Lifecycle

  • News Brief

    Eng, Taddeo defeated A Chinese-American Jew and a Jewish Latina woman both lost their congressional bids. Democrat Hank Eng, a recent convert to Judaism, was defeated by Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman, a Republican, in the race for retiring GOP lawmaker Tom Tancredo’s seat. No Democrat has won the seat since it was created… More ▸

  • Gay Shuls in N.y., S.F. Set to Release Prayer Books

    Two of the leading gay congregations in the United States are gearing up to publish formal editions of their prayer books, marking the first time that a siddur drafted with the needs of gay and lesbian Jews in mind will be made available to a wide audience. Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in New York and… More ▸

  • Finding Judaism in the Great Outdoors: Two New Guidebooks Show How

    There were about two dozen people on Rabbi Mike Comins’ Torah Trek in Tilden Park here. Most members and friends of Chochmat HaLev, a Jewish Renewal-style community, had hiked a lot. Many had prayed or meditated. Some had done both together. But none, the hikers were to learn, had done it quite this Jewishly. Comins,… More ▸

  • Action is Needed to Smash Glass Ceiling in Communal World

    Can we talk about gender? Again? Or maybe not. We have been having a conversation in the Jewish community about gender for more than three decades. During that time there have been some remarkable changes: the ordination of women rabbis, the proliferation of egalitarian prayer services and bat mitzvah as a rite of passage. In… More ▸

  • Three New Intermarriage Reports Urge Understanding, Greater Accessibility

    Three new scholarly reports on intermarriage argue for increasing Jewish educational opportunities, encouraging Jewish behaviors among both intermarried and inmarried Jews, and opening the doors even further to intermarried couples and their children. One report, the result of a new study, shows an intriguing correlation between rabbinic officiation at an intermarriage and how "Jewish" the… More ▸

  • Can the Synagogue Help Bridge Diaspora-israel Gap?

    Perched high in the forested hills overlooking the Mediterranean, a group of U.S. rabbis and Jewish leaders hunker down to brainstorm a riddle harder to solve than might seem: how to make Israel meaningful to their congregants. A group from a Reform synagogue in St. Louis muses about solutions: hanging signs in their synagogue in… More ▸

  • Black Rabbi in Chicago Seeks to Bridge Racial Jewish Divide

    Rabbi Capers Funnye, spiritual leader of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in Chicago, wants you to know that he likes gefilte fish — a lot. “I love it,” he told JTA in a recent interview. “I love lox. I love borscht. Some of my congregants don’t even know what borscht is.” Funnye’s congregants… More ▸

  • Rabbis at Merged Congregations Sometimes Face Awkward Calls

    Choosing a rabbi to lead a combined Reform-Conservative congregation can be tricky. Even more awkward is when a combined congregation that has been following Reform tradition for years hires a Conservative rabbi. One such newly hired Conservative rabbi said she was confronted with a b’nai mitzvah class filled with the children of non-Jewish mothers. Following… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Israel’s ambassador to the United States said the Iranian threat is among the worst Israel has ever faced. In an address Friday to the biennial convention of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Sallai Meridor said that Israel has not faced such a danger since the Six-Day War in 1967. He said Iran can still… More ▸