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Updated: 28 min 30 sec ago

World's largest Yom Kippur Kol Nidre service to stream live on...

28 min 30 sec ago

Over 100,000 expected to watch the service, led by best selling author Rabbi Naomi Levy.

(PRWeb October 01, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12214778.htm

Celebrate Yom Kippur in Musical Style With Sim Shalom at Zeb's:...

28 min 30 sec ago

The Sim Shalom Online Synagogue will celebrate Yom Kippur at Zeb’s Sound and Light in Chelsea, following a joyous and well-attended series of Rosh Hashana jazz services in that venue.

(PRWeb October 01, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12205435.htm

Yazidi Leaders in DC Seek Help Against ISIS

5 hours 45 min ago

A delegation of top Yazidi religious and cultural leaders came to the US this week (October 24-31, 2014) seeking help for their community in Iraq, which has been devastated by ISIS extremists. ISIS considers the ancient religious minority to be pagan. More than 300,000 Yazidis have been driven from their homes and need humanitarian aid. In addition, the delegation says it has documented nearly 7,000 names of Yazidi girls and young women who have been kidnapped by ISIS and forced into sexual enslavement. The delegation met with a variety of American political and religious leaders.

Watch excerpts of interviews about the Yazidi crisis with Matthew Barber, a University of Chicago scholar who recently lived in Iraq and Murad Ismael, a Yazidi human rights advocate. (Managing Editor Kim Lawton interviewed them after a meeting organized by The International Association for Human Values, founded by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.)

The post Yazidi Leaders in DC Seek Help Against ISIS appeared first on Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Temple Mount Activist Yehuda Glick Recovering After Shooting

7 hours 27 min ago

Health officials said the condition of Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the activist seriously wounded in a suspected terrorist shooting, is improving.

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Muslims Return to Temple Mount for Prayers

8 hours 44 min ago

Muslim worshippers over the age of 50 returned to pray at Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday, a day after Israeli authorities shut down all access to the sacred compound following violence in East Jerusalem.

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Temple Mount Reopened for Muslim Worshippers

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 18:33

The Temple Mount will reopen immediately to Muslim worshippers, the Israel Police said following security assessments.

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Jews and Muslims Unite in Outrage as Israel Closes Temple Mount Over Violence Fears

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 17:06

Muslims and Jews united in outrage after Israel closed the holy Temple Mount to all. Naomi Zeveloff reports on fallout from the shooting of a prominent right-wing activist.

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Temple Mount to reopen, but with restrictions

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 15:51

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Temple Mount will reopen immediately to Muslim worshippers, the Israel Police said following security assessments.

The announcement on Thursday evening came soon after the Obama administration called on Israel to reopen the area to Muslim worshippers.

Entrance to Muslims for Friday prayers, however, will be restricted to men over the age of 50.

Israel closed the site on Thursday in the wake of the attempted assassination of an activist who advocates Jewish worship on the mount, the holiest site in Judaism. Also called Haram al-Sharif, the site is considered the third holiest in Islam.

“The continued commitment by Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians to preserve the historic status quo at this holy site is critical; any decisions or actions to change it would be provocative and dangerous,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday, referring to the closure.

Since capturing the holy site during the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel has severely restricted access for Jewish worshippers, in part not to inflame tensions. The status quo continues to restrict Jewish worship on the mount.

Instead, Jewish worshippers continue to pray at the adjacent Western Wall, the most substantial remnant of the Second Temple destroyed in the first century C.E.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the activist who is still in serious condition from the shooting on Wednesday, leads a group that advocates for wider Jewish access to the Temple Mount.

Psaki condemned the shooting of Glick, a U.S. citizen, and said Secretary of State John Kerry would contact Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu within the next day in part to address tensions in Jerusalem.

The United States had not changed its support for the status quo, she said.

Channeling Freud To Prevent the Next Barry Freundel

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 14:15

Rabbi Barry Freundel probably never sat down in a non-judgmental atmosphere to talk about the sexual dimension of his work. One shrink says all rabbis should do that.

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Twenty Becomes One: Seeing Our Congregations as Family, Especially During Hardship

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 09:00

In the fall of 2008, I was the executive director of a 1,000-household synagogue. We had recently finished a major sanctuary renovation, and our membership numbers were on an encouraging upward trend. Our finances were sound, and we had big plans for the year ahead. The new president of our board was writing her first Yom Kippur appeal as I was busily taking care of the last details of our High Holiday preparation.

Then, two weeks before Rosh HaShanah, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, after which the bank loan market crashed. Banks large and small suffered huge losses, and during the first week of October, the stock market experienced a sharp downward spiral. That week was was Kol Nidre, and our president ascended the bimah (pulpit) to deliver an appeal for donations on the very day on which many in our congregation had lost a significant amount of money – money they were counting on for homes, for retirement, for food.

The president delivered a masterful appeal that evening, and even on that worst of economic days, we collected Yom Kippur appeal monies in excess of what we had collected the previous year. The next day, on Yom Kippur, the stock market fell 700 points, sending the entire country into a recession that, some would argue, continues to this day.

Throughout that fall and into 2009, we came to learn just how much members recognize and appreciate the importance of the synagogue. As the president reminded them during her speech, the synagogue is the center of their community. It is where they find friends and family. It is where they celebrate joy, and support each other through tough times and sorrows. It is where they learn, where they teach, where they reflect.

During this same time, I was re-reading my favorite book, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, which I first read during high school and return to every 10 years or so. I absolutely enjoy the beautiful writing and the tragic story of the Joad family.

