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  • 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 ▸

  • Debate on Israel prayer moves to blogs

    An interesting spat has broken out over my recent article about how a Brooklyn minyan, Altshul, is grappling with how to pray for Israel. In one corner, wearing the blue and white shorts, is Ariel Beery (of Blogs of Zion, PresenTense Magazine). In the other corner, wearing the shorts of many colors, is Daniel Septimus,… More ▸

  • Whatever happened to that note that I put in the Western Wall?

    You think cleaning a kitchen for Passover is tough? The Associated Press reports on the removal of thousands of notes from the Western Wall: Poking into crevices between the ancient stones of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, a senior rabbi and his helpers on Tuesday removed thousands of handwritten notes placed… 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 ▸

  • Silow-Carroll: Can you be a little bit kosher?

    In his column this week, the editor-in-chief of the New Jersey Jewish News, Andrew Silow-Carroll, reflects on his decision to run an article about Dinnersmith, a new community kitchen in Maplewood, N.J., that “isn’t kosher” but accommodates those who “keep a lenient form of kashrut.” How does a Jewish newspaper write about an establishment that… More ▸

  • The frumka: Orthodox women find religion

    Flash90 Miriam Shaviv, of London’s Jewish Chronicle, offers her take on a growing trend: In the past few months, reports have emerged of more than 100 Orthodox Israelis who have taken to wearing a Muslim-style burka, in the belief this will bring about redemption. They can be seen in Orthodox areas of Tiberias, Safed and… More ▸

  • Aguilera adds unusual touch to circumcision ritual

    Sarah Gerke/Creative Commons As Ami mentioned a couple of weeks back, Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman recently celebrated the brit milah of their son Max Liron. Now the SF Gate brings us the juicier and more hilarious details of the event: Christina Aguilera insisted on turning her baby son’s bris into a big celebration and… More ▸

  • Entering the Covenant: Aguilera baby gets bris

    Enough with the bad news from Amy Winehouse and the Spears sisters. Finally a Mazal Tov in celebrity world: E! News has learned exclusively that new parents Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman held a bris, the Hebrew baby naming and circumcision ritual ceremony, at their Beverly Hills home Sunday. More than a dozen family and… More ▸