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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…

  • Wife of Peruvian candidate links politics, Judaism

    NEW YORK, May 17 (JTA) — The wife of Peru’s opposition candidate for president credits her time at an Israeli university with turning her life around, according to the New York Times. “In Israel, I learned that you don’t take no for an answer,” the Times quoted Elaine Karp, the wife of candidate Alejandro Toledo,…

  • Longtime UPI reporter ‘blackballed’ a Jew

    NEW YORK, May 17 (JTA) — Longtime UPI White House reporter Helen Thomas “blackballed” New York Times columnist William Safire several years ago from a journalists’ club because of his pro-Israel views, according to the online magazine Slate. Thomas, who is of Lebanese descent, responded to Slate’s report by telling the magazine that she wanted…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…