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.
Say what you will about Mason Tvert, the Jewish activist behind the marijuana legalization campaign that passed in Colorado, the man clearly has a sense of humor.
Last week’s episode was hardly the first time Israeli police stopped activist Anat Hoffman while she was leading a women’s prayer service at the Western Wall in violation of Israeli law.
Israel’s sports law significantly reduces the chances for its athletes to excel, a new study concluded.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed into law new sanctions against Iran that prohibit public contracts with any company or person that invests in Iran’s energy and finance sectors.
The California Supreme Court upheld class-action status for a lawsuit alleging gross misconduct by a Jewish funeral services provider that had paid a $100 million settlement over similar misconduct.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) claims it exists to protect our rights. My question is this: Who will protect us from the NRA?
Israel's Knesset passed a measure requiring rabbinical courts to follow up on divorce cases to ensure that the husband gives his wife a Jewish writ of divorce.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will bring a vote on extending a law that allows yeshiva students to delay their military service directly to the Knesset floor, bypassing his Cabinet.
Women's and human rights groups in Israel criticized the Israel Bar Association's decision not to appoint any women to a committee that appoints rabbinical judges.
Legislation that would cut off U.S. funds to countries that support granting the Palestinians a state unilaterally was introduced in the House of Representatives.
With the latest turnaround by a San Francisco court removing the anti-circumcision measure from its city’s upcoming ballot...
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to an Arizona tuition tax credit program that benefits parochial schools, with all three Jewish justices dissenting. The court on Monday threw out a lawsuit against the program, which provides tax credits to those who donate to "school tuition organizations" that grant scholarships to private schools, including religious schools.
Los Angeles public schools could be poised for revolution due to a controversial state law gaining momentum locally. The landmark “Parent Trigger” law, passed by the California government in January 2010, grants parents at failing schools the power to force their district to make sweeping changes in a bid to improve school performance. Petitions are now under way at several Southland schools, but the law remains little known among many Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) families who could benefit from it most, according to Los Angeles education reform advocate Larry Sand.
Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav's sentence to prison on rape and sexual assault convictions shows that not even the country's leaders are above the law, Israeli leaders stressed. A panel of three Tel Aviv District Court judges on Tuesday sentenced Katsav to seven years in jail and ordered him to pay compensation to his victims. The sentence came nearly five years after he was first accused. Katsav, 65, reportedly began sobbing after the verdict was read and then yelled out several times, interrupting the judges, saying "It's all lies," "the sentence is a mistake" and "it's not true."
An Israeli lawmaker told a delegation of American Jewish leaders that he would consult with Diaspora Jewry on issues involving conversion.
Why is this fraud different from all other frauds?
Years from now, lawyers, journalists and historians are likely to still be debating the causes and consequences of Madoff's massive deception. Untangling the mess will not only be crucial in the bid to provide restitution to some victims, it will also become a case study of how not to repeat the same mistakes.
"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 "Genocide and Religion: Victims, Perpetrators, Bystanders and Resisters" Synoposium went deeper than many such conferences by examining as many as possible of the various groups involved in a genocide -- the perpetrators, the victims, the bystanders and resisters -- all of whom can be found in every such conflict, past and present.
The new Democratic majority in Congress, backed by some conservative Republicans, is considering reforms that would curtail lawmakers' ability to anonymously insert funding for local projects into spending bills.
The Jewish Journal spoke to Cohen about the recent reversal in the local housing market.
Circuit News; GOP in the Library With A Tribute; The Great Statesmen; Fond of the New Rabbi; All About Ethics.
If you meet Grace Quinn sunning herself on the patio of her home at Westwood Horizons Retirement Residence or pushing her bright red walker in Trader Joe's, you wouldn't guess that this nonagenarian is one of the founders of Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center.
For more than 30 years, the settlers' dream has choked the dream of free Israelis. The dream of the whole land of Israel and a messianic kingship drains daily the hope of being a people free to build a just society.
National and World Briefs.
Freud famously called dreams "the royal road to knowledge of the unconscious." And his own dreams and their analysis revealed to him a whirl of conflicts around his Jewish identity.
According to the Pew study, illegal immigrants add 700,000 new consumers to the economy every year, while legal immigrants account for 600,000. As these illegal immigrants move up economically -- 84 percent of them are ages 18 to 44, as compared to 60 percent of legal residents -- their spending on credit cards, loans and mortgages will help boost the economy.
The release of "Absolute Convictions" could not be more auspiciously timed, given the recent passage in South Dakota of the most far-reaching anti-abortion legislation nationwide. That law, and proposed bills in other states, has reignited debate over the future of Roe vs. Wade. The case, decided in 1973, "would turn tens of thousands of Americans, some of them housewives, others previously disengaged evangelical Christians, into full-fledged crusaders," Press writes.
