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  • News Brief

    The business owner who spent more than $8 million on his daughter’s bat mitzvah was arrested. David Brooks, 53, of Old Westbury, N.Y., the former chief executive of DHB Industries, was arrested Oct. 25 on charges that he bilked his company of millions. His publicly traded firm sold body armor to the U.S. military. Brooks… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The Jewish National Fund is turning to the Playboy brand name to help raise funds. JNF sent out a mass e-mail this month announcing it would be auctioning off a one-year subscription to Playboy and an all-expenses-paid trip to a VIP party at the legendary mansion of the magazine’s founder, Hugh Hefner, in Holmby Hills,… More ▸

  • Going Once, Going Twice: JNF to Auction off Trip to Hefner’s Playboy Mansion

    One of the Jewish community’s most storied charities is turning to the Playboy brand name to help raise funds. The Jewish National Fund sent out a mass e-mail this month announcing that it would be auctioning off a one-year subscription to Playboy and an all-expenses-paid trip to a VIP party at the legendary mansion of… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A school in the West Bank this week reportedly named a soccer tournament after a Palestinian terrorist. The school, located in Tulkarem, named its tournament after Shahid Ziyad Da’as, who in 2002 killed six and wounded 30 with an M-16 in an attack at a bat mitzvah in Hadera. The news appeared in the Palestinian… More ▸

  • 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 ▸

  • 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 ▸

  • As Israel Baseball League Drafts Its Players, Charities Draft League

    The inaugural player draft for the Israel Baseball League started with a 22-year-old Jewish prospect and ended with a 71-year-old Jewish Hall of Famer. With the first selection in the six-team draft on April 26, the Modi in Miracles chose Aaron Levin, a power-hitting outfielder from Contra Costa Community College in California. The Miracles had… 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 ▸

  • 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 ▸

  • For Children of Intermarriage, Decisive Influences Can Vary

    Robin Margolis was in her 30s when she found out her late mother was Jewish. It was 1984 and she was cleaning out her mother’s closet when she found a bag of old documents. The woman she knew as Marie Margolis was born Marie Levine. The revelation, though sudden, was somehow comforting. "I’d been drifting… More ▸