Rabbi Don Goor of Temple Judea and Cantor Evan Kent of Temple Isaiah announced to their congregations on Jan. 11 that they will be moving to Israel next summer. Both will leave behind successful careers in Los Angeles as they jump into the rich but contentious world of liberal Judaism in Israel.
About two weeks before she died, Debbie Friedman stood with Rabbi Joy Levitt at the piano in Levitt’s Manhattan apartment, and she shared with her friend a melody that the legendary singer and composer would never have the chance to record.
The members of an interfaith group of clergy who ministered to Occupy Los Angeles protesters throughout the two-month occupation of the lawn around Los Angeles City Hall are objecting to what they call a distressing “level of violence and brutality” used by the 1,400 Los Angeles Police Department officers who cleared the encampment from City Hall Park in the early morning hours of Nov. 30.
Since the beginning of this month, a group of Angelenos has gathered near downtown’s City Hall as part of Occupy Los Angeles, its version of the much-publicized Occupy Wall Street — a protest movement calling for reforms to the U.S. political and economic systems.
Jewish clergy and educators lobbied Congress to maintain food aid to foreign countries.
More than 500 clergy signed a letter to President Obama urging clemency for Jonathan Pollard. The letter was delivered a day before Prime Minister Benjanim Netanyahu reportedly sent a letter to Obama issuing a formal clemency request. Netanyahu was scheduled to read his letter Tuesday evening to a Knesset plenum discussion. "After more than two and a half decades in prison, Mr. Pollard's health is declining," reads the letter sent Monday from rabbis representing all streams, as well as a number of leading Protestant and Roman Catholic clergy. "He has repeatedly expressed remorse for his actions, and by all accounts has served as a model inmate. Commuting his sentence to time served would be a wholly appropriate exercise of your power of clemency -- as well as a matter of basic fairness and American justice. It would also represent a clear sense of compassion and reconciliation -- a sign of hope much needed in today's world of tension and turmoil."
Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy lead rally protesting Chinese persecution of Falun Gong and China's involvement in Sudan.
Tony Solorzano had dreamed of seeing Israel. At 54, he'd spent countless Sundays at the pulpit and weekdays on Radio Zion talking about the land of Abraham and Jacob and David -- and Jesus
In 2006, Rabbi Nancy Myers of Westminster's Temple Beth David used her Rosh Hashanah sermon to address the horrors of the Abu Ghraib scandals.
She was about to make a point about acting morally as Jews when a congregant walked down the sanctuary's aisle with his hands crossed in a time-out signal. Myers, new at the time to the Reform synagogue, thought the interruption was because someone had had a heart attack, so she stopped talking.
Three-dozen rabbis and cantors are sitting in silent meditation in a sun-filled room at the Brandeis-Bardin Campus at American Jewish University in Simi Valley.
They open their eyes and Rabbi Sheila Weinberg guides them in a mindfulness exercise.
Even as the Catholic Church has been rocked by a massive pedophilia scandal in recent years, the Jewish community also has been buffeted by high-profile cases of sexual impropriety involving rabbis and other authority figures.How extensive is the problem of clergy sex abuse in the Jewish community? It depends on which criteria are used as a yardstick.
There is no unabridged database of rabbinic sexual abusers. But there is the Awareness Center. It's not a physical place, but a Baltimore post office box, cellphone number and Web site.
Within Jewish circles, much of the focus on sexual predators has centered on the Orthodox community, particularly its more ultra-religious precincts, where some contend that clergy sex abuse is more hidden -- and possibly more widespread -- than elsewhere. Whether or not those contentions are true, the problem in that community was spotlighted by two recent episodes in the fervently Orthodox, or haredi, community.
As an attorney representing several victims of sexually predatory Catholic priests, Mark Itzkowitz has witnessed the church's pedophilia scandal from an almost too-close-for-comfort vantage point. Not long ago, Itzkowitz's life took a surreal turn when he found himself confronting clergy sexual abuse from a different perspective: The problem had come home to roost in his own synagogue.
With the charred remains of Israeli Bus No. 19 as a backdrop, about 700 Angelenos gathered Jan. 30 at the Museum of Tolerance to take a stand against suicide bombings.
A few months ago, in these pages, I described a brief visit to Los Angeles to attend the wedding of my daughter, Dafna, 42, and
her fiancé, Scott, 36 ("Father of the Bride," July 11). It was a first marriage for both and celebrated without benefit of clergy -- Scott being Christian and Dafna, Jewish.
This drew some criticism from readers who felt that I was amiss in not discouraging my daughter from marrying a non-Jew. One, in fact, reminded me that some Jews sit shiva when such a marriage takes place and regard the offending child as dead. It seemed to me that is a bit strong. There was also a time when adulterers were stoned, but we seem to have progressed beyond that. (More to the point perhaps, how does one tell a 42-year-old daughter whom she should marry?)
Colleagues in faith, we must act together now. We owe it to our respective faiths and our common calling.
Whatever you want to call it, the Reform rabbis' final decision on Jewish same-sex commitment ceremonies is being touted as "groundbreaking" and a major step forward for gay and lesbian Jews.