Who Jew

  • Drawing on Vatican Archives, Miniseries Examines Inquisition

    Some 700 years after the Inquisition was established by the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II decreed in 1998 that its massive secret archives be opened for scholarly research. The announcement piqued the interest of Seattle-based filmmaker David Rabinovitch. He started the long road of recreating the history of the Holy Office of the… More ▸

  • Nicaragua’s Tiny Community Splits over Who is a Jew

    Bitter divisions over who is a Jew threaten to split Nicaragua’s tiny Jewish community. At an April 30 assembly to elect a new board of directors, relations between the 50 Jews in the country deteriorated after two people whom some consider non-Jews were elected to the board. The assembly decided to allow anyone who "feels… More ▸

  • Iranian Couple Attempting Aliyah Split Up over Security Concerns

    Smuggled across the mountainous border separating Iran and Turkey, Pourya and Samana Hajaran undertook the perilous journey to Istanbul nearly a year ago, hoping to make their way to Israel. Instead, the Iranian husband and wife find themselves trapped in a frightening legal and bureaucratic maze. Pourya, 22, the son of an Iranian Jewish mother… More ▸

  • Anti-Semitism in Israel? Problem Persists for Youth

    Ari Ackerman, a student from Switzerland, was walking home after a late-night swim along the Tel Aviv beach when he and a friend were jumped by a gang singing Nazi songs and displaying swastika tattoos. The perpetrators, a group of Russian-speaking teenagers, eventually ran off. Ackerman and his friend, their faces bruised and bloodied, set… More ▸

  • Converting Patrilineal Jews Requires Special Sensitivity

    Most young adults with non-Jewish mothers who seek conversion end up in the Conservative movement. That makes sense: Many were raised in Reform, Reconstructionist or Renewal communities that accept patrilineality, and then their parents, or they themselves, switched affiliation to a Conservative congregation that requires the conversion of those with non-Jewish mothers. But Reform and… More ▸

  • Op-ed Intermarriage Studies May Be Right;

    We keep producing studies that prove that children of intermarried families are less likely to be Jewish than children from two born Jews. There’s nothing wrong with the research; my studies show the same thing. However, our responses to the findings, which come from fear and suspicion, are troubling. The Jewish community has centuries of… More ▸

  • Behind the Headlines is Israel Capping Ethiopian Aliyah?

    In a sign that Israel is taking steps to cap the number of future Ethiopian immigrants, the Interior Ministry has begun delivering rejection notices to Ethiopian petitioners deemed ineligible for aliyah. Since 2004, Israel has been bringing 300 Ethiopian immigrants to Israel each month from among a pool of several thousand Ethiopian aliyah petitioners. The… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World in Caribbean, Conversion Offers

    Conversion is offering a way to keep Jewish life alive in the tiny Jewish communities of the Caribbean and Central America, though not without potential hazards. As more of these communities — some numbering as few as 20 members and located in isolated Jewish outposts such as El Salvador and Bahamas — are able to… More ▸

  • Focus on Issues Issue of Gay Ordination Still Open

    Leaders of the Jewish Theological Seminary insist the ordination of gay rabbis is not a foregone conclusion despite the appointment of a rabbinical school dean committed to the move and a recent survey showing that a majority in the Conservative movement would support the step. The seminary’s incoming chancellor, Arnold Eisen, said a survey of… More ▸

  • Arts & Culture Cuban Salsa Combined with Klezmer

    Klezmer music, rooted in the Jewish shtetls of 19th-century Eastern Europe, is making an unprecedented comeback. So is Cuban salsa, whose distinctive Afro-Caribbean rhythms are enjoying a wave of global popularity. It was only a matter of time before some enterprising musician came along and combined the two. That would be Havana-born drummer Roberto Juan… More ▸