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  • Israel’s Urban Kibbutz Movement Lands in North America

    It’s not easy for a commune to adopt a dog. That’s what six members of a new urban kibbutz in Brooklyn learned at the animal shelter. “They said, we don’t adopt out dogs to people in dorms,” recalls Jamie Beran, 26, a founding member of North America’s first kvutza, or collective, affiliated with the Zionist… More ▸

  • In Qatar, Livni Asks Moderates for Help on Peace Process

    Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni flew to the Qatari capital of Doha in the Persian Gulf this week with an ambitious goal: changing moderate Arab attitudes toward Israel. Livni hoped to convince the Persian Gulf states and other Arab moderates that they and Israel should be on the same side of the barricades against the… More ▸

  • New Book Blasts Gender Inequity, Seeks Change in Organizations

    It’s been 45 years since the U.S. Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal to pay men more than women for the same job. It’s been 44 years since Title VI of the Civil Right Act barred employment discrimination on the basis of race or sex, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was… 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 ▸

  • Independence Comes at Time of Uncertainty for Kosovo’s Jews

    On a forlorn road dotted with half-built houses, Ines Quono reflects on her struggle in a land so remote to most Americans it might as well be Oz. But instead of a yellow brick road, there is crumbling, mud-drenched pavement piled high with garbage. “The only thing that works in Kosovo is the banks; we… More ▸

  • New Women’s Torah Commentary Enriches Understanding of the Text

    This week marks the debut of "The Torah: A Women’s Commentary," which brings together the scholarship and insights of women from all segments of the Jewish community and from around the world. For the past two years, in advance of the commentary’s publication, I have previewed drafts in congregations across the country. Inevitably, when I… More ▸

  • Synagogue Mergers Are Difficult, but Some Still Succeed

    Ken Waltman and Brian Pearl play ball together. Now they want to pray together. The two men — one from this city’s Conservative congregation, the other a member of the Reform synagogue — say it makes sense for their shuls to merge. A joint steering committee has been exploring merger options since the summer, but… 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 ▸

  • Mexican Industrial Group Pushing to Reopen King Solomon’s Mine

    King Solomon of biblical fame would be paying close attention to the Mexican flag flying over the yellow sliding gate in front of the rocky desert hills just south of the Timna Park Reserve in southern Israel. About 18 miles north of Eilat along the stretch of Route 90, the stark, rocky Timna Valley hills… More ▸

  • Sudanese Refugees Flooding Israel Pose Moral and Practical Dilemmas

    It’s early morning in the Negev desert, but there’s a flurry of activity along Israel’s dusty border with Egypt, where small groups of Sudanese plot their escape across the international boundary. On one side lies peril and poverty –crowded refugee camps, scarce jobs and overzealous Egyptian soldiers ready to open fire on anyone trying to… More ▸