The old country just got a little newer. Taking traditional sounds and themes and infusing them with some modern funk, the Grammy-winning band brings rhythm and timeless spirit to its audiences. With 25 years of experience and a growing fan base, the Klezmatics have changed the face of the Yiddish imprint on popular culture.
In a first-ever seminar organized by Project Interchange, an educational institute of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), leaders of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities from the United States and Israel met recently to explore possible collaborations and share knowledge.
Fifteen years ago, Stephen Sass and his husband, Steven Hochstadt, consecrated their commitment to each other during a religious marriage ceremony that took place during Chanukah. The timing was intentional.
As a candidate to become the Middle East's first openly gay mayor, Nitzan Horowitz is hoping his bid to run Israel's famously liberal city of Tel Aviv will help homosexuals across a region where they are widely frowned upon.
The race to find a cure for AIDS, one of Earth’s most pressing epidemics for more than three decades now, is often more of a chaotic relay. Thousands of international scientists must constantly revise their own projects to keep up with findings from across all scientific disciplines — always collaborating toward a common good, yet also trying to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Ask any schoolchild when the civil rights movement took place and she will likely tell you it was in the 1960s. Recent events have made us wonder what we can do to re-create a similar sense of urgency about the civil rights at issue today.
On Aug. 5, the Birthright Israel alumni organization NEXT launched its 2013 High Holy Days initiative. It features an interactive, nationwide map of services and events — including learning opportunities, dinners and break-the-fasts — as well as a first-time offering of resources and small subsidies for people willing to host Rosh Hashanah meals and Yom Kippur break-the-fasts.
In any town across the country, a city council meeting can feel a lot like ground zero for American democracy: One by one, residents approach the podium and address the decision-makers with suggestions or grievances. With a few changes, a similar scene could have played out in a medieval English shire or a 19th century Polish shtetl.
One comes to understand many things after 97 years of life. Here’s one: Sex may fade, but love ... that’s forever.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles named recent UCLA graduate Brianna Fischer of Oak Park as its inaugural Fishel Fellow last month. As part of the two-year paid fellowship, she will participate in hands-on community-service experiences in both Jewish and non-Jewish settings throughout the world, including in Israel, India and Germany. The program culminates with a 10-month paid position at Federation in Los Angeles.
First, an apology. To the good men and women of the LGBT community at Sinai Temple and everywhere else in the world, on the subject of said temple’s recent announcement that it would henceforth perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, in reference to the mindless, intolerant and hurtful remarks of a few individuals as expressed in letters and e-mails and (it must have been a slow news day at The New York Times) the national press, about the issues of homosexuality, gay marriage and the proper role of rabbis in helping their congregation maintain the standards of decency to which we should all aspire: I’m sorry.
Attitudes toward same sex marriage in Judaism have undergone a dramatic change in the last quarter century. The prohibition recorded in Leviticus 18 has been affirmed by some, negated by others and reinterpreted by still others. Did the Torah intend loving same sex relationships? Did it understand homosexuality as a fundamental orientation rather than a choice?
Thousands of people came to West Hollywood on June 26 to celebrate expanded rights for the LGBT community.
In the early 1970s, while I was CEO of the Seagram Company, public dialogue about gay rights was largely nonexistent in corporate America. Social discourse had not yet even evolved into the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ethos that dominated the following decades. Homosexuality was simply not discussed and therefore, by implication, was shameful.
Leaders of the area’s Jewish LGBT community rejoiced today after the Supreme Court ruled that part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples, was unconstitutional. The court also paved the way for a return of same-sex marriage to California in a separate case by dismissing an appeal to Proposition 8 that banned such marriages.
Today is a true historic day! A moment when you can feel the chains of bondage breaking. The Supreme Court has ruled that DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act is dead.
A slight bump up on affirmative action, a plunge on voting rights, and on gay marriage, the mountaintop: federal legitimacy.
American Jewish World Service President Ruth Messinger released the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruled in two cases related to marriage equality.
In 2001, Temple Israel of Hollywood (TIOH) overwhelmingly decided to end its sponsorship of Cub Scout Pack 1300 to protest the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) policy banning openly gay scouts and leaders. It ended a nearly 50-year tradition of scouting at the Reform congregation.
