Judaism

Jewish Leaders Protest the Exclusion of Gays from the Boy Scouts

January 13, 2001

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On January 13, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported that "Reform Jewish leaders have recommended that parents withdraw their children from Boy Scout chapters and that synagogues end their sponsorship of Scout troops because of the group's exclusion of gays." Such exclusion is "incompatible with our consistent belief that every individual--regardless of his or her sexual orientation--is created in the image of God and is deserving of equal treatment," said the Joint Commission on Social Action. The commission urged...

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Jewish Leaders Protest the Exclusion of Gays from the Boy Scouts

January 10, 2001

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On January 10, 2001, The Columbus Dispatch reported that "Reform Jews nationwide are being urged to cut ties with the Boy Scouts because of the Scouts' refusal to admit homosexuals." A commission representing the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis issued a memo calling for the withdrawal. But even if they agree that the Scouts' position is a problem, not all Reform Jews agree with the suggested course of action. Temple Israel, which does not sponsor a boy scout troop,...

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Jewish Leaders Protest the Exclusion of Gays from the Boy Scouts

January 10, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On January 10, 2001, The New York Times reported that "Reform Jewish leaders are recommending that parents withdraw their children from membership in the Boy Scouts of America and that synagogues end their sponsorship of Scout troops, the strongest reaction yet by a religious group to the Supreme Court decision allowing the Boy Scouts to exclude gay members...In a memorandum to congregations dated Jan. 5, the Joint Commission on Social Action of the Reform movement asked congregations to sever ties to the Boy Scouts, or at least...

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Severe Shortage of Cantors in All Branches of Judaism

January 6, 2001

Source: Star Tribune

On January 6, 2001, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the shortage of Jewish cantors "suddenly has become acute" in all branches of Judaism. "Last year, for example, 30 synagogues vied for the 14 cantors who graduated from Hebrew Union College." Cantors are also called "Shelichei tzibbur," the emissaries of prayers. One reason Jewish leaders cite for the shortage is that "the booming economy has enabled more synagogues to hire full-time cantors." Today cantors "are ordained clergy who perform all the...

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Settlement Reached in Workplace Discrimination Lawsuit

January 6, 2001

Source: The Buffalo News

On January 6, 2001, The Buffalo News reported that "a Williamsville company has settled a lawsuit with two Jewish women [from Buffalo], who claimed they were discriminated against because their religious beliefs prevented them from working on Saturdays." Attorneys from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said that Esther Smothers and Amanda Brooks, both in their 20s, "received a combined $ 50,000 in damages and back pay from National Action Financial Services/SITEL, one of the largest collection agencies in Western New York...

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Proposed School Calendar Changes Accommodate Jewish Holidays

January 6, 2001

Source: The Tampa Tribune

On January 6, 2001, The Tampa Tribune reported that Hillsborough County's proposed 2001-2002 school calendar "includes a day off in September coinciding with the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. The calendar also shows a spring break from March 25 to April 1, 2002, which would span both Easter and Passover." Jewish parents call the proposed changes to the calendar "a step in the right direction." Phyllis Rogoff, a Jewish parent who served on the district's calendar committee, said the changes...

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Muslims Celebrate End of Ramadan

December 31, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 31, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that while many were celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, hundreds of Muslims gathered in the San Fernando Valley this year for Eid-al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which "commemorates what Muslims believe was God's revelation of their holy book, the Koran, to the prophet Muhammad nearly 1,400 years ago. It is a month of prayer, reflection, goodwill toward those less fortunate and fasting from dawn to dusk. Eid al-Fitr...is celebrated with family and feasts, and...

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Synagogue's Dwindling Congregation

December 27, 2000

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On December 27, 2000, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on "a tiny, resilient Jewish community in Greene and Washington counties" serviced by the Beth Israel Synagogue. If the size of the congregation does not grow, said its vice president, "the decision has to be made as to whether it's viable to continue." Both counties have tiny Jewish populations, and, with southern Allegheny county, contribute "fewer than 150 members" to the congregation. The synagogue is able to survive on bequests from late members....

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Multifaith Families Recognize Hanukkah and Christmas

December 25, 2000

Source: Star Tribune

On December 25, 2000, the Star Tribune reported on the unique ways in which the holidays are celebrated in the home of a junior in high school, who lives in a home with a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. They celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas each year.

Jews Find Joy In Christmas Season

December 24, 2000

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On December 24, 2000, the St. Petersburg Times reported that many Jews enjoy some aspects of the Christmas season. Sheila Weinstock, a Jew who grew up in Boston, said she never felt left out of the Christian holiday. Although she does not celebrate Christmas, she does not resent it, either. She said she enjoys the sacred connotations that go along with Christmas. Clara Solomon, also a Jew, said she loves the season. "Solomon always has loved sparkly things. For a time, she sold gold and diamonds at the Wagon Wheel Flea Market....

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American Jews Celebrate the Meaning of Hannukah

December 23, 2000

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On December 23, 2000, the St. Petersburg Times reported that Hannukah is considered a minor holiday since its origins are historical rather than biblical. For many children, however, it is their favorite holiday. "Brittany Allen, 9, learned how Hanukkah began in Sunday school. 'Hanukkah is a fun holiday,' she said, mentioning how the Syrian-Greeks failed to vanquish the Jews. Brittany is looking forward to the special dinners, which will include matzo ball soup and chicken and mashed potatoes. Potato pancakes called...

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Clintons Celebrate Hannukah With Third Graders

December 22, 2000

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On December 22, 2000, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that President and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton greeted 25 third-graders from the congregation of B'nai Tzedek in the oval office in recognition of Hannukah. The children sang a song about spinning dreidels and also lit one candle on a candelabrum.

American Jews Celebrate the Meaning of Hannukah

December 22, 2000

Source: The Boston Herald

On December 22, 2000, The Boston Herald published an article entitled "Menorah Lightings Mark Beginning of Hannukah," in which the lighting of a 22-foot-high menorah on Boston Common and its significance is described.

American Jews Celebrate the Meaning of Hannukah

December 22, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 22, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that in spite of criticism that Hannukah is being negatively affected by the influence of Christmas, many Jews feel that it remains a spiritually meaningful holiday. "Educators at the West Valley Jewish center use the season to teach some serious lessons about Jewish history, culture and values--and have a little fun as well. Kids here knocked on a dreidel-shaped pinata, made candles and baked cookies this week, but preschoolers also learned about the concept of tzedekah, or...

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