Internet Round-Up: The Best Jewish Stories on the Web
Here are just a few of the recent stories from across the webosphere that speak directly to (and about) Reform Jews. What Jewish stories have you been reading recently? Leave a comment and let us know!
- “Paying Our Fair Share,” Washington Jewish Week
Finding the best financial model for congregants to pay is a challenge congregations across America face. Many congregations in the Washington area, like Beth El Hebrew Congregation, has congregants paying their fair share, by setting its annual dues at 1-1.5 percent of members’ income. Other congregations have fixed dues, where members of certain age or cohorts, such as families, single adults, seniors and young adults, pay a different annual price. Either way, all temples are looking for the most successful and fair models for dues.
- “Giving The Thumbs A Summer Break,” The Jewish Week
Reform Movement summer camps enforce a no-electronics policies that allow campers to “learn how to navigate, mediate and integrate friendships,” without the distraction of electronic devices such as cell phones, iPods, and DVD players. In the end, camp staff say, campers do not miss their cell phones; instead, they are able to focus all of their attention on enjoying the summer.
- “Jewish Groups Blast Top Court Over Decision on Voting Rights Act,” The Forward
On June 25, the Supreme Court struck down key elements of the Voting Rights Act that protected the rights of minorities. This action “touched a chord with the Jewish community,” which has largely supported the law and these provisions. Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said, “We are extremely disappointed by today’s Supreme Court decision.” In fact, a draft in of the law was written at the RAC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
- “Welcoming the Stranger, Just How Open Should Our Jewish Teen Programming Tent Be?” E-Jewish Philanthropy
Ira Miller, the Director of Informal Education of Washington Hebrew Congregation, shares how he believes the Reform community would benefit from an accreditation process. This process would rate and share the most impactful youth and Israel programs. Miller says that no matter what programs his students attend, he is supportive – as long as they are involved in Jewish life.
- “Those Princesses Are Not My Reality,” The Jewish Daily Forward
Bravo’s new reality show “Princesses: Long Island” follows six Jewish post-college women in their lives around Long Island. The author of this article, Nechama Liss-Levinson, a private practice psychologist on Long Island, despairs that the women on the show are portrayed as “archetypal stereotypes of Jewish American Princesses,” which she says is not an accurate representation of Jewish women.
- “Rabbi Rick Jacobs speaks out against gender segregation in Israel,” Haaretz
URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs defends the Women of the Wall movement, saying he believes the the whole issue can be boiled down to the following question: “Is Judaism the problem or the solution to women’s equality?” Jacobs says that nothing reflects Jewish values more “than full equality in society.”