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March 6, 2015 | 15th Adar 5775

August 27, 2010

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Friday, August 27, 2010


Patrick Aleph (left) and Michael Sabani launched their online Jewish community PunkTorah on June 30, 2010

New sites make shul an online-only experience

By Sue Fishkoff

Two online synagogues say their communities don't need physical buildings to provide real, meaningful services. Read more »

This Week's Top News from JTA

NBA All-Star Dwight Howard will visit Israel to hold a basketball clinic for teens.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak named a new chief of staff for Israel's military in the wake of a scandal involving his choice.

The Palestinians will withdraw from peace talks with Israel if construction in the settlements resumes, Mahmoud Abbas told the Mideast Quartet.

Leaders of religious groups signed a letter urging U.S. congressmen not to take measures to alter federal funding of religious charities.

The first Jewish chief of the Republican Party came out as gay.

Workers at Israel's Embassy in Washington have been instructed not to assist the prime minister during his visit for the opening of direct peace talks.

New life is springing from Anne Frank’s tree after the 150-year-old chestnut tree was toppled by a storm Aug. 23.

A letter threatening to shoot Jews was received at a synagogue north of Paris.

An Israeli police delegation will leave for Haiti to serve as part of a U.N. multinational force, marking the first time Israelis will serve on a U.N. force.

Israel's deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, said Israel has "deep respect" for the people of Iran.

Israeli and Palestinian leaders will discuss extending Israel's partial settlement freeze when they launch direct talks next week, a U.S. official said.

The head of the Manhattan JCC is advising the effort to build an Islamic cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero.

The Canadian Jewish Congress is opposing posthumous honors for the first female mayor of Ottawa because she allegedly opposed taking in Jewish refugees during World War II.

A former hip-hop record executive who became an Orthodox Jew was gunned down in Brooklyn on Thursday night.

The PLO repeated Mahmoud Abbas' assertion that the Jews have a history in Palestine and rejected charges that this means Jews have an exclusive claim to the region.

The American Jewish World Service and American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee are collecting money to aid relief efforts in Pakistan.

Elsewhere in the Media

Kagan celebrates swearing-in

US President Barack Obama celebrated Elena Kagan's confirmation to the Supreme Court on Friday with a White House reception in her honor, ahead of her swearing-in on Saturday. Read more »

A Million Minutes for Peace

People of different faiths from all over the world will stop at noon and pray for peace for one minute - each in their own way on September 21st - the U.N. International Day of Peace. Sign the pledge, individually or on behalf of your group or organization. Read more »

Calling for 2011 Covenant Award Nominations

Each year, The Covenant Foundation honors three exceptional Jewish educators with the prestigious Covenant Award. Designed to honor, thank, and celebrate those who have made an impact on Jewish life through innovative educational practices and models, the Covenant Award carries a prize of $36,000 for the educator and an additional $5,000 for his or her home institution. Nominations are due by November 18, 2010. Read more »

Mayyim Hayyim to Host Second International Mikveh Conference

Mayyim Hayyim, Boston's acclaimed, unique community mikveh (ritual bath) and education center, will hold the second International Mikveh Conference, Gathering the Waters, on October 10-12, 2010. The three day conference will bring together diverse, inter-denominational attendees to explore how immersion can be a source of spiritual renewal and understanding for today's Jews. Read more »

Cantor Singing at the Vatican as Part of the Conference on Catholic-Jewish Relations

On November 14-18, Cantor Susan Caro of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, and the President of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) will join 19 of her colleagues to present for the first time, a concert of Jewish music at the Basilica of Santa Marie degli Angeli e dei Martiri in Rome, Italy, before Pope Benedict XVI and other Vatican leaders utilizing music for greater understanding among Catholics and Jews. Read more »

One nation, but not indivisible

There's no shortage of opinions -- or theatrics -- at the site of a proposed Islamic centre and mosque two blocks from where the World Trade Center stood before two hijacked jetliners crashed into its twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Read more »

Prepare for the High Holy Days

Send E-cards to Everyone on Your List

The URJ is launching a new e-card feature, just in time for you to send a Shanah Tovah greeting to friends, family, and colleagues. Choose your favorite from several designs and greetings, and customize it with a personal message. Read more »

Recipe for Rosh HaShanah Challah

Moist, cake-like challah is a big hit at Entree to Judaism author Tina Wasserman's Rosh HaShanah open house. Get the recipe now for your celebration! Read more »

RJ Magazine : What Kind of Absolution is Throwing Our Sins (Bread) in the Ocean?

