the U.S. And it was. She died in Jerusalem less than a year later.
More people than ever before say that being Jewish "is very important" to them, according to a recent survey by the American Jewish Committee.
Sixty-one percent of respondents in the organization's annual survey of American Jewish opinion, which covers topics from international affairs to religious identity, said it was "very important" to them, and another 28 percent said it was "fairly important." Ten percent of this year's respondents said that being Jewish was "not very important" in their own lives.
Yosef Abramowitz had the floor at the closing session of the first national Jewish Youth Philanthropy Conference in Denver last April. Striding around the hotel conference room among about 100 teenagers, microphone in hand like a latter-day Phil Donohue, he exhorted them to see themselves as powerful agents of change, as prophets and leaders. He talked about great visions of a Jewish future, quoting philosophers from Zionist thinker Achad Ha’Am to “Star Wars” wise man Yoda. He held their attention for about 20 minutes.
Rabbi Peter Knobel is on a mission: to propel his colleagues in the Reform rabbinate to exercise moral leadership and speak out with conviction on public issues. According to Rabbi Knobel, president of the 1,800-member Central Conference of American Rabbis, which met for its annual convention this week in Cincinnati, fear of controversy and an over-emphasis on internal spirituality has caused his colleagues to draw back from the prophetic tradition that they once proudly wore as their mantle.
Jewish leaders divided on what Obama should stress in his GA speech.
President Barack Obama’s speech to the Jewish Federations of North America (formerly UJC) General Assembly next week, his first to a Jewish group since his inauguration, could be a turning point in his low standing in Israeli polls and help blunt the skepticism of many Jewish leaders here about his Middle East policies.
(Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will also speak, an embarrassment of media riches for the group.)
Does the collapse this week of Bear Stearns, with its long history of strong philanthropic ties to UJA-Federation of New York, mark the beginning of a major tailspin affecting Jewish charities?
Voicing concerns that parallel worries over the impact of the Bear Stearns’ buyout on the market in general, Jewish officials say it is too early to assess the impact but recognize that the coming period will be marked by uncertainty and belt-tightening.
Sonia Sotomayor has ruled on only a limited number of cases directly involving the Jewish community or Jewish issues during her 17 years as a federal judge, but her record seems reassuring, according to legal experts and representatives of Jewish organizations.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated Sotomayor, from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to succeed Associate Justice David Souter, who is stepping down from the Supreme Court when its current session ends this summer.
Houston - The sanctuary-multiuse room of Congregation Beth El, a Reform synagogue in Sugar Land, a bedroom community near here, was converted one recent spring afternoon into a one-day-a-year use: an enormous dressing room.
Amid racks holding more than 500 chic gowns, with bima and Israeli flag in the background, two dozen teenage girls tried on the dresses behind makeshift barricades, and browsed at tables piled with jewelry and other accessories.