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  • Organizations help the curious take Bible study one day at a time

    NEW YORK, Aug. 9 (JTA) — Call it the Book of the Day Club. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur may be the only days many American Jews open the Bible, but this year two organizations are urging the People of the Book to consult the Book a few minutes every day. Although similar in design,…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Interested in studying Torah? It’s just a telephone call away

    NEW YORK, July 27 (JTA) — Every weekday morning, around the time most people are taking their first coffee break, Benjamin Lederer takes a half-hour away from the phone-ringing, jewel-cutting clamor of his Manhattan Diamond District office. Quickly walking down 47th Street, he passes bearded, black-hatted traders like himself and sparkling jewelry store displays before…

  • Young Judaea youth movement teams up with community centers

    NEW YORK, July 21 (JTA) — A Zionist youth group without local meeting places and a network of facilities looking to step up teen and Israel-related programming have embarked on a new partnership. The Jewish Community Centers Association, the umbrella for some 275 community centers and camps in North America, and Young Judaea, a 12,000-member…

  • Despite protests, Hadassah defends decision to give honor to Hillary Clinton

    NEW YORK, July 20 (JTA) — America”s largest Zionist organization is slated to begin its annual convention in Washington on Sunday amid accusations from a small, but vocal, cadre of members that it has betrayed its pro-Israel principles. Hadassah, the Women”s Zionist Organization of America, a 300,000-member organization best-known for its hospitals in Jerusalem, has…

  • PROFILE Day school champion races ahead with his ‘5 percent’ funding solution

    NEW YORK, July 7 (JTA) — Two days before a special communal task force released a report last month urging significantly more funding for Jewish day schools, the man arguably most responsible for the task force”s formation was neither celebrating nor patting himself on the back. Instead he was shlepping around muggy New York City,…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Formation of new Israeli government dampens hopes for religious pluralism

    NEW YORK, July 6 (JTA) — The post-election optimism among advocates of religious pluralism in Israel has dampened somewhat with the inclusion of three Orthodox parties in Israel”s new government. Reform and Conservative leaders — who have been lobbying for years to have their rabbis, institutions and practices recognized in the Jewish state — do…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Report urges greater funding to enhance Jewish day schools

    NEW YORK, June 29 (JTA) — In their strongest statement to date, Jewish communal leaders are urging greater national and local support for day schools. A report released last Friday by the United Jewish Communities and its educational arm, the Jewish Education Service of North America, says, “No Jewish family that desires to send its…

  • Court rules rabbis cannot be sued for speaking out on religious issues

    NEW YORK, June 23 (JTA) — In a case with potentially important implications for the American rabbinate, a U.S. District Court in New Jersey has ruled that rabbis who speak out publicly on religious matters cannot be sued in civil court. The June 14 ruling — which concerns a man criticized by rabbis for denying…

  • Blacks, Jews head south together to recreate Freedom Rides of 1960s

    NEW YORK, June 16 (JTA) — A new Freedom Ride, honoring the memories of three civil rights activists — two Jewish and one black — slain during the 1964 “Freedom Summer” in Mississippi, is making its way south. The weeklong trip of mostly black and Jewish activists, which left Wednesday morning after a ceremony at…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Are Reform rabbis on same page as congregants in urging tradition?

    PITTSBURGH, May 24 (JTA) — In 1885, Reform rabbis gathered in Pittsburgh to adopt a platform that described observance of traditional Jewish laws governing diet and dress as “altogether foreign to our mental and spiritual state” and “apt rather to obstruct than to further modern spiritual elevation.” In a change of heart and a sign…