On the third floor of the Baskin Engineering building at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin is going over points of Hebrew grammar.
As Yisrael Beiteinu vaulted into third place in Israel’s elections, capturing an estimated 14 to 15 Knesset seats, several American Jewish organizational leaders defended the party’s controversial leader, Avigdor Lieberman.
n a further sign that the American and international wings of the Conservative movement are moving in different ideological directions, American Jewish University’s rabbinical seminary has ended its longstanding residency program with Machon Schechter in Jerusalem, the only institution that ordains Conservative rabbis in Israel.
Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, a leading Orthodox thinker and an early champion of women's rights, died Dec. 1 in New York. He was 98.
After former Agriprocessors executive Sholom Rubashkin was arrested earlier this month, Rashi Raices joined several dozen members of this town's Jewish community in volunteering the equity on their homes to guarantee his return to face trial.
At a news conference Monday, leaders of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, seated in front of panels listing names of Holocaust victims they say were baptized by the Mormons, said that 14 years of quiet negotiations have proven fruitless.
The kosher meat market is in a tailspin as production at the Agriprocessors' meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, which had been operating at a fraction of its normal capacity since May, finally ground to a halt this week. The company, whose meat was sold under the labels Rubashkin's and Aaron's Best, among others, filed for bankruptcy Nov. 4.
With the kosher meat producer Agriprocessors facing mounting financial problems, and a fire-related shutdown at another major kosher producer, industry insiders say major supply disruptions are inevitable and kosher consumers should brace themselves for some rough times
Will the crisis on Wall Street, where so many Jews work, spur hostility toward Jews? Some Jews certainly seem anxious about it.
Thousands of protesters filled Dag Hammarskjold Plaza opposite the United Nations for a rally against Iran's president, who came to New York to address the General Assembly
Sarah Palin's invitation to a Jewish-sponsored rally to protest the Iranian president at the United Nations was revoked after controversy erupted over her participation.
Animal welfare expert Temple Grandin accused kosher slaughterer Agriprocessors of putting on a "show" for visitors
An undercover video shot at the Agriprocessors kosher meat plant is prompting new claims that the company engages in inhumane slaughter and misled Orthodox rabbis who visited the plant in July.
Vice presidential pick Sarah Palin says she doesn't share the views of a Jews for Jesus leader who at her church suggested that violence against Israelis resulted from God's judgment against Jews who have failed to embrace Jesus.
Several years ago, Rabbi Shlomo Levin hit on a new way to attract students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to classes at his nearby Orthodox synagogue. Instead of spending money on eye-catching advertising, Levin reasoned it would be simpler just to give the money directly to the students in exchange for attendance
A group of Orthodox rabbis gave Agriprocessors a clean bill of health after a visit sponsored by the owners of the embattled kosher meat-packing plant
The Conservative movement released a policy statement and guidelines for its much-anticipated ethical kashrut certification, outlining the social justice standards companies are expected to meet if their foodstuffs are to qualify for the designation
Witnesses at recent congressional hearings described the federal immigration raid on the country's largest kosher plant as a travesty of justice, a national disgrace and an ambush
Jewish groups have taken lead roles in drawing attention to China's policies and specifically sought to spotlight the country's record in advance of this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing. Yet it appears as if China will suffer no significant international sanction when the games open Aug. 8
An interfaith coalition -- organized by a Jewish group -- is planning to demonstrate next week in Postville, Iowa, in support of justice for workers and comprehensive immigration reform.
The news that the two Israeli soldiers abducted by Hezbollah in July 2006 were returned to Israel deceased prompted an outpouring of sympathy by U.S. Jews and a pledge to continue fighting for Gilad Shalit's release
A disgraced American rabbi with a tangled history of alleged sexual misdeeds is relaunching his career as a spiritual mentor and backtracking from an apparent confession he signed two years ago.
An Orthodox social justice group dropped its boycott of the embattled kosher meat producer Agriprocessors, saying the company is "beginning to take significant steps" to address claims of worker mistreatment at its plant in Postville, Iowa.
In an effort to restore lagging production at its Postville, Iowa plant, the country's largest kosher meat producer has been hiring workers from homeless shelters in Texas to replace employees detained in a massive federal immigration raid last month.
Just days before they are due to consider a range of motions on the Middle East at their biennial convention, the Presbyterian Church USA has released a document on combating anti-Jewish ideas. But Jewish organizational leaders say the statement is "infused with the very bias" it purports to condemn.
Speaking out for the first time, the owner of Agriprocessors was visibly angered by the flood of charges that have imperiled his business, the country's largest kosher slaughterhouse
Just days after the Conservative movement became the only Jewish denomination to speak out against alleged worker abuse at the largest kosher slaughterhouse in the United States, the movement's legal authorities voted to recommend that Jewish businesses pay their employees a living wage.
Mounting pressure from Jewish groups and members of Congress has led the largest kosher slaughterhouse in the United States to start searching for a new CEO less than two weeks after federal agents arrested nearly 400 of its employees in a massive immigration raid
As the country's largest kosher slaughterhouse scrambles to stay open after a federal raid, former workers at the plant -- many of them still fearful of retribution from government authorities -- have begun to tell their stories, revealing new details of conditions there.
Agents in the May 12 raid at the Agriprocessors plant in this small northeastern Iowa town arrested 389 illegal workers, among them 18 juveniles.
