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Jewish Journal

Tag: Secular

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  • Jewish atheism and Jewish theism in America

    By Roger Price

    April 12, 2013 | 9:46 am

         American Judaism has a God problem.  Actually, and paradoxically, it seems to have two God problems. One is Jewish atheism. The other is Jewish theism. Here we will look at the data and the dilemma.

         At the outset, we have to recognize that there is something odd about...

  • Tzohar rabbinical group to start secular-friendly brit milah program

    July 10, 2012 | 10:37 am

    The Tzohar rabbinical organization, which helps to involve non-religious couples and their families in religious wedding ceremonies, is introducing a brit milah program.

    The initiative, which will assist parents in circumcising their sons according to normative Jewish law, was...

  • Secular Yeshiva holds Socratic-style seminars

    By Ryan Torok

    January 18, 2012 | 4:14 pm

    For the second year in row, local Yiddish learning organization Arbeter Ring (Workmen’s Circle) will offer Secular Yeshiva, a bimonthly course with Socratic-style seminars, focused on “history and basic ideas of secular Jewishness,” “critical examination of Tanakh and...

  • Tim Tebow Infiltrates the Secular Cathedral of Sport

    By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

    January 10, 2012 | 11:29 am

    On CNN a few weeks ago I was asked whether I agree with the sentiment that Tim Tebow’s religious displays in football games are overdone and out-of-place. “Oh yes,” I replied, “it certainly is. Faith should have no place in sport. Indeed, I believe that the only thing that...

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  • The Secular Bar Mitzvah

    By Annie Korzen

    August 22, 2011 | 12:46 pm

    Coming-of-age rituals are a part of growing up.  They exist in every culture: christenings, communions, sweet-sixteens, quinceaneras, debutante balls – whatever.  They can all take a bite out of your wallet. But, thrifty as we are, that is not the main reason we did not give our...

  • A long time ago, in a kibbutz far away . . .

    November 19, 2008 | 6:10 pm

    Yoav was my kibbutz brother, secular and an ardent Zionist. He had an encyclopedic mind that could recite in detail kibbutz history, lore and socialist ideology. Today, Yoav is an equally intense, knowledgeable and ideological Charedi guy living in the Midwest. He recently offered to...
  • Diverse trio running for mayor in troubled Jerusalem

    By Dina Kraft

    October 23, 2008 | 12:54 am

    It sounds like the beginning of a joke: A rabbi, a Russian oligarch and a high-tech millionaire are running for mayor of Jerusalem. Except there's no punch line, just each of them offering up himself as salvation for the hallowed capital's many troubles.

    Many Jerusalemites view this...

  • Friendship and freedom at Adat Chaverim

    By Tom Tugend

    September 25, 2008 | 3:11 am

    "What does it mean to be free and why is freedom so important?" was Karlo Silbiger's first question to some 20 kids ranging from 3 years to early teens.

    The youth and their parents were meeting on a recent Sunday morning to check out the offerings of Adat Chaverim (Community of...

  • No healing the world here—Humanistic Jews are ‘building’  the world

    By Tom Tugend

    September 25, 2008 | 2:53 am

    Rabbi Greg Epstein, the young Humanist chaplain at Harvard University, maintains that the question "Do you believe in God?" is totally meaningless and that "tikkun olam," to repair the world, is the wrong concept.

    But he also affirms that religion will never disappear and that the...

  • World Jewry should have no veto on Jerusalem’s fate

    By Alan Dershowitz

    January 24, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    While every Jew in the world (along with every other person) certainly has the right to express an opinion about how the Jerusalem issue should be resolved, the State of Israel alone should make that important decision, since it involves the security of the state and its people.
    ...
  • Solar panels, radio station keep Jewish camps current

    By Nancy Sokoler Steiner

    January 24, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    It was a given that Benjy Rabin, 9, would spend part of his summers at Camp Ramah as soon as he was old enough. His father is a Ramah alum, and so are his older brother and sister.

    "That was the plan we made when we decided that Jewish day school was not an affordable or...

