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  • Tour of Satmar school provides rare glimpse of girls’ education

    NEW YORK, Feb. 18 (JTA) — The sweet sound of first-grade girls singing in Yiddish fades out as more than 50 small faces turn toward the door. They rise to greet Rabbi Hertz Frankel, their dean, who is accompanied by a rare visitor from outside the community. Frankel motions them to sit down and continue…

  • Jews distance themselves from ‘messianic’ jubilee event

    NEW YORK, March 2 (JTA) — It looks, at first glance, like one more celebration of Israel’s 50th birthday. A closer look, however, reveals that “Israel’s Jubilee: 50 Years in the Land!” is being run by leaders of the “messianic Jewish” movement, which cloaks Christian theology in Jewish terminology and practice. The conference, slated to…

  • 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,…

  • Israeli officials thwart effort of family seeking to immigrate

    NEW YORK, May 13 (JTA) — The attempt of a black, Jewish American family to immigrate to Israel was interrupted this week when they were detained at Ben- Gurion Airport and told they had to leave the country. The family members had converted to Judaism under the auspices of the Conservative movement. Though it is…

  • PEOPLE OF THE BYTE First Jewish Web Week celebrates Jewish life online

    NEW YORK, Feb. 9 (JTA) — The people of the book are becoming the people of the byte — the computer byte, that is. To celebrate and promote the proliferation of Jewish activity on the World Wide Web and the Internet, the first Jewish Web/Net Week has been slated for Feb. 22-27. Jewish Web/Net Week…

  • 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 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,…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Non-Orthodox in U.S. vow to press their case in Israel

    NEW YORK, Feb. 10 (JTA) — News that Israel’s Chief Rabbinate had rejected a key component of a proposed resolution to the conversion crisis came as no shock to representatives of the largest American Jewish movements. Leaders of the Conservative and Reform movements, which together represent about 85 percent of affiliated American Jews, said that…

  • 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…