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  • 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…

  • Rabbi pledges Christian funds to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel

    NEW YORK, Feb. 9 (JTA) — Up to $2 million donated by evangelical Christians will redeem the Jews of Kwara, Ethiopia, and bring them to Israel. The sum has been promised by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. His offer has been accepted by the government of…

  • Two Jewish humanitarian groups provide food, medicine in Ethiopia

    NEW YORK, Feb. 8 (JTA) — As the Kwara Jews wait in Ethiopia for permission from the government of Israel to make aliyah, two Jewish humanitarian aid groups have been helping them and others with food and medicine. The North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry, a grass-roots organization based in New York, has, since November,…

  • Rabbi pledges Christian funds to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel

    NEW YORK, Feb. 8 (JTA) — Up to $2 million donated by evangelical Christians will redeem the Jews of Kwara, Ethiopia, and bring them to Israel. The sum has been promised by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. His offer has been accepted by the government of…

  • Jews welcome Falwell’s apology; ready to put the matter ‘behind us

    NEW YORK, Feb. 3 (JTA) — The Rev. Jerry Falwell’s apology for recently saying that the Antichrist is a Jewish man alive today is being welcomed by the Jewish community. On Tuesday the influential Pentacostal minister apologized not for the substance of his remarks, but for what he called “my lack of tact and judgment…

  • Orthodox Jews number 7 percent of U.S. Jewry

    NEW YORK, Feb. 2 (JTA) — How many Orthodox Jews are there in America today? No one knows for sure, since it has been nearly a decade since the 1990 National Jewish Population Study and the 1990 United States Census were conducted. When the National Jewish Population Study, sponsored by the Council of Jewish Federations,…