Tashlich is the long-standing practice of throwing pieces of bread into flowing bodies of water to symbolically "cast off" the past year's sins. In the brand-new RJ magazine article "Into the Deep," Russ Levine reflects on the real meaning of this ritual for our lives. Read more »

S'lichot Resources for your Community

S'lichot, a Hebrew word meaning "forgiveness," refers to the special penitential prayers recited by Jews throughout the High Holy Days. We've got plenty of guides and tools for your community to make s'lichot a meaningful part of your High Holy Day season. Read more »

Union News

The Passing of Rabbi Lawrence Jackofsky

The Reform Movement family is mourning the passing of a beloved colleague, rabbi, mentor, teacher, and friend. Rabbi Larry "Jake" Jackofsky was the founding director of URJ Greene Family Camp (see the GFC tribute), and later served as director of the Southwest Regional Council for decades, providing wisdom and guidance to the camp and congregations, even in retirement. He will be greatly missed. Read more »

NFTY's 2011 Convention in Dallas, TX

Connect with hundreds of NFTYites at NFTY Convention. It is THE place for Reform Jewish teens to experience ruach-filled song sessions, cutting-edge tefillah , and make new friends from across the United States and Canada! Read more »

Katrina Five Years Later

It's hard to believe five years have passed since Hurricane Katrina landed in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. Reform Jews jumped into action to help support the relief and reconstruction effort, and continue to do so in the wake of the oil spill disaster as well. Read more »

Islamic Community Center Controversy

Mark J. Pelavin, director of the Commission on Interreligious Affairs joined Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission to debate the controversial Cordoba Initiative planned a few blocks from "Ground Zero." The RAC also has a round up of coverage and action taken by the Reform Movement. Read more »

From Blog

Rabbi Schorr: Sounds like....

There's a new hatred in town. It's called Islamophobia and it is poisoning our society. We are living in a time of suspicion and fear that has turned into vitriolic hatred. Read more »

High Holy Day Challenge: Sing with Understanding

We say, chant, and sing most prayers in Hebrew in my Reform Jewish congregation in suburban Boston. And during High Holy Days, as a member of my temple chorus, I sing two overstuffed binders of prayers almost exclusively in Hebrew. Read more »

Going Round in Circles

A current discussion on the Union's worship listserv started with a simple question about Reform practice vis-a-vis hakafa -- marching around the sanctuary with the Torah before reading from it. Practice of course varies from Reform congregation to Reform congregation (and perhaps in some congregations between Shabbat and the High Holy Days). Read more »

North American News

Exploring Jewish ancestry through food

Cookbook author Tina Wasserman aims to create a link to ancestry through the foods of Jews who migrated from country to country with their recipes and adapted to the cuisines they encountered. Read more »

Canadian postal union joins Gaza flotilla

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has joined a coalition of Muslim, Arab and human rights groups that plans to taking a boat to Gaza this autumn. Read more »

In response to vague talks, Jewish groups deliver vague message

The Obama administration briefed Jewish leaders on the proposed Israeli-Palestinian talks, but this week they were still struggling to make sense of the vague plan. Read more »

Around the Globe

Parties wrestle over 'pro-Israel' label in Australian campaign

As the two major parties in Australia's federal election vie for the title of Israel's most ardent backer, most Jewish leaders believe that Australia’s longstanding, strong bilateral support for the Jewish state will not be jeopardized regardless of the outcome. Read more »

Internet extremism growing in Germany

Right-wing extremism on the Internet is increasing in Germany, including hateful material in disguise, a watchdog group said. Read more »

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