Web Feed

Syndicate content
things of interest in the synagogue world
Updated: 5 min 15 sec ago

Rick Jacobs Threatens to Pull URJ Out of Presidents Conference After J Street Fiasco

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 15:03

Reform Movement leader Rabbi Rick Jacobs has signaled that the Union of Reform Judaism could consider dropping out of the Conference of Presidents in response to yesterday’s vote to reject membership to the progressive pro-Israel group J Street.

Click here for the rest of the article...

Israeli Director Assi Dayan Dies at 68

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 13:40

Celebrated Israeli actor and director Assi Dayan, whose father Moshe Dayan became internationally known as Israel’s eye patch-wearing defence minister during two Middle East wars, died on Thursday at the age of 68, his family announced.

Click here for the rest of the article...

Shalom from Israel! URJ Board Trip is Underway

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 12:43

Shalom from Eretz Yisrael! I’m thrilled to be here in Jerusalem as part of the first URJ Board of Trustees Mission to Israel, led by Rabbi Rick Jacobs. This is a critical, working trip to advance the goals of our movement. We just arrived Tuesday night, but here’s a rundown of some of the highlights so far.

We met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet secretary Avichai Mandelblit at the Prime Minister’s office. The PM was visibly moved by Rabbi Jacobs’ introduction and reiterated his support of the Reform Movement in Israel and throughout the world. Rabbi Jacobs has developed a strong, working relationship with his office, and it was an honor for our board to continue to further that relationship through an in-person visit.

Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro briefed us on the latest issues relating to the peace process, which is, of course, very challenging at the moment. We were thrilled that he described the impact of his time at URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI), our summer camp in Oconomowoc, WI, and in Israel with the Reform Movement’s now-defunct I. M. Wise Inside Israel study-abroad program, in shaping his Jewish identity.

I was particularly inspired by President Shimon Peres, a true Israeli hero who has been at the forefront of Israeli politics since the state’s establishment. President Peres shared with us that in his opinion, the task of the Jewish people is to continue to adapt and “reform”! He urged us never to tire in our struggles for peace or justice, saying one should never tire of a noble cause.

We met with the Chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky, on whose behalf so many Reform Jews marched and protested for Soviet Jewry. During our visit, he pledged to work with us to build Jewish identity in the Diaspora and a strong Reform movement in Israel.

Throughout our visit, we have seen the growth and influence of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). In every meeting, we have heard Israeli leadership speak of the influence of the Reform Movement and the growth and strength of the IMPJ under the leadership of Rabbi Gilad Kariv. We joined our Israeli sisters and brothers at Rosh Chodesh services with the Women of the Wall and then visited the new “Ezrat Yisrael” area of the Kotel, the egalitarian section of the Western Wall. It is a work in progress, and rabbis Jacobs and Kariv, along with the amazing Anat Hoffman, continue to work for a day when men and women can come together to sing and pray at the Wall with equality. Both Kariv and Hoffman addressed our North American leaders with passion and eloquence.

In Tel Aviv, Mission Chair Carole Sterling welcomed us and Mayor Ron Huldai, who spoke of the impact of our Reform Movement in his city, as well as the larger impact of Tel Aviv on the world. We had a little time for culture, too, including a stop at the acclaimed Batsheva Dance Company for a conversation with choreographer Ohad Naharin and a concert by popular Israeli musician Kobi Oz.

As I write this post, we are traveling to Ramallah, and tomorrow morning to Gush Etzion to make sure that our trip covers a full spectrum of opinions and ideas. It has truly been an amazing two days to start our URJ Board Mission Trip, and it is an honor to share this time in Israel with this group of 45 lay leaders. Everywhere we go, we are welcomed with open arms, but more importantly welcomed with respect for our Movement, our values, and our deep commitment to Israel.

'Ida' Revisits Poland in the Shadow of the Holocaust

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 06:00

Pawel Pawlikowski returns to the 1960s Poland of his childhood. The director explains why the film’s not overtly political, although it unfolds in the shadow of the Holocaust.

Click here for the rest of the article...

Europe Human Rights Official Defends Circumcision

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 11:07

The human rights officer of the Council of Europe criticized members of his own organization who called ritual circumcision of boys a violation of children’s rights.

Click here for the rest of the article...

British Actor Bob Hoskins Dies at 71 Following Bout of Pneumonia

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 11:02

British actor Bob Hoskins, whose roles ranged from London gangsters to FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover and who starred opposite a cast of cartoon characters in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, has died after a bout of pneumonia, his publicist said on Wednesday.

Click here for the rest of the article...

Hasidic Man Gets Probation for Throwing Bleach at Sex Abuse Victims Advocate

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 18:00

A Hasidic man from Brooklyn was sentenced to five years probation for throwing bleach in the face of a rabbi who had accused the man’s father of being a sexual predator.

Click here for the rest of the article...

Brooklyn man gets probation for throwing bleach in rabbi’s face

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 15:31

(JTA) — A Hasidic man from Brooklyn was sentenced to five years probation for throwing bleach in the face of a rabbi who had accused the man’s father of being a sexual predator.

Meilech Schnitzler, 38, pleaded guilty on Monday in Brooklyn state Supreme Court to felony assault for throwing bleach at Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse in the New York City borough’s haredi Orthodox Jewish community.

In 2012, Rosenberg on his blog for sexual abuse victims accused Schnitzler’s father of being a child sexual molester. As Rosenberg walked past Schnitzler’s Brooklyn fish market, Schnitzler ran toward him with a cup of bleach and threw it in his face.

