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  • With Its Jewish Museum, Germany Seeks ‘normal’ Relations with Its Jews

    Berlin’s long-awaited Jewish Museum opens its doors this week, offering the public a depiction of nearly two millennia of Jewish life in Germany. At the inaugural gala on Sunday night, the zinc-covered, angular building designed by architect Daniel Libeskind was dressed in a veil of driving rain and lit by camera flashes. The museum officially… More ▸

  • Obituary Leader of Reconstructionist Jewry, Rabbi Ira Eisenstein, is Dead at 94

    Rabbi Ira Eisenstein, one of the founders of the Reconstructionist movement, died June 28 near Washington at the age of 94. Eisenstein was a close confidant of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionism, and was the main founder and first president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the movement’s rabbinical seminary. The Reconstructionist movement, which… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno attended the Bat Mitzvah on Saturday of a girl who had written a letter of support to Reno for her performance during the Elian Gonzalez case. During the ceremony in New Mexico, Shoshana Breitburg-Moya thanked Reno for attending the event. More ▸

  • Orthodox Woman Wanted to Be Rabbi, but Finds Her Role As ‘religious Mentor’

    Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s in a Jewish enclave in the Bronx, Sharona Margolin Halickman longed to be doing the things her synagogue rabbis did. But her grandmother told her, "No, you’re Orthodox, you can’t be a rabbi," Halickman recalls. Now Halickman, the newly installed "madrichah ruchanit," or religious mentor, at the Hebrew… More ▸

  • Passover Feature: Welcoming Ceremonies for Girls Taking on the Weight of Tradition

    Woven into many Jews’ seders when they sit down to celebrate Passover this year will be a spate of new traditions. A Miriam’s Cup next to Elijah’s represents the role of the prophetess Miriam in the Exodus and highlights women’s contribution to Jewish culture. A seemingly out-of-place orange on the seder plate represents how women… More ▸

  • Focus on Issues: Are the Reconstructionists Becoming More Mainstream?

    Gathered from around the country, the group noshed on s’mores — marshmallows and chocolate on graham crackers — and bug juice, then sang Hebrew songs, led by a guitar-playing man dressed in shorts and a bright yellow T-shirt. The revelers were not young campers, but rabbis and synagogue lay leaders. And they were not sitting… More ▸

  • Religious Pluralism Advocates Hail ‘victories’ for Prayer at Kotel

    Advocates of religious pluralism in Israel are hailing what they are calling two major breakthroughs in efforts to enable all Jews to pray as they see fit at Judaism’s holiest site. In a landmark ruling Monday that caps an 11-year legal battle, Israel’s High Court of Justice recognized the right of Women of the Wall… More ▸