Tel Aviv just hosted its 15th annual Gay Pride Festival, attended by a record-breaking 100,000 spectators and participants, including some of Israel’s most powerful politicians. Here is The Times of Israel report on the event:
Tens of thousands of people joined in Tel Aviv’s annual Gay Pride Parade, the first after arrests were made in the 2009 double murder at a gay community center.
Three suspects were arrested in connection with a 2009 shooting attack at a youth center for gays in Tel Aviv.
A survey on Tuesday shows a world divided over the acceptance of gays, with countries in Africa and the Middle East strongly opposed even as tolerance grows in Europe, the United States, Canada and parts of Latin America.
Jewish scouting leaders say they are “overjoyed” after the Boy Scouts of America passed a resolution lifting a ban on gay youth.
Jewish Scouting leaders are taking a vocal role in efforts to pass a historic resolution that would partially lift a ban on gays in the Boy Scouts of America.
The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association has elected an openly gay rabbi to lead the national rabbinic organization.
Congress approved the more expansive version of an extension of the Violence Against Women Act that an array of Jewish groups had backed.
Three Jewish groups praised the U.S. Senate's reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and urged the House of Representatives to follow suit.
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.
When author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel was recently asked if he feared future generations might forget the Holocaust once the last surviving witnesses had perished, he answered that he had quelled his anxiety over this problem with a simple dictum: “To listen to a witness,” he said, “is to become one.”
Illinois lawmakers began considering a measure on Wednesday that would make President Barack Obama's home state the 10th in the nation to legalize gay marriage.
With public acceptance of same-sex marriage growing, liberal Jewish groups are hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down the Defense of Marriage Act that they have long opposed.
A free public panel discussion on “LGBT Rights in the Middle East” that was set to take place on Dec. 5 has been postponed.
The American Modern Orthodox community has just entered uncharted territory. Last week, our largest rabbinic organization, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) formally withdrew its support of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality).
When Rabbi Steve Greenberg was a young rabbinical student at an Orthodox Yeshiva near Jerusalem in the mid-1970s, he was attracted to a fellow (male) student. He wanted to talk about his feelings of homosexual desire to a respected old rabbi — but was afraid to. So Greenberg fudged by telling the rabbi he was “attracted to both men and women.” The venerated old rabbi shrugged: “So you have twice the power of love. Use it carefully.”
A new survey of Jewish communal organizations found that 50 percent of them have taken significant steps to welcome gays and lesbians and their families.
Think immigration through -- again. Forget about gay marriage. And for heaven’s sake, when it comes to rape, shut up!
A pro-Brad Sherman mailer sent out in October to Republican voters in the San Fernando Valley’s new 30th Congressional district features a shadowy and ominous-looking image of Rep. Howard Berman, Sherman’s Democratic opponent for Congress, shown alongside Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).
A religious outreach official for a campaign seeking marriage equality for gays in Minnesota apologized for likening opponents' tactics to those of the Nazis. “It was a terrible mistake to even mention Nazism in an attempt to illustrate my point, and I fully understand why many found it to be offensive,” the Rev. Brad Brandon said in a statement first published by the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Oct. 24.
A Conservative Jewish day school will not renew its Boy Scouts charter because of the organization's policy excluding gay and lesbian adults as leaders.
This has been a good year for filmmaker Ira Sachs. His new feature, "Keep the Lights On," received a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and won the prestigious Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. And while the intensely personal, autobiographical film centers on a tumultuous love affair between two men, Sachs believes audiences will relate to the human experience of relationships shared by all couples.
A new edition of a user-friendly guide to making a modern Jewish wedding has changed its approach to same-sex weddings.
Israel’s association for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is launching a center in Tel Aviv to combat anti-gay violence.
Before he told members of his family, Nathan Looney told members of his synagogue, Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC), that he was transitioning from female to male. He says the encouragement he received is typical for members of this Pico Boulevard congregation.
Tel Aviv launched gay pride festivities Friday.
In a not-so-quiet corner of Café Stella at Sunset Junction in Silver Lake, Jill Soloway and Ayana Morse look around and see a model for Jewish connection.