Posts Tagged: Orthodox

A Rabbinical Student at the GA: Transcending Affiliations



by Liz Piper-Goldberg This week, I had the honor of attending the General Assembly meeting of the Jewish Federations of North America as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. My fellowship cohort is composed of 20 Jewish leaders from different denominations and career paths. We are rabbinical students attending Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and non-denominational schools; we are […]

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The Back of the Bus



by Rabbi Marci Bellows Story A: After a long day of work, the woman paid her fare and sat in an empty seat on the bus. As the bus traveled along its route, more and more seats filled up. The bus driver approached the woman and demanded that she move towards the back of the […]

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Rabbi Eric Yoffie

Thank You, Rabbi Amar



My colleagues in the Reform Movement reacted harshly to the statement of Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar that on the High Holidays it would be better for a Jew to pray by himself or herself than with Reform Jews.I understand their furor, but my own response is actually the opposite: I would like to thank Rabbi […]

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Victory in Court for an Unlikely Hero



Ariella Marsden is a hero. This brave 15-year-old girl from the town of Beit Shemesh recently won a landmark court case that shook the ultra-Orthodox world. One day, riding home from school on a public bus, Ariella took a seat in the front of the bus. A few ultra-Orthodox men also boarded the bus and […]

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Freedom Riders in Israel: “We Did This For Her”



by Nechama Namal I’ve never been much of a rebel. Instead, when I feel strongly about something, I do my best to act wisely, sensibly, and sensitively to show my support. I have found that in Israel, opportunities arise frequently for me to advocate for Reform Judaism, social justice, plurality, equality, and respect for all. […]

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Freedom Rides and Photos



In early March of this year, my husband and I spend two weeks in Israel. Our guide Muki has been a friend for many years and I trust him to recommend learning experiences that will expand my understanding of Israel and Judaism. A week before we left for Israel, he suggested we try a “freedom […]

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A Train Ride with Avraham



by Matt Adler I somewhat begrudgingly grabbed my jacket off the seat and allowed the old man to sit down. My momentary inconvenience turned to joy when I heard the man speaking Hebrew on his cell phone. Although I was a bit scared by his ultra-Orthodox garb – the top hat, the beard, the black […]

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The Haredi Issue: Forget the Army, Send Them to Work



I give up. It is time for me to admit that—with very few exceptions—young men in Israel’s haredi community will not go into Israel’s army. I find it difficult to say this because I have always advocated for political measures to compel their conscription. Their failure to serve is a terrible injustice. Those who give […]

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The Myth of Denominational Demise



by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D. The world is filled with certainties that aren’t – like the myth that religious denominations are dead. We will eventually have three inchoate pools of people, it is said: Orthodox, “Other,” and Unaffiliated. Already Orthodoxy is less a denomination than a way of life rooted in halakhic observance, community […]

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Saving Orthodox Judaism in Israel



by Rabbi Eric YoffieOriginally posted in The Jerusalem Post When Yaakov Epstein became Chief Rabbi of Haifa in 2052, neither the press nor the public took special notice. True, he was the first Reform rabbi elected to the highest rabbinical position in a major metropolis, but he had already served as Chief Rabbi of Netanya. […]

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A Good Week for Israel



by Rabbi Eric Yoffie Excerpted from a memo sent by Rabbi Yoffie last Friday, January 21, to the URJ Board of Trustees I have just returned from a brief trip to Israel. While we are accustomed lately to reading grim news from Israel, my experience was the opposite. It was a good week for the […]

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Memo to Gideon Sa’ar



by Rabbi Eric YoffieOriginally posted on Jpost.com The State of Israel’s most significant long-term problem is not thesecurity situation or the absence of peace. It is not even the loomingthreat posed by a nuclear Iran. More important than any of these mattersis the utter disarray of its educational system. And this for a verysimple reason: none of these other […]

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Book Discussion: Homesick



by Peter ShapiroRead the review of this book in RJ magazineSee other Significant Jewish Books Homesick: A Novelby Eshkol Nevo If you appreciate the literary style and works of Amos Oz you will enjoy Homesick by Eshkol Nevo. The narrative’s locale is Mevasseret, a suburb of Jerusalem. In 1947 it was abandoned by the Arabs who […]

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Another Gay-Related Suicide?



by Larry Kaufman Who would have thought that New Jersey, one of the handful of states that recognizes civil unions and same-sex domestic partnerships, would have made the news twice in just a few days for providing an atmosphere hostile to the LGBT community? The Tyler Clementi suicide has received enough media attention that we need […]

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