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  • Selling coffee and spirituality

    NEW YORK, Feb. 26 (JTA) — How about some Jewish spirituality with that latte? This spring, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner’s book “Invisible Lines of Connection: Sacred Stories of the Ordinary” will be one of a handful of volumes for sale at Starbucks Coffee stores. Some 400 of the close to 1,000 Starbucks outlets throughout the country…

  • 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…

  • Rabbis seek new dialogue at time of tension and divide

    NEW YORK, May 12 (JTA) — The creation of a national organization whose mission is to bring together rabbis of every denomination for dialogue is being met with a degree of skepticism — and a lot of hope. The new group — named the North American Board of Rabbis — is the idea of modern…

  • SHAVUOT FEATURE Reform Jews embrace tradition of Shavuot holiday Torah study

    NEW YORK, May 20 (JTA) — Shavuot will be about more than eating the traditional dairy foods — blintzes and cheesecake — for Jonathan Eisenthal this year. Eisenthal, the stay-at-home father of a 4-year-old daughter and newborn son in St. Paul, Minn., will for the first time be devoting the night of the Shavuot festival…

  • 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…

  • 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…