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  • Tackling the ‘december Dilemma,’ by Teaching Children Both Their Faiths

    The “December Dilemma” — the annual tug-of-war between Christmas and Chanukah played out in streets and living rooms across America — provokes sighs and consternation in many Jewish homes. But nine Chicago kids in The Family School’s sixth-grade class here don’t find it at all confusing. “I like celebrating both,” says Sarah Liebreich, 11, who,… More ▸

  • America Decides 2004 12-year-old Dazzles Delegates, Hometown Shul with Convention Speech

    SAN FRANCISCO, July 28 — When Pauline Moreno watched 12-year-old Ilana Wexler win over the crowd at the Democratic National Convention, she couldn’t help but smile. “That’s it, she just sealed her bat mitzvah,” joked the president of Berkeley’s Conservative Congregation Netivot Shalom, where the Wexler family are active members. After all, which is more… More ▸

  • Many Jews Flock to Bay State As Gay Marriage Law Takes Effect

    It was late on a Sunday night, but Laura Moskowitz and Robin Shore were lined up outside Cambridge City Hall, waiting for the doors to open. The two Jewish women — parents of a daughter who will have her Bat Mitzvah in November — were among the first applicants for a same-sex marriage license under… More ▸

  • Amid Abuse Reports, Conservatives Issue New Guidelines on Harassment

    Moving to combat reported sexual harassment and abuse in Conservative synagogues, the movement’s congregational body is issuing a new set of guidelines to deal with the problem. The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism unveiled the non-binding guidelines on its Web site last week in response to what Rabbi Jerome Epstein, the organization’s executive vice president,… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A New Orleans girl is raising money for local police to buy guard dogs as she studies for her Bat Mitzvah money. Bonnie O’Donnell, who chose the social justice project because of her love for canines, has raised more than $5,200 for the crime-fighting dogs. More ▸

  • Support During Bosnian War Helps Woman Come to Israel, Convert

    Life boiled down to one egg for Sarah Pechanac. Shortly after war erupted in Sarajevo in the early 1990s, her family’s home was wrecked in a bombing that forced them into communal quarters underground. Hope came in the form of a single egg — a piece of charity dispensed from Jewish communities to the general… More ▸

  • Passover Feature Different Season, Same Holiday: It’s Passover Down Under, Mate

    Because Australia is situated below the equator, its seasons rebel against the Jewish calendar. Our winter is their summer; our spring their fall. Although Passover’s rituals and symbols resonate spring, Down Under the holiday is celebrated in autumn Down Under. “Passover begins just as the temperature drops, days grow shorter, and grapevines lose their leaves,”… More ▸

  • Reform Movement Accepts Transgender Rabbinical Student

    The Reform movement’s rabbinical seminary has accepted a transgendered person, paving the way for what is believed would be the first ordination of a rabbi to have switched genders. The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati confirmed this week that it accepted a male rabbinical school applicant who used to be a woman…. More ▸