The book tells of the Joads, an Oklahoma family that loses their farm during the Great Depression. They load the entire family and all their belongings into an old truck, making their way to California in the hopes of finding happiness and prosperity. Along the way, they stop often on the side of the road, along with other families making the same trek, to sleep and eat. During those daily stops, they find the unexpected:

In the evening a strange thing happened; the twenty families become one family, the children were the children of all. The loss of home became one loss, and the golden time in the West was one dream. And it might be that a sick child threw despair into the hearts of twenty families, of a hundred people; that a birth there in a tent kept a hundred people quiet and awestruck through the night and filled a hundred people with the birth-joy in the morning. A family which the night before had been lost and fearful might search its goods to find a present for a new baby. In the evening, sitting about the fires, the twenty were one. They grew to be units of the camps, units of the evenings and the nights. A guitar unwrapped from a blanket and tuned – and the songs, which were all of the people, were sung in the nights. Men sang the words, and women hummed the tunes. (Steinbeck 1939)

Those things, which were intangible and sacred in the makeshift camps on the way to California, are exactly what make our congregational communities so special, and it is those things that inspire involvement and support.

The communities of the migrant camps, of course, were not dues-based. Membership invoices were not sent, collection calls were not made, and appeals for larger donations were not delivered. The people gave what they could because they recognized a need. They had virtually nothing, yet they gave what they had.

Likewise, our congregations are not migrant camps. There are salaries to be paid, and building maintenance expenses and mortgages to be met. But, perhaps there is an important lesson to be learned as well: “…the twenty families became one family, the children were the children of all….”

Family. Twenty becomes one. Your family joins a congregation, and that congregation may have 100, 500, or maybe even 1,500 other households. But when we think of those other congregational families as part of our family – when we think of all of the children as our children – financial concerns become secondary to family concerns about our spiritual home.

The fall of 2008 was a difficult time for our country and for our congregations. In many ways, we have been recovering and learning ever since. Perhaps we are out of the recession, perhaps we are not. Regardless, our congregations always will thrive when we see ourselves as a vital part of a larger family, and when we recognize that a gift of any size is vital and important.

URJ Announces New Director for Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI) in Indiana

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 08:13
GUCI Alum Jeremy Klotz Appointed as New Director of Midwest Camp

Temple Mount Closed After 'Assassination' Try on Activist Yehuda Glick

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:42

Israel closed the Temple Mount to Muslim worshippers and to both Jewish and non-Jewish visitors in the wake of the attempted assassination of an Israeli activist.

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Jerusalem Boils as Suspect Killed in Shooting of Temple Mount Activist

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:36

Violence erupts after Israeli police kill a Palestinian suspected in the shooting of a far-right Jewish activist — and the Temple Mount is completely closed.

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Revival of ‘On the Town’ Goes Forward Into the Past on Broadway

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 06:00

It’s hard get more (delightfully) nostalgic than the musical ‘On the Town.’ Even 70 years later, the musical’s charms translate easily to today’s Broadway stage, Jesse Oxfeld writes.

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Right-Wing Jewish Activist Yehuda Glick Shot After Temple Mount Conference

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 17:58

A prominent right-wing Israeli activist was shot and seriously wounded in a drive-by attack outside a Jerusalem conference about the future of the Temple Mount.

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Temple Mount activist seriously injured in Jerusalem shooting

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 17:05

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Temple Mount activist was in serious condition following an apparent assassination attempt in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick was shot three times in the chest and stomach outside the Begin Center on Wednesday night by an unidentified assailant on a motorcycle who fled the scene, according to reports.

Glick, 50, was being being treated at Shaare Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.  Head of the hospital Professor Yehonatan HaLevi said in a statement close to midnight that Glick, who remained in surgery, was in serious condition, though in “better condition than when he arrived.”

Glick heads the Temple Mount Faithful organization, which advocates building a Third Temple on the holy site.

He was a speaker at a conference at the center dealing with Jewish rights at the Temple Mount.

Police have set up roadblocks in Jerusalem to try to catch the shooter.


Reform Movement Expresses Concern Over Separate Bus Lines for Israeli Jewish Settlers and Palestinian Workers

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 12:26

Regarding recent news of separate bus lines for Israeli Jewish settlers and Palestinian workers in the West Bank, Rabbi Rick Jacobs,l president of the Union for Reform Judaism, today made the following statement:

We are deeply concerned regarding the recent decree by Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, stating that there will be separate bus lines for Israeli Jewish settlers and Palestinian workers traveling from central Israel to their homes in the West Bank.

Despite the Defense Minister’s assertion, there appears to be no security reason for this new policy, based on statements by top IDF security officials. According to reports from the IDF Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, Palestinian workers entering Israel are not a security threat since they receive pre-approval from the Shin Bet and the Israel Police in order to receive their work permits. Authorized workers, with permits, have not been implicated in terrorist attacks inside Israel according to the Central Command.

The Attorney General of Israel has now asked that the Defense Minister explain and justify his actions. We hope that the Prime Minister supports the Attorney General’s efforts.

Israel’s democracy is one of her greatest strengths, and we fear that Minister Ya’alon’s proposal threatens that democracy.

Reform Movement Expresses Concern Over Separate Bus Lines for Israeli Jewish Settlers and Palestinian Workers

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 08:18
Rabbi Jacobs: "Israel's democracy is one of her greatest strengths and we fear that Minister Ya'alon's proposal threatens that democracy."

After Mikveh Scandal, Rabbinic Council Appoint Committee To Review Conversion

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:59

The Rabbinical Council of America has formed a committee to review its conversion process in the wake of the arrest on voyeurism charges of one of its leading conversion rabbis.

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Why the Mikveh Scandal Cuts So Deep

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 06:00

EDITORIAL: The shocking peeping rabbi scandal has turned many women away from a place that should be a spiritual haven. They deserve to know the mikveh will be theirs again.

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