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  • 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 ▸

  • Bush Threat to Veto Children’s Insurance Program Baffles Jewish Organizations

    From restricting abortion access to lowering the church-state wall, the Bush administration’s right-leaning domestic agenda is often at odds with the Jewish community’s decidedly liberal views. But with bipartisan support in Congress building to expand a program that supplies health coverage to millions of otherwise uninsured children, Jewish organizations thought that they had found an… More ▸

  • Flap over Legal Scholar’s Article Misses Real Intermarriage Story

    Harvard University law professor Noah Feldman would have stood on much stronger intellectual ground had he simply sent the following notice to the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times, the usual address for high-powered wedding announcements: Noah Feldman, a nice Jewish boy and graduate of several prestigious institutions, including the Maimonides School in… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Several Jewish organizations sent letters to U.S. House of Representatives members urging them to vote for a bill that will decrease dependence on foreign energy sources. The letters, mailed last Friday, ask the representatives to vote for a comprehensive energy package as well as an amendment to implement a 20 percent renewable electricity standard by… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The co-founder of the only national professional organization for Jewish nurses was elected the national president of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. Nancy Falchuk of Newton Centre, Mass., was chosen this week at the organization’s annual national convention in New York City. A nurse by training, she helped found the Hadassah National Center… More ▸

  • 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 ▸

  • From Challah Sales to Jewtube, Young Innovators Cook Up Fresh Ideas

    When Eli Winkelman first had the idea of transforming her weekly challah sale at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., into a charity benefiting Sudanese refugees, she thought it would be a cool way to sell a few extra peanut-butter loaves. Winkelman never thought the idea would galvanize hundreds of students to write letters to their… 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 ▸

  • News Brief

    Hosni Mubarak denied that a retired Egyptian intelligence officer who fell to his death in Britain had spied for Israel. The Egyptian president came out Monday against claims by former Israeli intelligence chiefs that the late Ashraf Marwan had warned Jerusalem ahead of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. “I have no doubts whatsoever about the… More ▸

  • JTA Series on Unrwa Wins Top Jewish Journalism Award

    JTA earned six journalism awards at last week’s gathering of the American Jewish Press Association in San Francisco. The Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism, established in 1980, recognizes outstanding journalism in 14 categories. For the fourth year in a row, JTA took top honors in the investigative reporting category with a five-part… More ▸