Judaism

New London’s Jewish community places hope in youth

October 13, 2020

New London — When Amy Perry was a child in the 1960s, her Hebrew school classroom was consistently packed with students. By the time Perry's daughter attended the same school in the 2000s, however, it was full of empty seats.

Perry, executive director of the Thames River Heritage Park Foundation and a lifelong city resident, grew up in the then-bustling Congregation Beth-El. It was an era when the congregation was on the rise and its membership included some of the city's most prominent businesspeople, civic leaders and political voices.

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Proposed Prince William Co. school calendar adds Jewish, Hindu, Muslim holidays

October 13, 2020

Prince William County school officials added Jewish, Hindu, and Muslim holidays to a tentative 2021-2022 calendar for the Virginia school system, and are asking parents to weigh in.

The proposed calendar would include the following:

  • Jewish new year of Rosh Hashanah;
  • Jewish day of atonement Yom Kippur;
  • Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights;
  • Eid al-Fitr, which marks breaking of the fast at...
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Keeping the faith: how Miami students are practicing religion and faith during COVID-19

October 8, 2020

A lot of people turn to their religious communities for support through tough times. That sense of connection is different as people are navigating through the unprecedented time of 2020, but it’s not lost.

Emily Garforth, president of the Association of Jewish Students at Hillel, has felt the challenges of getting students involved in the organization this semester. She mentioned that less people are showing up to weekly Shabbat services because the dinner portion was pulled. 

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Minnesota sex offenders sue over religious restrictions during pandemic

October 6, 2020

More than a dozen men in Minnesota's Sex Offender Program are suing the state's human services department, alleging the agency has banned the practice of religious gatherings for more than six months in the wake of COVID-19.

Attorney Erick Kaardal, who filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of 15 clients, said the restrictions inside the Moose Lake facility continued even after a June executive order from Gov. Tim Walz that allowed places of worship to reopen at 50 percent capacity.

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Amid pandemic challenges, houses of worship show resiliency

October 3, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has posed daunting challenges for houses of worship across the U.S., often entailing large financial losses and suspension of in-person services. It also has sparked moments of gratitude, wonder and inspiration.

In the Chicago suburb of Cary, Lutheran pastor Sarah Wilson recorded a sermon aboard a small plane piloted by a congregation member. The video that went online showed a high-up view of idyllic landscapes.

Original Source: Boston 25 News
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The religious divide: Incidents of anti-Semitism spotlight divisions in Routt County, one of nation’s least religious counties

September 30, 2020

A few years ago, Sam Ogden heard that someone carved a swastika into a Steamboat Springs High School student’s car along with other Nazi-inspired vandalism. The incidents made the local and national news. He said a few Steamboat friends acted shocked.

They told Ogden, “’This isn’t the Steamboat I know. … This isn’t the Steamboat I graduated from,’” he said.

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Shofar popups and drive-in singalongs: Adapting Jewish 'Days of Awe' for COVID-19

September 28, 2020

In normal years, High Holy Days services hosted by Mishkan Chicago, an inclusive Jewish community based on the city’s North Side, sell out the 1,200-seat Vic Theatre.

Since the novel coronavirus put an end to in-person gatherings, the community has gotten by with virtual meeting platforms and Facebook, but its leadership knew group chats or glitchy Zoom boxes would be no replacement for the Vic.

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How COVID affects religious organizations at UM

September 23, 2020

As the University of Miami continues to respond to pandemic, Father Philip Tran the university’s full-time chaplain at St. Augustine Parish says UM’s religious organizations are also concerned about the spiritual health of the student body.

He, along with the rest of the religious organizations at UM, say they are trying to adapt in order to make sure their members can still be a part of their religious communities.

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For hospital chaplains, navigating patient needs during the pandemic takes a toll

September 22, 2020

When the Rev. Tenku Ruff, a Soto Zen Buddhist priest, took over as the pastoral care director at Phelps Hospital Northwell Health in Sleepy Hollow in June, she knew she was entering uncharted territory: She was taking on the hospital-based position in the middle of a pandemic.

As she spoke to doctors and other staff, she heard about Chaplain Cyril Owambo, who early in the pandemic, was asked to counsel a family whose loved one had just died of COVID-19.

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UW dental students find ways to follow COVID-19 regulations while maintaining religious values

September 18, 2020

Rules and regulations around coronavirus and its impact on school and work have been challenging to accommodate ever-changing data and cases. 

Some have said that these rules and regulations have interfered with their religious freedoms. 

Dr. Karan Singh and Dr. Omri Margalit are University of Washington School of Dentistry students who have had to find alternative ways to finish up their degrees while staying true to their faith.

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In Boston, the pandemic helps open High Holidays to the unaffiliated

September 16, 2020

In less than two weeks, the High Holidays will arrive in the midst of this unprecedented pandemic. While it may be a challenge to engage worshippers, it’s not impossible. This past month, clergy across Judaism’s denominations shared their thoughts on recreating a High Holiday experience without people in the pews.

All were confident about conveying the importance of repentance and beginning anew during a pandemic. And all agreed that worship would look different. The shofar, for example, will be heard in new, socially distanced ways. Some shofar-blowers are placing a mask at...

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Town settles lawsuit over nixed Orthodox Jewish expansion

September 16, 2020

A northern New Jersey town has reached an agreement in a federal lawsuit that accused it of illegally denying an Orthodox Jewish group’s attempt to expand its footprint, the U.S. attorney’s office for New Jersey announced Tuesday.

If the agreement is approved by a judge, Woodcliff Lake will allow Valley Chabad to expand its existing property, and will pay the group $1.5 million to settle a separate lawsuit filed by the group against the town.

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