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  • 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 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…

  • 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

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Camps put Jewish standards in writing

    NEW YORK, Jan. 26 (JTA) — When applications to Ramah summer camps were mailed out this year, they contained something new along with the enrollment forms and fee schedules: a statement of religious qualification. The statement says that any child who wants to attend one of the Conservative movement-owned Ramah camps must be Jewish according…

  • Martin Luther King Jr and the Jews

    NEW YORK, Jan. 9 (JTA) — To honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., schoolchildren all over the country are learning about his fight to win civil rights for black Americans through nonviolent protest. They are learning about the marches he led, the people he rallied and the stirring speeches he gave. As students…

  • Transforming’ the synagogue

    NEW YORK, Jan. 9 (JTA) — Will “synagogue transformation” join “Jewish renaissance” in replacing “continuity” as the communal buzzwords of the next century? The powerhouse philanthropy triumvirate of Edgar Bronfman, Charles Schusterman and Michael Steinhardt intends to make it so with a new endeavor they have named STAR: Synagogue Transformation and Renewal. The threesome is…

  • Reform Jews on a spiritual quest

    Reform Jews are grappling with the pull between traditional Judaism, whose foundation is a system of commandments, and the individual autonomy that is a Reform movement hallmark. Deeply rooted in general American culture, while at the same time yearning f

  • Reform urge gun control activism

    ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 20 (JTA) — Reform movement congregations are throwing their full weight behind gun control with what they hope will be action, and not just rhetoric. A resolution, titled “Ending gun violence,” passed overwhelmingly and without debate at the convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. The vote occurred Sunday, the final…