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  • Retiring rabbi devoted career to interfaith dialogue

    NEW YORK, May 29 (JTA) — In his youth, Rabbi A. James Rudin once served as judge for a Christmas decoration contest in his hometown of Alexandria, Va. The future rabbi was also kicked out of his third-grade classroom for 10 minutes while his Southern Baptist teacher read from the New Testament. It was, in…

  • Class gives lefties a hand in Jewish ritual

    NEW YORK, May 22 (JTA) — Left-wingers have interpreted Jewish law, but this summer a different group will look at Jewish rituals through a left- leaning lens. “Halacha for Lefties” is one of 30 continuing education courses being offered this summer by the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, a Jewish women’s study program in New…

  • Holocaust survivor to be ordained a rabbi

    NEW YORK, May 17 (JTA) — The Holocaust destroyed any notion of God that Helga Newmark may have previously contemplated. But more than 50 years later, Newmark, 67, is being ordained a rabbi, marking the end of a long journey riddled with hurdles. “I always liked challenges, I guess,” Newmark said. She’ll join the rabbinate…

  • Jewish mothers: Resilient, compassionate

    NEW YORK, May 14 (JTA) — Hear the one about the Jewish mother whose goal was to marry off her daughter to a rich doctor? Lloyd Wolf and Paula Wolfson did too, and the punch lines of such denigrating Jewish jokes ultimately became their impetus to create, “Jewish Mothers: Strength, Wisdom, Compassion,” a coffee table…

  • N.Y. cardinal was fierce foe of anti-Semitism

    NEW YORK, April 4, (JTA) — Jewish leaders are joining Catholics in mourning the loss of New York’s Cardinal John O’Connor, who died Wednesday at the age of 80. O’Connor was heralded as a man of conscience who helped improve Catholic-Jewish relations. “He had the largest Jewish diocese in the world,” said Rabbi Mordecai Waxman…

  • Holocaust remembrance: Teach your children

    NEWS YORK, May 2 (JTA) — If Holocaust Remembrance Day is rooted in the concept of educating younger generations, then the somber day was not lost on Dara Kent Avjian. “It’s just, like, so terrible when I think about it,” says the 11-year-old. If the lessons of Yom Hashoah are to be taught by eyewitnesses…

  • Repairing the world on spring break

    NEW YORK, April 24 (JTA) — When Rebecca Shaloff left her suburban Washington home for a college campus, she also left behind the comforts of her lifelong affiliation with her Jewish community. It wasn’t until Purim, when she heard the Megillah in a California town with 10 peers from the University of Maryland Hillel chapter…

  • Jewish mothers to raise their voices against guns

    NEW YORK, April 24 (JTA) — Loren Lieb laughed as she read a sign on her office wall drawn by her 7-year-old son, but she knows his motivation is no laughing matter. “One way I can make a difference is by marching for no guns,” wrote Joshua Stepakoff, one of three children injured by a…

  • Jews fight ‘messianic seders

    NEW YORK, April 16 (JTA) — Cincinnati’s Jews are explaining to their Christian neighbors why seder nights are different from all other nights. It’s part of an effort to fight the answers given them by “messianic Jews” who have sponsored “model seders” that explain the Passover symbols as evidence of their belief that Jesus was…

  • Jews fight ‘messianic seders

    NEW YORK, April 16 (JTA) — Cincinnati’s Jews are explaining to their Christian neighbors why seder nights are different from all other nights. It’s part of an effort to fight the answers given them by “messianic Jews” who have sponsored “model seders” that explain the Passover symbols as evidence of their belief that Jesus was…