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  • Reform rabbis irked over Israel decision

    MONTEREY, Calif., July 3 (JTA) — The Reform movement’s controversial decision to cancel youth trips to Israel this summer was strongly criticized last week by American rabbis at their annual conference — and the action may have long-term consequences for the movement in Israel as it struggles to gain a foothold in the Jewish state….

  • New custom: Welcoming ceremonies for girls

    NEW YORK, March 21 (JTA) – Woven into many Jews’ seders when they sit down to celebrate Passover this year will be a spate of new traditions. A Miriam’s Cup next to Elijah’s represents the role of the prophetess Miriam in the Exodus and highlights women’s contribution to Jewish culture. A seemingly out-of-place orange on…

  • An alternative route to the Promised Land

    NEW YORK, March 20 (JTA) — How is this Haggadah different from all other Haggadahs? By being a Reconstructionist Haggadah, the first put out by Judaism’s smallest religious denomination since its founder, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, edited one in 1941 as the debut publication of his nascent movement. The newly published “A Night of Questions: A…

  • American Jewish music rocks on

    It’s a rockin’ time for American Jewish music — wildly creative, energetic and passionate. But Jewish musicians say they get little financial support from the organized Jewish community. Jewish art, they say, should be an explicit part of the “renaissance

  • American Jewish music rocks on

    It’s a rockin’ time for American Jewish music — wildly creative, energetic and passionate. But Jewish musicians say they get little financial support from the organized Jewish community. Jewish art, they say, should be an explicit part of the “renaissance

  • Orthodox women push the limits

    NEW YORK, Feb. 23 (JTA) — It was a revolutionary step when two prominent modern Orthodox synagogues hired women to be congregational interns two years ago — a step that critics viewed as coming too close to allowing Orthodox women to become rabbis. While the three women who have worked so far in the two…

  • Rabbis say get a pre-nup

    NEW YORK, Feb. 23 (JTA) — A group of influential Orthodox rabbis has thrown its weight behind prenuptial agreements in an effort to persuade more young couples to sign such documents before they marry. Eleven roshei yeshiva, or senior professors of Talmud, at the rabbinical school of Yeshiva University, have signed on to a statement…

  • Orthodox feminism: An oxymoron?

    NEW YORK, Feb. 22 (JTA) — What does it say about a conference on Orthodoxy and feminism when perhaps as many as half the participants insist they are not feminists? It says that it’s an Orthodox conference. Feminism, described only half-jokingly by one keynote speaker as “the F-word” in Orthodoxy, is a loaded term, though…

  • Baptists to blitz Chicago

    On July 8, which falls on Shabbat, Southern Baptists will hit Chicago with a missionary full-court press. Traveling in pairs and threes, Christians will “prayerwalk,” strolling down every street praying for the residents of the neighborhood. Jews, they pr

  • Reform rabbis to endorse gay marriages?

    NEW YORK, Feb. 2 (JTA) — American Reform rabbis are poised to take pivotal action next month on the question of gay and lesbian Jewish marriage — one of the most divisive issues to be addressed by their professional organization in recent years. A resolution to endorse rabbinic officiation at what are often called commitment…