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  • Reform Launches Groundbreaking Campaign to Encourage Immigration to Israel

    Crowning an evolution decades in the making, the Reform movement has formed a groundbreaking partnership with a quasi-governmental Israeli agency to encourage immigration to the Jewish state. On Monday, the movement launched a three-city U.S. tour to encourage Reform Jews to move to Modi’in, a modern Israeli city of 70,000 with a sizable Anglo-immigrant community…. More ▸

  • News Brief

    Britain’s new prime minister appointed Rabbi Dame Julia Neuberger to his Cabinet. Neuberger will advise Prime Minister Gordon Brown on issues relating to the voluntary sector, especially in the arena of public health services, the area on which she speaks for the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords. The appointment was announced over the… More ▸

  • Orthodox Official Launches Protest As Berlin’s First Female Rabbi Arrives

    Berlin’s senior Orthodox rabbi has delivered an angry protest against the pending installation of the first female rabbi in the city. In a bitter letter addressed to Gideon Joffe, head of Berlin’s Jewish community, Yitzchak Ehrenberg railed against Gesa Ederberg, who is slated to be installed June 3. Ederberg was ordained by the Jewish Theological… More ▸

  • What’s a Jewish Writer? Writers Gather to Debate

    Among those jostling for room in crowded conference halls in downtown Jerusalem were a Serbian novelist, a Russian short story writer, an Israeli poet and a German playwright. They were among some 100 writers who gathered from across the world to begin a conversation on what it means to be a Jewish writer. Polish-born writer… More ▸

  • Conversion for Those Raised Jewish? Rabbis Address Patrilineal Problem

    When David Levine stepped into the mikvah last year, he believed he was affirming what he already was, not converting to something new. "I was raised Jewish, was always told I was Jewish," says the 35-year-old Californian, who did not want his real name printed. "I went to Jewish camps, even had a bar mitzvah."… More ▸

  • Hopes Rising Along with New Building for Russian Reform Synagogue

    According to the official annals of the Bolshevik Revolution, on Oct. 25, 1917, the cruiser Aurora signaled the storming of the czar’s palace in St. Petersburg by firing a signal blank round from its bow gun. Ninety years after that historic event, the city’s Reform Jewish congregation is about to start its own small revolution… More ▸

  • JTS Illustrates a Modern Approach to Halacha with Decision on Gays

    Around the time of my ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1985, many people skeptical of the ordination of women asked, “What’s next? The ordination of gays and lesbians”? The question angered me. After all, the issue of embracing the full equality of women directly affected 50 percent of the population or, I could… More ▸

  • Decision to Admit Gay Rabbis Sparks Debate over Pluralism

    In announcing that gay and lesbian students would be allowed to apply for rabbinical training at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Chancellor-elect Arnold Eisen sounded the movement s popular refrain about halachic pluralism — the notion that competing interpretations of Jewish law can coexist under one roof. Eisen was seeking to mollify those who have resisted… More ▸

  • Newsweek Ranking of Top Rabbis Sets Jewish Tongues to Wagging

    Forbes magazine may be famed for its annual ranking of the 400 wealthiest Americans, but Newsweek is giving that list of high rollers a run for its money with a list of America s top holy rollers. Topping the list of the country’s most influential rabbis is Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center… More ▸

  • Multilingual Seder in Paris Helps Bridge the Gaps

    At the Kehilat Gesher seder here, guests are free to participate in almost any language they want. The French-American liberal synagogue, serving some 145 families in greater Paris at two locations, for the past three years has been conducting its festive Passover meal in more than 10 languages. Among the tongues spoken: English, French, Hebrew,… More ▸