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  • A Hebrew charter school takes a not-so-Jewish trip to Israel

    NEW YORK (JTA) — On her first trip to Israel next month, eighth-grader Melodee Pouponneau is excited to visit Tel Aviv and eat Israeli foods. She’s also looking forward to practicing Hebrew, her third language. It’ll be a stark change from her home life in Brooklyn, where she speaks Haitian Creole and typically eats foods…

  • Some towns in New Jersey don’t want an eruv. Now they’re getting sued for it.

    (JTA) — Three New Jersey towns are being sued for legislating against the construction of an eruv in their borders. Meanwhile, the front-runner in the state’s gubernatorial race also criticized the towns’ actions in an op-ed in a local Jewish newspaper. A few New Jersey towns on the border with New York have been trying…

  • Wiesel charity calls woman’s molestation allegation ‘spurious’

    (JTA) — A woman has accused Elie Wiesel of molesting her three decades ago at a charity event. Jenny Listman, who published the account Oct. 19 on Medium, says Wiesel grabbed her behind as they posed for a group photo with her then-boyfriend’s family at a Jewish charity event in New York in 1989. She…

  • Orthodox Union’s new project says women don’t need to be rabbis to be leaders

    NEW YORK (JTA) — The Orthodox Union is founding its own division to advance women as congregational leaders, as well as to promote Jewish study and communal participation for women in Modern Orthodoxy. The announcement comes nearly nine months after the group, an umbrella association of centrist Orthodox synagogues, issued a ruling banning those synagogues…

  • Conservative movement reaffirms intermarriage ban and rabbis ask why

    NEW YORK (JTA) — “It doesn’t help.” “I don’t know how it happened or why it happened.” “The most common response I’m seeing is confusion.” That’s what some Conservative rabbis are saying about their movement’s recent major statement on intermarriage, which reasserts the ban on rabbis performing interfaith weddings while urging its member synagogues to…

  • Conservative movement doubles down on intermarriage ban, but urges communities to welcome couples

    NEW YORK (JTA) — The Conservative movement will maintain its ban on rabbis performing interfaith marriages while seeking to welcome couples who are already intermarried, according to a new letter signed by the movement’s four leaders. The letter, published this week and addressed to the centrist movement’s clergy, educators and leaders, follows a summer when…

  • Jewish women share their tales of harassment, and a rabbi atones

    (JTA) — It has happened in a Jerusalem marketplace. On a flight to Israel. On the way home from an Orthodox Brooklyn wedding. Jewish women are among the hundreds of thousands saying, under the hashtag #metoo and in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, that they’ve been groped, harassed or assaulted by men. And…

  • American Jewish Historical Society cancels events linked to BDS group following pressure

    (JTA) — The American Jewish Historical Society has canceled two events associated with a Jewish group that supports the BDS movement. The decision to cancel the events came from a small portion of the board, according to Lila Corwin Berman, chair of the society’s academic council. It followed complaints by right-wing activists who have separately sought…

  • Why it’s easier to ordain Orthodox female rabbis in Israel than the US

    (JTA) — Ever since Rabbi Avi Weiss began training female clergy and appointing them to leadership positions, he’s been mired in controversy. Graduates of his women’s seminary in Riverdale, New York, have been banned from serving as clergy or in a position of spiritual authority by two umbrella Modern Orthodox organizations. Weiss left the Orthodox Rabbinical Council…

  • Jewish camp in Northern California ravaged by forest fire

    (JTA) — Much of a Reform Jewish summer camp has been wiped out by forest fires sweeping across Northern California. The Union for Reform Judaism’s Camp Newman, an hour north of the San Francisco Bay, has been “mostly destroyed” by the fires burning in Sonoma and Napa counties, the camp posted on Facebook Tuesday evening….