Judaism

Shabbat Across America/Canada

March 30, 2000

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On March 30, 2000, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that the National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP) has organized a program entitled, "Shabbat Across America/Canada" that will take place this Friday, March 31st. It is a coordinated national event with the participation of approximately 750 synagogues to invite unaffiliated Jews to Shabbat services. Shabbat Across America/Canada is the first nationally orchestrated program targeting all the major denominations of Judaism and is also the first...

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Synagogue in Brooklyn Heights, New York Celebrates 40th Anniversary in New Building

March 26, 2000

Source: New York Daily News

On March 26, 2000, the Daily News reported that the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, a Reform congregation that is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, now has a new home in a building that was purchased and renovated with funds from a $4 million fund-raising campaign. The building, formerly the Brooklyn Club, contains a sanctuary that seats 300, an upper floor for meetings and classes, and a lower floor that houses classrooms and a shelter. Rabbi Serge Lippe, the spiritual leader of the synagogue, says that there are over 300...

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Purim

March 20, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 20, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that more than 700 people celebrated Purim on Sunday, March 19th at Temple Beth Hillel in Valley Village, California. Purim commemorates the triumph of Queen Esther, who stopped a plot against Persian Jews more than 2,000 years ago, as recounted in the Biblical Book of Esther.

Two Men Indicted in Arson of Synagogues

March 18, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 18, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported on the indictment of arson suspects from last summer's synagogue arsons. Some Jewish leaders are concerned that the trial will offer a platform for their white supremacist ideology. For Jana Uslan, president of Congregation Beth Shalom, "this indictment provides a sense of relief...(b)ut our attitude has always been: We will go on; we won't let terrorists and racists stop us from practicing Judaism." These same individuals are also under arrest for the murder of a gay couple...

Purim

March 18, 2000

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On March 18, 2000, the St. Petersburg Times published an article on Purim. Rabbi Zvi Ettinger from Congregation Beth Sholom in Beverly Hills, Florida, stated: "This is an exceptionally important holiday to our people because of the lessons they have learned from it." Rabbi Ettinger continued: "Purim instructs us that although we eat and enjoy ourselves, we must never lose sight of who we are and what ethical concepts must motivate us in our daily pursuits. We can satisfy ourselves, but we must never lose sight of our...

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"Jewish Tradition Can Help Solve Muslim Interest Dilemma"

March 18, 2000

Source: Star Tribune

On March 18, 2000, the Minneapolis Star Tribune printed an article outlining the Jewish resolution to the difficulties that arise from the religious prohibition (shared by Jews and Muslims) of payment of interest. The concept of "Heter Iskah" requires that both parties to the financial transaction agree to be "partners in a joint venture" and to share the profits rather than structure the relationship as "lender-borrower" with interest payment. Muslims have arranged formal joint ventures, but this has often proven cumbersome without...

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Purim

March 17, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On March 17, 2000, The Washington Post published an article reporting how families and children celebrate Purim. Typically, families attend carnivals, perform or watch Purim plays in costume that tell the story of Esther, and eat sweet foods.

Jewish Youths Returning to Faith

March 15, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On March 15, 2000, The Boston Globe published an article on the phenomenon of Jewish youth returning to traditional forms of Judaism. Rebecca Katz, a 23-year-old Harvard Law student, grew up in an assimilated Jewish family. At Harvard, she's been learning Hebrew and celebrating a traditional Shabbat. Katz tells that her parents are not pleased: "My mother explicitly used the word 'rebellion.' She feels very much that I'm doing this to get back at her...Before, I didn't really care about honoring my mother and father. It's strange,...

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Cardinal Law's Apology

March 14, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On March 14, 2000, The Boston Globe reported that the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston (JCRC), an umbrella organization for many local and statewide groups, wrote to Cardinal Bernard Law about the apology he offered on March 11th for sins committed by Catholics. The letter, written by Donald Siegel, president, and Nancy K. Kaufman, executive director of the JCRC, praised Law and pledged to move forward in their joint fight against discrimination: "Jews and Catholic together know much needs to be done to fulfill...

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More Women Studying Jewish Faith

March 13, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On March 13, 2000, The Boston Globe reported that a new study of American Jews, to be released today at Brandeis University, finds that among involved but non-Orthodox Jews women are more likely than men to be studying their faith. Sylvia Barack Fishman, co-director of the Hadassah International Research Institute on Jewish Women, which is releasing the study, stated: "One of the extraordinary results of Jewish feminism is that there has been real sea change in attitudes toward girls and women studying traditional texts, so that...

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Pope's Apology - U.S. Response

March 13, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 13, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that Pope John Paul II asked for God's forgiveness for sins committed or condoned by Catholics over the last 2,000 years in a homily on Sunday, March 12th from St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. The Pope divided the sins into seven broad categories: sins "in the service of truth", sins against Christian unity, sins against Jews, sins against other religions and cultures, sins against women and the unity of the human race, sins against individual rights, and sins in general. In...

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Pope's Apology - U.S. Response

March 13, 2000

Source: New York Daily News

On March 13, 2000, the Daily News of New York reported the reactions of several Holocaust survivors to the Papal apology. Saul Klausner, who lost dozens of family members in the Holocaust, stated: "What he did is noble. It's an acknowledgment...But he left out an important segment." Nellie Schreiber of Brooklyn, NY whose parents and 13 siblings died in Polish concentration camps, stated: "He should have apologized a long time ago...But the apology is accepted. It is never too late." Schreiber continued: "It makes me feel better...

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Female Rabbi Breathes New Life into Reform Synagogue in Massachusetts

March 5, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On March 5, 2000, The Boston Globe published an article on Shifra Penzias, a female rabbi who is rejuvenating the 70-year old Temple Tifereth Israel, a Reform synagogue in Malden, MA. The 35-year-old Penzias, who is studying for her doctorate in Jewish Thought at Brandeis University, has attempted to bridge the older and younger generations of congregants at Temple Tifereth. Penzias stated: "This congregation has a wonderful older population - very wise, down-to-earth people...And it also has a younger, energetic group of people...

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