Letters to the Editor
Pedersen said that since anti-Danish rioting began, several people have called in long-distance orders and mentioned their desire to "buy Danish." Consumers in heavily Muslim countries, in contrast, are boycotting Danish products, reportedly costing Danish business up to $1 million a day. In response, European and American free-speech supporters have been advocating a less well-known "Buy Danish" campaign.
A new law that bans that use of experimental pesticides in schools is the latest achievement of Robina Suwol, a Jewish anti-pesticide activist.
The Torah has no title page. It has neither an author's introduction nor a preface -- nothing to tell us why the book was written or how it is to be read. The very first line begins with a complete lack of self-consciousness: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).
On this line we find a remarkable comment by the most famous of Jewish Bible commentators, Rashi, Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac of 11th century France. Rashi cites a classical midrash: "Rabbi Isaac asked: Why does the Torah begin with Genesis? The Torah should have begun with the verse (Exodus 12:2): 'This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months,' which is the first commandment given to Israel. For what reason does the Torah begin with Genesis?"
Rashi's commentary on the Torah provides the Jew with a broad survey of law, theology and wisdom -- a basic curriculum of Jewish learning. Rashi's genius is to state the most penetrating questions in the most concise idiom. This one is a gem. Within this innocuous question is a world of debate on the nature of Judaism and purpose of the Torah.
Thanks to Valerie, two best friends were reunited after more than three decades apart. More importantly, Glenn and Val had found each other. Their love was intoxicating, with family and friends commenting how happy each was to have found his/her soul mate.
Rosen recognized that he ruffled too many feathers to be out front. So he groomed protégés to assume that role. He mentored one so well that he became the head of AIPAC; another became the first Jew to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
I'm reluctant to draw lessons from the hurricane, even if the High Holidays are a time of stock taking, and even if Jewish tradition suggests that calamities are "heavenly alarms" meant to arouse repentance.
On Monday, Sept. 19, at 9 p.m., the WB will premiere "Just Legal." Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the current home-run king of TV, this is no "C.S.I." clone, but rather a one-hour drama with occasional comic moments that is about the beauty, the promise, the reality and the heartbreak that is the American legal system.
"Just Legal" stars Don Johnson as Grant H. Cooper, a demoralized attorney who operates out of a Venice office, a block from the circus-like boardwalk, and for whom the Santa Monica Courthouse is home base. Cooper is so down and out that he no longer argues cases, he just settles or pleads them out. Jay Baruchel (from "Million Dollar Baby") plays David "Skip" Ross, an idealistic young prodigy -- emphasis on the young -- he graduated college at 14, law school at 17 and having passed the bar at 18, he's now trying to get a job. No one will hire him, other than Cooper whom he meets while caddying for him in a golf game in which Cooper successfully hustles his opponent. Cooper promises to get Ross into court fast -- handling trials and showing him the way the real world really works. Will Cooper dash Ross' idealism? Will Ross manage to rekindle some of Cooper's former passion for the law? Of such questions is the pilot made.
Nation and World Briefs
President Bush is expected to sign legislation that gives $200 million in aid to support the Palestinians.
Much of John Paul's teachings about the Jews have been promulgated as church doctrine, and thus, technically are official church policy. But even before John Paul II died, there were indications that his policies had not been accepted unanimously among church leaders -- or that they had trickled down to the world's 1.1 billion Catholics.
Four months after he was elected president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas is fighting for his political life -- and possibly for the survival of the peace process.
Jews, like others caught up in the debate, have a range of beliefs, and their understanding of how to apply halacha varies accordingly.
Following an investigation into allegations from several women of sexual harassment, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) announced last week that it had expelled Rabbi Mordecai Tendler.
In a continuing effort to recover an archive of century-old original manuscripts and texts left behind in the former Soviet Union in the early 20th century, Chabad is taking the Russian Federation to the International Court of Law.
Sometime in the early 1980s, a new type of crime was identified. It was called "hate crime." Although the conduct which hate crime laws were aimed at was already criminal, the new laws targeted the motivation for the crime.
A Jewish community initiative to bring to justice those who kill Americans overseas has become law.
Provisions of a bill spearheaded by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), dubbed the Koby Mandell Act, were incorporated into the omnibus spending bill President Bush signed last week.
We Jews aren't exactly famous for agreeing with one another. Of our community, it is frequently said, "Five Jews, eight opinions."
President Bush signed a law giving $25 million to protect Jewish sites and other nonprofit institutions.
The U.S. Supreme Court may tackle questions regarding the legal rights of religious prisoners this session, as well as whether the public display of the Ten Commandments violates the separation of church and state.
The historic Breed Street Shul will be holding an open house this Sunday, Aug. 22 at 247 Breed St. in Boyle Heights from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Of course, it was only a matter of time before a class of frum frauds emerged on Craigslist. But if the missives from Orthodox neighborhoods are to be believed, where there are frum, there is desire.
For The Kids