| By Sue Fishkoff |
| Saturday, 06 August 2011 00:14|
SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) – When Mitchell Ross was a boy, he remembers his grandfather hanging out with the men’s club at his Conservative synagogue.
“I always felt it was something older Jewish men were involved in, the over-60s club,” said Ross, a 39-year-old cardiologist in Phoenix, Ariz.
Today, Ross is active in his own men’s club at Har Zion Congregation, a Conservative shul in Scottsdale, and he is working hard to attract men his age and younger to a Jewish world that many of them have dismissed.
”The men’s club has a wellness initiative, so we do a lot of hikes as well as community service activities,” Ross told JTA. “It offers a way for younger men to get involved.”
Good luck with that.
For more than a decade, Jewish leaders and academics have been lamenting the disappearance of boys and men from non-Orthodox Jewish life. Men’s clubs, operating at more than 250 North American Conservative synagogues, are among those groups trying to stop the hemorrhaging.
| By Ron Kampeas |
| Friday, 22 July 2011 00:00|
WASHINGTON (JTA) – Pro-Israel leaders in the United States, Britain and Australia are warily watching the unfolding of the phone-hacking scandal that is threatening to engulf the media empire of Rupert Murdoch, founder of News Corp.
Murdoch’s sudden massive reversal of fortune – with 10 top former staffers and executives under arrest in Britain for hacking into the phones of public figures and a murdered schoolgirl, and paying off the police and journalists – has supporters of Israel worried that a diminished Murdoch presence may mute the strongly pro-Israel voice of many of the publications he owns.
“His publications and media have proven to be fairer on the issue of Israel than the rest of the media,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “I hope that won’t be impacted.”
Murdoch’s huge stable encompasses broadsheets such as The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and The Australian, as well as tabloids, most notably The Sun in Britain and the New York Post. It also includes the influential Fox News Channel in the United States and a 39 percent stake in British Sky Broadcasting, or BSkyB, a satellite broadcaster. Murdoch founded the neoconservative flagship The Weekly Standard in 1995, and sold it last year.
Jewish leaders said that Murdoch’s view of Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians and with its Arab neighbors seemed both knowledgeable and sensitive to the Jewish state’s self-perception as beleaguered and isolated.
| By Alex Weisler |
| Friday, 24 June 2011 15:51|
NEW YORK (JTA) – When it comes to passing a gay marriage bill in New York State, even many supporters acknowledge that wide-reaching religious exemptions are crucial.
After all, this is the state with the nation’s second-largest number of Catholics and largest number of Orthodox Jews, and many say including exemptions is a legitimate way to address concerns of the religiously observant.
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed that if we’re going to recognize same-sex marriage, we do it in a way that is nuanced,” Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, told JTA.
Though robust protection of religious liberties already exists in both New York and federal law, Wilson said she understands why religious groups are pushing to reiterate and strengthen these guarantees.
“You don’t want to put them through a test of violating their conviction or violating their law,” she said.
| By John T. Landry |
| Friday, 24 June 2011 15:49|
Rabbi Kerry OlitzkyPROVIDENCE – With all the recent news about budget cuts and restructuring, it’s easy to get concerned about the future of the Jewish community. But Rabbi Kerry Olitzky is one national leader who sees a way out of the crisis.
Olitzky, who directs the Jewish Outreach Institute in New York, came to Rhode Island on June 2 to talk to current and future leaders of several local organizations and agencies. The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island (the Alliance) invited him as part of its spring 2011 series on institutional development.
Seeing a strong future for Judaism in the United States, Olitzky has been impressed by the energy and creativity of Jewish groups all around the country. There’s also plenty of potential philanthropic money, he said.
The problem, he said, is not with Judaism itself but with its institutions, most of which developed under very different conditions in the middle of the 20th century. Back then people joined institutions because they had little choice. Now, not only are Jews free to join almost any kind of group, he explained, but secular society offers a dazzling variety of ways to meet people and fulfill all sorts of needs.
As a result, Jewish institutions have to compete with the larger society for members and donations. They retain a core of loyal supporters and participants, but more and more people have little if any involvement in Jewish programs and activities. That goes not just for synagogues. Jewish community centers, once seen as an alternative to synagogues, now draw nearly all of their membership from people already in congregations. “Most Jews,” he pointed out, “have become outsiders to Jewish institutions.”
| By Adam Kredo |
| Friday, 10 June 2011 19:55|
| Rabbi Richard Hirsch|
WASHINGTON (Washington Jewish Week) – While driving through Miami in the early 1950s, Kivie Kaplan spotted a sign that would change his life and eventually alter America’s political landscape. It read: “No dogs, no niggers, no kikes.”
That jarring discovery caused Kaplan, a wealthy Jewish American businessman, to declare, “I’m going to spend the rest of my life fighting that sign,” recalled Al Vorspan, a close friend.
Until that moment, Kaplan “was not a serious guy,” said Vorspan, who united with Kaplan and several Reform movement leaders to establish the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Created in 1961 using Kaplan’s money and the political savvy of activist Jews such as Vorspan, the RAC burst onto the scene at the apex of the American civil rights movement. It emerged from the 1960s as the gold standard in Jewish political advocacy.
Specializing in matters of social justice and civil rights, the RAC has trained a generation of Reform leaders to fight for their liberal values on Capitol Hill and across the nation.
| << Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >> |
| Page 10 of 18|