Much has been written about the somewhat surprising results from the “Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011.” Probably the most noted developments were the explosive growth of the haredim, the sharp surge in poverty, and the increasing number of non-denominational Jews.
In the old days, that is, until about a decade ago, when people wanted to do contribute good to society they looked for a non-profit organization whose work appealed to them. They volunteered for a project or committee, and veteran volunteers mentored them about how the work was done. If they were passably good at their volunteer service, they would move up the ranks, possibly even becoming president. They might repeat this pattern over the course of a lifetime, serve several organizations and, in turn, “teach the ropes” to new volunteers.
A few months ago my friend and co-author called to say that when going through the papers of her deceased mother, she came across an envelope postmarked Oct. 20, 1936. Upon carefully opening it, she found a document written in German with the word “Halitzah” at the top. Although not knowing what the document was, she detected certain similarities to her parents’ ketubah, which she had restored in 1985 on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. Curiously, the ketubah and the halitzah document were witnessed by the same men on the same day, Oct.
Yeshivat He¹Atid, a new day school in Bergen County, NJ, is providing Jewish communities nationwide with a groundbreaking new model for high quality, affordable Jewish day school education. Opening with 115 students in our first year, Yeshivat He¹Atid is re-imagining the Jewish day school classroom of the 21st century.
‘We don’t know where we’re headed,” an Israeli librarian said to me during a visit my husband and I made to Israel last month. She was speaking, of course, about Iran, which fills the newspapers there as it does here. We were in the country during the peak of speculation about when Israel would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, with headlines blaring that Benjamin Netanyahu had decided to attack within the next four months, or two months, or maybe one month.
Imagine more than a quarter-million American Jews — Democrats and Republicans, observant and secular, and individuals representing the entire spectrum of Israeli politics — gathering at one time, in one place, with a single unified message on behalf of fellow Jews, in the name of the universal principle of freedom.
If you are older than 40, and were connected in any way to the Jewish community in 1987, chances are you don’t have to imagine. You can remember.
Who doesn’t need a second chance? Each of us has something we wish we could do over, start fresh or finish differently. Don’t you? Well, Rosh HaShanah is your opportunity. At its core, Rosh HaShanah promises us that we can transcend the past and get that second chance that each of us needs in at least some part of our lives.
On Tuesday morning, vandals defaced the Monastery of the Silent Monks at Latrun with anti-Christian graffiti. They also attempted, unsuccessfully, to burn the door. Rabbi Mauricio Balter of the Masorti (Conservative) Kehillat Eshel Avraham in Beersheva and president of the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel, was part of a Masorti delegation that visited the monks at Latrun in the aftermath of the incident. A translation of his remarks is reproduced below. (Translation by Arie Hasit, spiritual advisor to Masorti’s NOAM youth movement.)
A few months ago my friend Phyllis H. Waldmann called to say that when going through the papers of her deceased mother, she came across an envelope postmarked October 20, 1936. Upon carefully opening it, she found a document written in German with the word Halitzah at the top. Although not knowing what the document was, she detected certain similarities to her parents’ ketubah, which she had restored in 1985 on the occasion of their fiftieth wedding anniversary.
I was taken aback by Rabbi Hershel Schachter's article, "Experimental Judaism: Playing with Fire". It paints a picture of Christianity that was accurate before 1965, but which has undergone a sea change--one might even say a theological earthquake. This occurred as a result of the miraculous establishment of the State of Israel and the realization by honest and authoritative Church leaders that the Holocaust could not have taken place had it not been for the seeds of anti Semitism sown by Christian teachings over the last two millennia.