Denominational Déjà Vu

11/23/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Back in February 2001, an article I wrote for Moment Magazine caused quite a stir. Its thesis was that since the Conservative movement’s claim to halachic integrity was not supported by fact, Conservative Jews who respect Jewish religious law should consider joining Orthodox communities. Understandably, it was disturbing to some. Much of the uproar, however, was likely caused by the incendiary headline Moment insisted on giving the piece. I had titled it “Time to Come Home”; Moment ran it under a large, bold headline reading “The Conservative Lie.”

Rabbi Avi Shafran

Women Studying Torah: Facts On The Ground

The RCA is trying to erase women's personal desire to affect the Jewish world through their Torah.

11/23/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Sixteen years ago I was asked to stop learning Talmud because I am female. Here’s what happened: I was 25 and decided to try my hand at daf yomi, the practice of studying a folio of Talmud each day.

Lisa Schlaff

Our Commitment To Syrian Immigrants Comes From Our Roots

11/22/2015 - 19:00

More than any other people, the Jewish people know precisely when and where the Syrian refugee crisis first began.  Every year, every Jew, at every Passover Seder table recites the words “Arami Oved Avi.”  Sometimes translated as “My father was a wandering Aramean,” sometimes translated as “An Aramean sought to destroy my father,” we recall the plight of our forefather Jacob who fled the hostile conditions of his Aramean surroundings.  Aram, as many may know, is the Biblical name for the land that up until recently we all called Syria.  “Come and learn,” we call out to each other at the seder table, “what Laban the Aramean sought to do to our father Jacob.”   Jacob was a refugee twice over, first having taken flight from the murderous intentions his brother Esau, and now in this past week’s Torah reading, seeking refuge from the hostile pursuit of his father-in-law Laban.  “My father was a wandering Aramean.”  Year after year we come back to the core text of the core ritual that lies at the very heart of who are as a people.   The very first Syrian refugee was a Jew – not just any Jew, but the very patriarch who would go on to become Israel, the namesake for our entire people.

Thanksgiving Message Of `Religious Liberty’ Especially Timely

11/22/2015 - 19:00

Though the origins of Thanksgiving stretch back perhaps even to the biblical Feast of Tabernacles, it was on October 3, 1789, here in New York, that George Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving a national observance with these words:

New Program Invites Russians To Hebrew School – For Parents

11/22/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

For many Russian-speaking Jewish parents living in NYC, the only connection to Judaism is through their children. Parents who came to America when they were teens during the 1980s and 1990s were less concerned about their Jewish heritage and instead focused on academic studies, on getting into a good college and on entering a lucrative profession. Now that their financial standing has improved this generation of parents wants to give their children something they themselves lacked, and in many cases are still lacking, a Jewish education.

Jewish Parent Academy

Jewish Life, 50 Years From Now

11/17/2015 - 19:00

Commentary Magazine, on the occasion of its 70th anniversary, has published a symposium, “The Jewish Future,” with brief predictions by 70 people on what will be the condition of the Jewish community 50 years from now.  What follows is a subjective selection of ideas from that issue.

MK Shaked’s New Bill Stigmatizes, Constrains Left-Wing Israeli NGOs

This new law will affect mainly the organizations that oppose indefinite occupation over Palestinians.

11/16/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the "Jewish Home" party, introduced a new bill last week demanding that Israeli left-wing NGO's identify themselves and their funding resources upon every interaction that they have with the government – using a special "tag.” According to this law, organizations that receive a majority of their funding from foreign governmental agencies would be physically marked. For many in Israel, this suggestion is a reminder, in very bad taste, of the darkest of times.

Ayelet Shaked

Engaging College Students From Intermarried Families

Our work at Hillel International is about hachnasat orchim, welcoming.

11/16/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Questions about interfaith families and intermarriage are as old as the Jewish community itself. Just this month we read in the Torah portion of Abraham’s concern about whom his son will marry and what it will mean for the future of the Jewish people: even the story of the first Jewish family includes handwringing about intermarriage and the desire for Jewish grandchildren. And yet, despite these centuries of practice, many still struggle with how to work with those from intermarried families. Our communities still have too many barriers to entry, too many assumptions about what makes someone a Jew.

Sheila Katz

The Paris Attacks: A Time For Mourning And Clarity – But Not For Scapegoating

11/16/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The attacks in Paris and in Beirut last week were heartbreaking. Words alone cannot express our sadness over these events. Our deepest condolences go out to the people of Paris and Beirut, most of all to the families who lost loved ones. We pray for the recovery of the wounded.

Mark Hetfield

Happy Birthday Hedy

Hedy Lamarr was born November 9, 1914. The Jewish starlet's beauty belied her gorgeous brains.

11/12/2015 - 19:00

Editor's Note: Fresh Ink For Teens is a community and website whose content is written exclusively by high school students. Topics cover everything relevant to a teen’s life, through a Jewish lens. 

I have a standing appointment at a threading salon every other Thursday at 3 o’clock sharp.  I have a habit of biting my nails until they are sore, so my mother schedules a manicure for me every two weeks. My hair is chemically straightened and requires being flat ironed once a week. The public eye has never seen my form in sweatpants nor do I ever wish them to. I have never felt disdain towards the countless refinements that make me feel pretty. I feel polished, sophisticated and powerful.

Hedy Lamarr. Via pixabay.com
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