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  • 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 ▸

  • Two New Orthodox Girls Schools Push Egalitarianism in Jerusalem

    Two new cutting-edge schools that opened in Jerusalem this fall are pushing the envelope on modern Orthodox education in the Jewish capital – and challenging rival schools to follow suit. The Shalom Hartman Institute, a popular pluralistic Orthodox educational institution that already has a junior high and high school for boys, opened a girls school… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The business owner who spent more than $8 million on his daughter’s bat mitzvah was arrested. David Brooks, 53, of Old Westbury, N.Y., the former chief executive of DHB Industries, was arrested Oct. 25 on charges that he bilked his company of millions. His publicly traded firm sold body armor to the U.S. military. Brooks… More ▸

  • Hadassah: A better world, one foreskin at a time

    Hadassah, the largest Jewish women’s organization, wants you to know: it has launched a campaign to circumcise men. That must be one engrossing pamphlet. UPDATE: Just to be clear, the campaign (aimed at reducing AIDS in Africa) is a good thing. It was the photo that made us smile (and cringe). More ▸

  • News Brief

    The Jewish National Fund is turning to the Playboy brand name to help raise funds. JNF sent out a mass e-mail this month announcing it would be auctioning off a one-year subscription to Playboy and an all-expenses-paid trip to a VIP party at the legendary mansion of the magazine’s founder, Hugh Hefner, in Holmby Hills,… More ▸

  • Going Once, Going Twice: JNF to Auction off Trip to Hefner’s Playboy Mansion

    One of the Jewish community’s most storied charities is turning to the Playboy brand name to help raise funds. The Jewish National Fund sent out a mass e-mail this month announcing that it would be auctioning off a one-year subscription to Playboy and an all-expenses-paid trip to a VIP party at the legendary mansion of… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A school in the West Bank this week reportedly named a soccer tournament after a Palestinian terrorist. The school, located in Tulkarem, named its tournament after Shahid Ziyad Da’as, who in 2002 killed six and wounded 30 with an M-16 in an attack at a bat mitzvah in Hadera. The news appeared in the Palestinian… More ▸

  • New Reform Movement Manual Adds Blessings for Sex Changes

    In a groundbreaking move to recognize the experiences of transgender Jews, the Reform movement has published several prayers for sanctifying the sex-change process. The Union for Reform Judaism this week released the second edition of Kulanu, the union’s 500-page resource manual for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inclusion. The guide includes two blessings authored by… More ▸

  • Children of Intermarriages Fight for Right to Be ‘half-jews’

    The Jewish world has a problem with the way Renee Kaplan defines herself: half-Jewish. Kaplan, a television producer in her mid-30s, is the daughter of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother who was raised Jewish. “I ve had endlessly to defend my half-Jewishness resist rabbis who wanted to convert me, resent Jewish men who… More ▸