Profaning History At Touro Synagogue

06/30/2016 - 14:57
Special To The Jewish Week

For over 250 years, Shearith Israel, America’s first Jewish congregation, has actively ensured that Newport’s Touro Synagogue — including the precious Myer Myers Torah finials (rimonim) used there — remains vital, vibrant and intact.  Congregation Jeshuat Israel (CJI), the current, temporal caretaker of the legacy of American Jewry in Newport, can’t justify its attempt to sever the sacred rimonim from their historical, ritual context in Touro Synagogue by selling them.

Lou Solomon.

The Case For Local Control At Historic Touro


With Shearith Israel appeal underway, the legal battle continues.

06/29/2016 - 12:09
Special To The Jewish Week

Sitting in Newport’s Touro Synagogue has a distinctly otherworldly feeling. The nation’s oldest synagogue building, erected in 1763, is full of treasures that predate the Revolutionary War. The 12-branch candelabra and brass ner tamid are two prominent parts of that heritage, and tall candles burn on Shabbat and holidays. On Yom Kippur, the sanctuary is dark except for candles.

Touro Synagogue, Wikimedia commons

A Jewish Solution On Transgender Bathrooms

06/28/2016 - 15:40
Special To The Jewish Week

The rise of sexual liberty as a fundamental right, together with the collective realization that many people do not fit neatly into the category of male or female, is creating a bathroom controversy. This controversy focuses on people who are not part of the traditional male-female binary that has been a part of the American culture for centuries.

Michael J. Broyde and Amy D. Katz

Conversion Crisis Goes Beyond Rabbi Lookstein

06/28/2016 - 12:30
Special To The Jewish Week

Since last Thursday, when The New York Times reported that the Israeli Rabbinate rejected a conversion performed by Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on the Upper East Side and one of the senior members of the American Orthodox rabbinical establishment, there has been an outcry around the world against the rabbinate.

Seth Farber

In Memory Of My Father, A Survivor Dedicated To Teaching Torah

06/28/2016 - 10:20

Editor’s Note: The following is excerpted from a June 14 eulogy for Rabbi Moshe Kasirer.

Suri Kasirer. Via kasirer.nyc

Fighting The Good Fight Against BDS

06/27/2016 - 10:11

Student activists, international businessmen and global litigators are in agreement.  The movement aimed at boycotting, divesting from and sanctioning Israel is growing.  This is not to say that the BDS movement poses an imminent threat to the Jewish state. It does mean, however, that this latest form of anti-Semitism is an issue that we must deal with.  The question is how.

Ambassador Danny Danon. Via embassies.gov.il

Ethiopians In Israel, At 25: A Mixed Report

06/21/2016 - 12:04
Special To The Jewish Week

Twenty-five years ago last month, the world was captivated by images of the dramatic airlift that brought 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel from amidst a raging civil war.

Gideon Taylor

Do We Not Bleed Equally?

06/21/2016 - 11:53
Special To The Jewish Week

“If you prick us, do we not bleed?”

“The Merchant of Venice,” Act III, Scene 1

Donald Trump said that a judge of “Mexican heritage” would not adjudicate his case fairly.

Is this surprising? Not really. Many appearing before judges advance this variation on “the teacher doesn’t like me.”

Isaac Steven Herschkopf

The Tuition Crisis At 20: What Now?

06/20/2016 - 16:24
Special To The Jewish Week
  • “Day schools ... are having trouble paying their bills. The problem is, the predominant sources of their income — parents — are having even more trouble keeping up with rising tuitions.”
  • “The Jewish community has virtually disowned those of us of moderate income.”
  • “It has been said, only partly in jest, that the high cost of day school education promotes birth control.”
Jeff Kiderman

Why Israel Gets Little Sympathy When Terrorists Strike

06/14/2016 - 16:50
Special To The Jewish Week

When Army veteran and Vanderbilt University graduate student Taylor Force was murdered in a terror attack this past March in Israel, my colleague and fellow psychologist Dr. Jackie Weinberg and I were approached to provide guidance to the group of students and university staff with whom Taylor was touring Israel.

Irwin J. Mansdorf
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