Last year, I officiated at the first same-sex wedding in the 145-year history of my synagogue. For a Conservative congregation, this was quite a break with tradition.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, "Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." Since the May 8 vote to approve North Carolina's Amendment One referendum, which constitutionally bars the state from recognizing as legal any marriage other than that of a man to a woman, his words still ring true. Our march toward justice for all citizens of North Carolina, for all God’s children, is incomplete.
When it comes to passing a gay marriage bill in New York State, even many supporters acknowledge that wide-reaching religious exemptions are crucial. After all, this is the state with the nation’s second-largest number of Catholics and largest number of religiously observant Jews, and many say including exemptions is a legitimate way to address concerns of the religiously observant.
A federal judge who ruled against a ban on same-sex marriage in California and later revealed that he is gay showed no evidence he was prejudiced in the case, according to a ruling Tuesday.
While voting to keep intact the marriages of approximately 18,000 Californians, including many Jewish couples, the California Supreme Court voted today to uphold Proposition 8, an initiative that amended California's Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Another chapter in the longer story of same-gender marriage in California has ended, and yet another is already beginning. Here in Los Angeles County, demonstrations against the ban are already underway in Leimert Park and more are planned for East Los Angeles and West Hollywood. Activists on both sides of the issue are mobilizing in anticipation of another ballot initiative in 2010 or 2012.
[UPDATE] The newsletter sent out last month by Temple Israel of New Rochelle contained the usual sort of announcements, including a reminder about the synagogue’s upcoming Purim carnival, mazal tovs and condolences, and information about a social event at a local steakhouse.
The French now understand that Obama's election will set off a long overdue debate about the status of minority communities within their own nation. Why, people are asking, are there not more minority members of the national legislative bodies?
Parshat Masei (Numbers 33:1-36:13) With the recent on-court fracas of the WNBA, the historic presidential candidacy of Sen. Hillary Clinton and the real potential for both parties to nominate a woman for vice president, it's probably worth our while to consider where we have been, where we are and where we may go in regard to gender equality, both in Torah and in our time
The Jewish people are under attack. Horrific expressions of anti-Semitism are spreading across the United States and the world. These attacks, both verbal and physical, are occurring at all levels of society, from the highest ranks of government to individuals on the street.
This month, as we honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., we ask blacks to embrace his legacy and to join Jews in defeating the injustice of anti-Semitism. Even as King struggled to achieve equality for black Americans, he did not hesitate to express total disdain for anti-Semitism, especially when it reared its ugly face in his own community.
The Shivyon Minyan may be a 4-year-old prayer group of about 65 people that meets at a hotel once a month, but it has many of the assets that older, more established synagogues recognize are requirements for success: strong lay leaders and a grass-roots base of committed members, the capacity to meet needs that are not being met elsewhere, and a history of challenges and struggles that have strengthened the group's character.
There is something otherworldly about the experience of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. It is perhaps the preeminent spiritual-cultural paradox in all of Jewish life. When girls and boys focus so intensely on this personal lifecycle event, each possesses a transcendent, timeless and eternal quality.
Judge Pauline Nightingale is happy to have seen the number of women studying law increase from almost nothing to 50 percent in her lifetime.