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  • Debate on prisoner deal

    Israel has been engaged in heated debate in recent days about the efficacy of trading Arab prisoners with blood on their hands for the remains of two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah in July 2006. The Jerusalem Post’s Matthew Wagner weighs in with a piece on what the Jewish sages might have said about this… More ▸

  • Schusterman: Linking the JTS and HUC silos

    A few weeks back, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation announced that it had partnered with the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute for Religion and the Jewish Theological Seminary to create a joint program to provide professional and leadership training to Reform and Conservative rabbis . The Schusterman Rabbinical Fellowship Program – which has named eight… More ▸

  • Some things aren’t relative: Einstein was an atheist

    Michael Weiss argues in Slate that “the temptation to lure Einstein posthumously into the theistic fold is understandable” – but off the mark: Einstein underwent a brief elective immersion in Judaism as a boy, but his parents were secular; his father thought the Abrahamic rituals “ancient superstitions.” Einstein later told New York Rabbi Herbert Goldstein… More ▸

  • Secular leader to perform gay marriages

    At least one Jewish organization is psyched by the California Supreme Court ruling to allow same-sex marriages. The secular Sholem Community and its vegvayzer (that’s Yiddish for leader, apparently), Hershl Hartman, is planning to officiate for same-sex couples. The full release follows: Los Angeles – With the California ban now lifted on gay marriages, The… More ▸

  • Unusual fans for an unusual metal band

    When my heavy-metal friends disclosed their secret pasts, it was a series of revelations: although they were muscly, pierced and dark-alley-nightmare-looking, when they told stories of their childhoods, each was nerdier than the last. Now, Spin Magazine reporter Mordechai Shinefield uncovers the newest of the nĂ¼-metal fans’ deep dark secrets: they’re ex-yeshiva boys. Elie Hassan… More ▸

  • Scalia addresses Agudah

    More photos via Yeshiva World News In a keynote address to members of Agudath Israel of America, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argued that the Constitution allows for more religion in the public square. He was introduced by Orthodox litigator and Harvard Law classmate Nat Lewin, speaking by video from Morocco. The full audio… More ▸

  • Power Bris

    Here’s something you don’t see every day … a Power Bris: Real Estate’s Next Generation…. Zina Sapir, daughter of real estate mogul Tamir Sapir and her husband real estate mogul Rotem Rosen, CEO of Africa Israel USA welcomed a baby boy last week. The bris is scheduled Sunday, June 1st at the grave of Rabbi… More ▸

  • Finding religion at Bear Stearns

    Here’s an e-mail going around, supposedly from the vice president of Bear Stearns and gabbai of the company’s mincha minyan. Still trying to get my head around whether the e-mail is moving or maddening: Friday, May 30 To the Bear Stearns Minyan, one last time: After two great years at the Bear, and having been… More ▸

  • Did the OU push Sholom Rubashkin out?

    That’s what the Jewish Star is claiming: It is at the insistence of the Orthodox Union that Sholom Rubashkin is to be replaced as chief executive officer of Agriprocessors, the kosher meatpacking giant his father, Aaron Rubashkin, founded, The Jewish Starhas learned. “We have said that if there were criminal culpability that we would withdraw… More ▸

  • Sholom and me

    Late last week, Agriprocessors’ owner Aaron Rubashkin announced that he would be replacing his son Sholom as company CEO. This was not totally unexpected. A source close to the family told me he had recommended turning the plant over to professional management and that Aaron had seemed open to the idea. But during my five… More ▸