In recent days, former employees have been painting a picture of a company indifferent to federal laws prohibiting slaughterhouses from employing workers younger than 18 and where workers frequently were pressured to exchange sexual favors for preferred treatment.
More than lost jobs, deportations, criminals and kosher beef are at stake
When news broke last year that Pope Benedict XVI was reviving an ancient prayer for the conversion of the Jews, the reaction in Jewish circles was outrage tempered by confusion.
Communal leaders warned that the move would deal a serious blow to the four decades of progress in Jewish-Catholic relations following Nostra Aetate -- the landmark document that absolved the Jews of collective guilt for the killing of Jesus -- unless the pope clarified how the prayer meshed with Catholic doctrine.
Hillel centers on university campuses were viewed not long ago as little more than the local Jewish hangout, a place where students could come for kosher meals or socialize with other Jews. But in a move that Hillel leaders say has been forced upon them by this generation's altered social landscape, the organization is throwing open its doors to everyone, designing programs that appeal to Jews and non-Jews and hyping its contribution to university -- not only Jewish -- life.
In a sign of continuing friction among Conservative Jews over the issue of homosexuality, a ceremony in Jerusalem to mark the first anniversary of the decision to admit gays to the Jewish Theological Seminary was held away from the campus of the movement's main educational institution there.
At 72, Rabbi Harold Kushner, the best-selling author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," leads a life that most of his rabbinic colleagues can only dream of. But the author of more than a half-dozen books, several of them best sellers, is not without regrets -- a topic he addresses in his most recent book, "Overcoming Life's Disappointments," published in 2006.
In some ways, it's a most natural shidduch. There's Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose best-selling 2007 book, "The Yiddish Policemen's Union," marked a turning point in the author's growing exploration of Jewish themes in his fiction. And Joel and Ethan Coen, the maverick filmmakers whose Jewish sensibility has been evident in countless of their movies, but who have yet to fully actualize their Semitic humor in a full-blown Jewish film. Until now. Late last week, the Guardian revealed that the Coens had agreed to write and direct the film adaptation of "The Yiddish Policemen's Union."
JewishJournal.com VideoJew Jay Firestone covers the election from a local perspective
Hillary Rodham Clinton scored a major victory with Jewish Democrats in New York and New Jersey in Super Tuesday voting, Barack Obama won a majority of Jewish support in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and the battle was close in California.
Mike Huckabee was a barely known former governor of Arkansas when he attended an October house party on his behalf at the home of Jason Bedrick, New Hampshire's first Orthodox Jewish state representative.
Which is probably why no major media outlets picked up on the Republican presidential candidate's radical proposal that day for the Middle East: a Palestinian state -- in Egypt or Saudi Arabia.
"He is truly a uniter and not a divider," Bedrick recently told JTA.
When Dina Najman was hired last year to lead Kehillat Orach Eliezer, a traditional Orthodox-style congregation, it was hailed as a major, if controversial, step forward for the status of women in Orthodoxy.
Is it permissible for an Orthodox family to play host to a Jewish couple if they don't observe laws mandating sexual abstinence in the period surrounding menstruation?
That was among the questions posed to two leading rabbinic authorities in late November at the 85th national convention of Agudath Israel of America, the main umbrella body for ultra-Orthodox, or haredi, Jewry.
The answer: It is, if the room has two beds.
One of the Jewish calendar's most widespread and public observances, the Chanukah holiday has traditionally emphasized two miracles: the military victory of Jewish rebels over Greek invaders and the one vial of oil that lasted for eight nights. However, just as other holidays have seen their historic purpose shaped to contemporary narratives, Chanukah is increasingly being used as a vehicle for other Jewish agendas that seem to stray far from the holiday's original meaning.
The high political theater surrounding Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to New York this week triggered plenty of protests, headlines and debates.
"Numbers don't keep me up at night; Israel keeps me up at night," Eisen said. "I'm worried about the security of Israel, and I'm worried about the apparent decline in attachment on the part of American Jews to Israel. This literally, from time to time, keeps me up at night."
The Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) reversal last week of its position on the Armenian genocide has set off a flurry of diplomatic activity in Turkey and Israel.
In a dramatic reversal, the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) national director has issued a statement describing the massacres perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as "tantamount to genocide."
The rhetoric on agunot contrasted sharply from that on other topics at the conference, where a sense of confidence bordering on the triumphant prevailed, owing to the substantial progress made in the decade since JOFA's founding.
While much attention has been paid to the so-called "new anti-Semitism," in which antipathy toward Jews is masked as rabid criticism of Israel, the Finding Our Voice conference represents the first organized effort by liberal Jews to fight back.
With the endorsement Wednesday of three conflicting teshuvot, or halachic responsa, by the movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards -- two upholding the longstanding ban on homosexuality and one permitting ordination of gay rabbis and commitment ceremonies -- it's likely that other rabbis will now begin performing such ceremonies, comfortable in the knowledge that they enjoy halachic sanction from the movement's highest legal body.
When Dorshei Tzedek, a small Reconstructionist congregation in West Newton, Mass., began an explosive growth spurt in 1997, some of its members were concerned.
Jewish officials are greeting the selection of Ban Ki-moon as the next U.N. secretary-general with cautious optimism.