Rosenberg, of the same Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, was treated for burns on his face, around his eyes and in his left eye.

The incident came a day after Nechemya Weberman, a Satmar Hasidim leader, was convicted on 59 counts of sexual abuse of a then-18-year-old woman when she was between the ages of 12 and 15 and went to Weberman for counseling. Rosenberg supported and assisted the victim throughout the judicial process.

Rosenberg, who also runs a website and telephone hot-line for sex abuse victims, said the sentence was too lenient.

“Six months in jail would have been enough to show this was serious,” he said, according to The New York Times. “Probation in our circles is a joke.”

 

 

After scandal, 92Y appoints Henry Timms as new director

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 14:39

NEW YORK (JTA) – The 92nd St. Y named Henry Timms as its new executive director, making permanent a change made after the Y’s previous director was fired amid a sex scandal.

Timms, who is not Jewish, succeeds Sol Adler, who was dismissed last July after a quarter-century at the helm of the venerable New York Jewish cultural institution following revelations that he had a long-term affair with his assistant, Catherine Marto.

Marto, the Y’s former liaison for board and donor relations, was fired after the Y decided that she provided unsatisfactory answers to an investigation of her son-in-law, Sal Taddeo, a former Y employee who allegedly received kickbacks from Y vendors while working there.

Before being named interim executive director following the scandal, Timms served as the Y’s deputy executive director for innovation, strategy and content.

“Our search for our new executive director was far-reaching and comprehensive,” Stuart Ellman, president of the Y’s board of directors, said in a statement Tuesday. “We were fortunate to have had such a strong internal candidate in Henry. The board voted unanimously to select Henry, both for his remarkable achievements and leadership to date, and as someone from whom we believe the best is yet to come.”

The Y also announced that Rabbi Peter Rubinstein, senior rabbi at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue, will join the organization’s staff in September as director of Jewish community and the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at the Y. Rubinstein will oversee the Y’s Jewish programming and serve as it spiritual leader, the organization said in a statement.

“This is a remarkable organization full of both creativity and compassion, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” Timms said in a statement. “It’s a team that is committed to serving every member of our community more fully and to thinking big about how we can increase our impact.”

"555 Days of Prayer to Save America" Says Follow the Prayer...

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 22:22

392 days in, participants in the current "555 Days of Prayer to Save America" prayer Segment continues to seek spiritual purity, through God's Word and through loving prayers of...

(PRWeb March 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/12/prweb11402723.htm

Literature & Life: A Talk in Conversational Hebrew by Author, Avi...

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 22:22

Avi Gvili, author of Life & Love & the Like: Stories from the Everyday, spoke to congregants of historic Temple Emanu-El on March 22nd about literature, its meaning for our lives and the...

(PRWeb March 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11718445.htm

Eric Cantor Visits Shul in Shanghai

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 17:49

Rep. Eric Cantor, the House of Representatives majority leader, visited a synagogue in China on the same day he appealed for more religious freedoms in the country.

Click here for the rest of the article...

J Street Backed By Major Groups, But Will It Get Into Presidents Conference?

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 06:00

The Anti-Defamation League and Rabbinical Assembly will vote in favor of admitting J Street into the Presidents Conference. But will that be enough?

Click here for the rest of the article...

"555 Days of Prayer to Save America" Seeks Spiritually...

Sun, 04/27/2014 - 23:27

With the current 100-day-long prayer segment now 1/3 complete, "Save America Gathering" seeks to employ the spiritually purified brothers and sisters of The Church, as well as Messianic...

(PRWeb March 28, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11713115.htm

Reform Jews Win Equal Rights in European Court Ruling Against Hungary

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 08:04

European Reform Jews landed what they said was an important victory in their legal fight for equal recognition and funding from the governments of Hungary and Poland.

Click here for the rest of the article...

New Holocaust Curriculum in Israel To Begin in Kindergarten

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:29

Israel will teach the Holocaust in the country’s schools beginning in kindergarten under a planned curriculum released by the Education Ministry.

Click here for the rest of the article...

When the Family Doctor Turns Out To Be Josef Mengele

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 08:45

In ‘The German Doctor,’ Argentinian film director Lucia Puenzo focuses on Nazis who found new lives in her country. But when she started, she hadn’t been thinking of Josef Mengele.

Click here for the rest of the article...

Two Synagogue-Goers Save Family From Burning Car in London

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 18:53

Two men worshipping at a synagogue in London pulled members of a family from a burning car.

Click here for the rest of the article...

Aaron Landes, Philadelphia Rabbi and Navy Chaplain, Dies at 84

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 16:51

Rabbi Aaron Landes, a Philadelphia congregational rabbi for decades and the longtime director of U.S. Naval Reserve chaplains, has died.

Click here for the rest of the article...

Synagogue worshippers in London save family from burning car

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 16:22

(JTA) — Two men worshipping at a synagogue in London pulled members of a family from a burning car.

Moses Kupermann of London and a visitor from Israel, identified as a veteran of the Israeli army, pulled an elderly man and a baby, who was in a car seat, from the vehicle after it burst into flames outside a synagogue in Tottenham on Sunday night, the Daily Mail reported.

Two other passengers escaped before an explosion destroyed the car.

“I did what I had to do. I’d definitely do it again,” Kupermann told the British website Jewishnews.co.uk.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police told the Daily Mail that there were “no suspicious circumstances” surrounding the fire in northern London.