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  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Heschel and King: Two visionaries are linked again

    NEW YORK, Jan. 12 (JTA) — One was a black Baptist preacher, the other a white-bearded rabbi born to lead a Chasidic dynasty. In life they stood arm in arm as men committed to righting their nation”s moral wrongs, as religious leaders unparalleled in influence and stature — and as personal friends. Slavery and the…

  • ANALYSIS Response to Vatican paper: Open the Holocaust archives

    NEW YORK, March 16 (JTA) — A long-awaited Vatican document addressing its role in the Holocaust is being greeted with nearly universal dismay and anger by Jewish experts on Catholic-Jewish relations. And it is prompting a renewed call from national Jewish organizations for the Vatican to open its Holocaust-era archives so that the truth of…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Orthodox feminists move from fringes to mainstream

    NEW YORK, Feb. 17 (JTA) — What a difference a year makes. For the organizers of the Second International Conference on Feminism & Orthodoxy, the last year has seen major leaps forward in their primary areas of concern — Torah learning for Orthodox women and expanding the ways in which women can serve as religious…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Jewish juror spares life of Oklahoma bomb abettor

    NEW YORK, Jan. 13 (JTA) — Growing up in northern Idaho, Niki Deutchman had no idea that she would one day play a pivotal role in one of America’s most infamous trials. But she did have an inkling that she would become a Jew. Deutchman was the forewoman of the jury that was unable to…

  • Jewish network chronicles ‘Mitzvah Mouse’ adventures

    NEW YORK, March 16 (JTA) — The answer to the Jewish continuity crisis? Turn on your television and travel through Jewish history with Mitzvah Mouse, says Jay Sanderson, the head of the Jewish Television Network. Mitzvah Mouse is a purple, Muppet-like puppet who sprinkles sparkly “magic matzah meal” around to take two puppet pals, Rachel…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Proposal on gay marriage dividing Reform rabbinate

    NEW YORK, March 29 (JTA) — The Reform movement”s rabbinical organization is gearing up for a controversial vote on whether to sanction religious marriage ceremonies for lesbians and gay men. The issue is already creating deep and painful divisions within the Reform rabbinate, and some fear it could further alienate the Reform movement from other,…

  • Israel lifts ban on rabbi, but he won’t go there now

    NEW YORK, April 9 (JTA) — An American rabbi who was banned from Israel more than two years ago says that even though the ban has been lifted, he has no desire to visit the Jewish state. “I would not go now, not for any reason,” said Rabbi Abraham Hecht, who was banned from the…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Orthodox women learn that knowledge is power

    NEW YORK, Feb. 17 (JTA) — Knowledge is power — and Orthodox women are applying the maxim to their lives in unprecedented numbers. Across the Orthodox world, women are turning to Judaism’s most sacred texts to understand for themselves the foundations of their faith. “It’s all over, like poppies pushing up in a winter field,”…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS No end to conversion crisis as two competing plans surface

    New York, Jan. 27 (JTA) — They set out to save the unity of the Jewish people — but only created more confusion. Architects of two proposals intended to defuse the long-simmering crisis over conversion to Judaism in Israel this week created more chaos than clarity. Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews continued to fight over the…

  • Crown Heights sentence still leave void for family

    NEW YORK, March 31 (JTA) — For the family of Yankel Rosenbaum and the Jews of Crown Heights, the sentencing of Lemrick Nelson to 19 years in a federal prison isn’t a conclusive end to the saga they have endured. The judge in the case tacked on an extra five years of probation for Nelson…