Short Takes

Sculpting A New Salt Lake City

02/22/2002
Staff Writer
Visitors to Salt Lake City during the Winter Games have seen the first signs of the city’s effort to change its public face — tree-lined mediums on major streets, a light rail system, more parks. And some visitors have met the man behind the changes — Stephen Goldsmith, Salt Lake City director of planning and fourth-generation Salt Lake City Jew.

Tensions Build Between Jews And Armenian-Americans

08/17/2007
Staff Writer
A current dispute that grew out of an anti-bias civic program in eastern Massachusetts threatens to upset the already tense relationship between parts of the Jewish and Armenian communities in the United States. Leaders of the Armenian community in Watertown have urged the town to suspend its participation in “No Place for Hate,” an 8-year-old diversity program sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, and they have criticized ADL National Director Abraham Foxman for recent statements he made about the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23.

Arab Land-Ban Panned

07/27/2007
Staff Writer
American organizations that advocate equal rights for Arab residents of Israel were critical of a bill passed by the Knesset in an early stage last week that would limit the sale of Jewish National Fund land sales to Jews. The bill, approved in its first reading by a 64-16 vote, would bypass a 2004 court ruling and in effect bar the Israel Lands Authority from selling JNF land to Israeli Arabs.

Reconsidered Mass Welcomed

07/27/2007
Staff Writer
Jewish groups in the United States and Italy have welcomed the suggestion by a high Vatican official that a proposal to restore a Catholic prayer that is offensive to the Jewish community may be withdrawn. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said last week that a prayer in the recently revived Latin Mass for the conversion of Jews could be eliminated from the church’s liturgy. That would “solve all the problems,” Cardinal Bertone said, following a groundswell of Jewish criticism that questioned the efficacy of decades of Jewish-Catholic dialogue.

France Remembers Deportation

07/27/2007
Staff Writer
Sixty-five years ago, France tried to show its loyalty to the Nazis. Last week, France showed its loyalty to history.On the anniversary of the July 1942 deportation of some 13,000 Jews by Vichy police from a bicycle stadium that served as a transit camp, French officials took part in a series of memorial events.

Humanistic Judaism Founder Killed In Crash

07/27/2007
Staff Writer
Rabbi Sherwin Wine, the founder of Humanistic Judaism who was known as “The rabbi who doesn’t believe in God,” died last week in a car accident in Morocco. Rabbi Wine was killed when the taxi in which he was riding in the Moroccan town of Essaouira, during a vacation, was struck by another car. He was 79. His partner, Richard McMains, was seriously injured in the accident.

When In New York...

07/20/2007
Staff Writer
Shortly after he moved here in 2001, Rome-born journalist Maurizio Molinari went shopping in a Manhattan supermarket where he found a wide variety of certified-kosher items. “It was not a Jewish store,” he notes. Before Sukkot he noticed lulav-and-etrog sets being sold by vendors along West 72nd Street. No one seemed surprised, he says. “For the non-Jews, it was normal.” One day he went to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. A “huge Judaica section” stood out. Most of the shoppers in the store, as he recalls, weren’t Jewish.

Shavuot, Samaritan-Style

06/22/2007
Staff Writer
Five weeks after the Jewish world celebrated the Festival of Weeks, the Samaritans celebrated theirs. On Sunday, Shavuot on the lunar calendar of the Samaritans — descendants of Jewish tribes exiled from the Holy Land nearly three millennia ago — several scores of members of the extant group made their annual pilgrimage to Mount Gerizim, their holy mountain near Nablus in the West Bank.  

Culture Clash Reigns At Parade

06/15/2007
Staff Writer
Plans to host a Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem last year brought protests from Israel’s Orthodox community. The parade was cancelled, a casualty of public concern over the military battles at the country’s northern and southern borders. Last week Tel Aviv’s annual Gay Pride rally took place, and both gay marchers and Orthodox protestors turned out.

Celebrating At The Wall

06/08/2007
Staff Writer
For Jewish boys through the ages, the bar mitzvah, usually in a local synagogue, usually on a Saturday morning, is a communal passage from childhood to adulthood. For a growing number of 13-year-olds, the passage takes place in the shadow of Judaism’s holiest site. Sometimes on a Monday or Thursday morning, or on Rosh Chodesh, when the Torah is chanted.
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