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  • FOCUS ON ISSUES New population study prepares to take pulse of American Jewry

    NEW YORK, April 26 (JTA) — Nearly a decade ago, the news rocked the Jewish world: Slightly more than half of recently married Jews had wedded non- Jews. That finding from the first comprehensive study of American Jewry in two decades singlehandedly prompted a sea change in the course the Jewish community had long charted….

  • Pluralism poll on Israeli views results in unintended findings

    NEW YORK, Feb. 2 (JTA) — The results of a new survey of Israeli attitudes about religious pluralism are not having the effects intended by the Orthodox group that commissioned it. In fact, the results are being welcomed by leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements, who are hailing the findings as a vindication of…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Falwell’s effort to influence U.S. policy unlikely to succeed

    NEW YORK, Jan. 26 (JTA) — The Rev. Jerry Falwell is still trying to make his mark. But whether the once-powerful evangelical Christian leader will succeed in his latest effort to influence Middle East politics is far from certain. Falwell has announced that he intends to mobilize 200,000 evangelical Christian ministers to lobby Congress in…

  • Reform rabbis to re-examine controversial ‘patrilineal’ policy

    NEW YORK, June 16 (JTA) — Fifteen years after adopting one of its most controversial policies, the Reform movement is taking another look at “patrilineal descent.” But rescinding the policy is not on the agenda. Instead, a task force of Reform rabbis mandated to investigate the ramifications of the 1983 policy has recommended that the…

  • The challenge of training rabbis: Seminary leaders exchange ideas

    TARRYTOWN, N.Y., Feb. 11 (JTA) — In a quiet retreat center north of New York City, the leaders of non-Orthodox rabbinical seminaries around the world – – and one which calls itself modern Orthodox — met recently for an unprecedented seminar. A group of 19 presidents, deans and senior faculty from Traditional, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform,…

  • Crown Heights settlement provides measure of relief

    NEW YORK, April 6 (JTA) — The four days of rioting that tore Crown Heights apart seven years ago so frightened Michoel Chazan that he fled his Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood for a week. Some friends, he recalls, were pulled from their cars and beaten by angry blacks while others had rocks and bricks hurled through…

  • Getting down to the nitty-gritty as population study 2000 shapes up

    NEW YORK, April 26 (JTA) — Just how does one go about taking the pulse of the American Jewish community? Organizers of the National Jewish Population Study 2000 are intensely involved in putting the pieces together as they seek to update the findings of a similar study from 1990 and also explore new areas. With…

  • New York rabbi to lead Reform synagogue in London

    NEW YORK, Feb. 3 (JTA) — Great Britain’s largest Reform congregation will soon have an American at its helm. Mark Winer, 55, will be taking over the 2,400-family pulpit of the West London Synagogue as senior rabbi later this month, though on a part-time basis until the synagogue officially approves his appointment in June. He…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Planned end to Ethiopian aliyah complicated by new developments

    NEW YORK, June 23 (JTA) — This week was supposed to mark the end of a glorious era in modern Jewish history. Fourteen years after Israel launched its first dramatic rescue operation of Jews from Ethiopia, those involved in the effort had planned to close up shop, bringing the last planeload of Jews to Israel….

  • Reform rabbis table vote on blessing gay marriage

    NEW YORK, May 5 (JTA) — Leaders of the Reform rabbinate have shelved a scheduled vote on the validity of Jewish same-sex marriages after more than two years of effort to come up with an official position on the matter. An open discussion and vote were planned for the upcoming annual meeting of the Reform…