To honor the first yahrzeit of her mother last year, Karen Hochberg decided to bring a scholar-in-residence to the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, where her husband, Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg, is spiritual leader.
One rabbi refused to host the event, saying he expected it would lead to talk about the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement, while another rabbi welcomed the panel discussion, lamenting what she considers the lack of robust debate over Israel in the Jewish community.
The young girl’s question — “How do you feel about Women of the Wall?” — couldn’t have been more timely, as Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky made groundbreaking recommendations this week providing access at the Wall for egalitarian Jewish worship services, something Women of the Wall champions.
Peter Rubinstein, who last week announced his decision to step down in 15 months as senior rabbi of Central Synagogue, one of the leading Reform congregations in the U.S., almost talked himself out of the job before he was hired in 1991.
Hans Guggenheim, a refugee from Nazi Berlin who found haven during World War II in England and Guatemala, and eventually in the United States, conducts his own seders every year in his Boston apartment that doubles as a personal art museum and extensive library.