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  • Reform movement laity back rabbis on interfaith weddings

    DALLAS, Nov. 2 (JTA) – David Belin has long been trying to convince the Reform movement to sanction rabbinic officiation at interfaith marriages, but his colleagues are not interested. The 4,500 Reform Jews attending the Union of American Hebrew Congregations’ biennial, which ended Sunday, backed the movement’s rabbinic arm by refusing to even consider Belin’s…

  • THE PULSE OF REFORM JEWRY [Part 2] Leaders urge spiritual return, well aware of their challenges

    DALLAS, Nov. 3 (JTA) – So many Reform Jews attended morning prayers during their biennial convention here last week that they spilled out into the hotel lobby. With the doors of three adjacent alternative services open, the recitation of the Shema in different tunes merged into one powerful, spiritual song. About half the men –…

  • THE PULSE OF REFORM JEWRY Re-evaluating a relationship at time of ongoing controversy

    DALLAS, Nov. 4 (JTA) – Reform movement leaders are sharply challenging the Israeli government and Orthodox leaders, pledging not to be deterred in their fight for official recognition there. Their challenges were enthusiastically received by the 4,500 members of American Judaism’s largest denomination attending the biennial convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, which…

  • Orthodox rabbis join effort to aid vandalized synagogues

    NEW YORK, Oct. 21 (JTA) – The 800 members of all religious stripes on the New York Board of Rabbis are contributing money to two synagogues in Israel – one Reform, the other Conservative – which were attacked during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Reform Har-El Congregation in Jerusalem, and Hod V’Hadar Synagogue, a Conservative…

  • Heavy hitters pledge $18 million to create new Jewish days schools

    NEW YORK, Oct. 21 (JTA) – Some of the biggest names in Jewish philanthropy have joined forces to create an $18 million fund to establish 25 new Jewish day schools around the country during the next five years. Day-school education is widely seen as the most effective antidote to assimilation, but relatively few Jews have…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Rabbis urge both traditional and targeted giving to Israel

    NEW YORK, Oct. 15 (JTA) – Despite increasing tension over religious pluralism and the fears of fund raisers at Jewish establishment charities, this year”s High Holiday sermons found rabbis urging congregants to support the traditional causes: the State of Israel Bonds and the United Jewish Appeal. But based on a random sampling of rabbis from…

  • Jewish activists suing police for action at Million Man March

    NEW YORK, Oct. 12 (JTA) – Two years after the Million Man March filled Washington’s central mall with supporters of Louis Farrakhan, two Jewish protesters are suing the National Park Police. Ronn Torossian and Moshe Maoz claim that their civil rights were violated when police told them to leave the mall, tore signs out of…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD `Chosen Beer’ sales grow among consumers desiring kosher brew

    NEW YORK, Oct. 7 (JTA) – In the beginning there was an idea and it was good: Jewish beer, named “He’Brew – The Chosen Beer.” The beginning, for beer developer Jeremy Cowan, was last Chanukah, and it was so good that he sold every bottle of his 100 cases almost as soon as they hit…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD With shofar and honey cakes, holidays come to Dalai Lama land

    NEW YORK, Sept. 30 (JTA) – Most Jews who find themselves in Dharamsala, India, go to find inspiration in the teachings of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Buddhist community. Now Azriel Cohen, an artist and Orthodox Jew from Toronto, has gone with a shofar tucked under his arm and two large honey cakes (baked…

  • Israel, Palestinians to resume peace talks with U.S. assistance

    NEW YORK, Sept. 29 (JTA) – U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was the first to admit that it was only a “medium step forward.” After six months of suspended negotiations, during which violence and recriminations prevailed, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will return to work next week, she announced Monday. The Israeli-Palestinian joint liaison committee,…