  • ‘Non-Jewish’ Jews endure challenges living in Israel

    By Dina Kraft

    January 3, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    In Israel, the "non-Jewish Jews," as some Israelis call them, are everywhere. They drive buses, teach university classes, patrol in army jeeps and follow the latest Israeli reality TV shows as avidly as their Jewish counterparts.

    For these people -- mostly immigrants from the former...

  • Laughing for Unity

    By David Suissa

    July 12, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    It was one of the stranger events I've attended since I moved to the hood.

    A friend sent me an e-mail telling me I "can't miss" this Jerusalem rabbi's one-man show Sunday night at Beth Jacob Congregation. I opened the e-mail a few minutes before show time, so, on a whim, I ran over...

  • Film: Unorthodox premiere launches Orthodox ‘A Light for Greytowers’

    By Celia Soudry

    January 10, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    It's a sight you wouldn't expect on the Paramount Studios lot. Women gathered with their daughters on a recent Saturday night outside of the Sherry Lansing Theater to see a film. And there were no men in sight.

    "This is a momentous occasion," director Robin Garbose said. "For some of...

  • B’nai Brith’s new chief visits L.A.; ‘Messenger’ unites local readers

    December 7, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    New B'nai B'rith Head Launches Term in Southland

    The new president of B'nai B'rith International will make Los Angeles his first official stop of his presidency when he speaks at Sinai Temple on the evening of Dec. 7. Moishe Smith, a B'nai B'rith veteran with more than 30 years...

  • Trading in happy meals for real happiness

    By Rocky Salomon

    November 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Living a life of dual identity is no simple task. On one hand, my peers and I are told to live up to the expectations of being Modern Orthodox teens, but on the other side of the spectrum we are tempted by the culture of the secular world on an everyday basis.

    How then is it remotely...

  • ‘Secular Yeshiva’ answers young Israelis’ questions

    By Dina Kraft

    October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Ofri Bar-Am, 19, folds her legs underneath her on a library couch and peers closely at a photocopy of the biblical passage describing the oldest recorded case of sibling rivalry in history, Cain and Abel.

    A student at the first secular yeshiva in Israel, Bar-Am underlines phrases,...

  • Faith and Season

    By Rob Eshman

    October 5, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    In Minneapolis-St. Paul, Somali Muslim immigrants, who make up the majority of airport cab drivers, are refusing to take passengers carrying alcohol. In the gripping, must-see documentary "Jesus Camp," 9-year-old children are whipped into a glassy-eyed religious fervor against...
  • A Jew,  a Catholic and a film crew walk into a born-again summer camp

    By Jean Oppenheimer

    September 28, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    What are a secular Jew and a lapsed Catholic doing making a film about born-again Christians?

    "We were interested in exploring children and faith," explained Rachel Grady, co-director of "Jesus Camp," a documentary about a summer program at which evangelical children are taught to...
  • Public Reactions Are Strong to A Personal Journey

    By  Orit Arfa

    August 31, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Los Angeles photographer Naomi Solomon capped off her informal summer presentation series "Settlers: A Photographic Journey of the Life and Disengagement of the Jews Living in Gaza" at Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills last week, drawing more than 150 people.

    Her evocative...

  • More Jewish Parents Picking Secular Path to Camp

    By Julie G Fax

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Most of the 4,500 campers returning from Jewish overnight camps this month will come home tired and dirty, with a suitcase full of laundry, a head full of memories and an address book full of new friends. Many will already be counting the days until next summer.

    But according to a...

  • Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make Me a Donation Match

    By Chanan Tigay

    July 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Call him a personal shopper, a matchmaker or a boutique investment adviser. However he is described, Joseph Hyman is trying to chart a new course in the world of Jewish philanthropy. A longtime Jewish organizational professional and fundraiser, Hyman last year launched the Center...

  • Latin American Jews Create L.A. Oasis

    By Roberto Loiederman

    June 8, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Imagine that you live in Latin America and you're Jewish. Typically, you and your family would belong to a full-service Jewish club with cultural, recreational, educational and athletic activities for all ages. The club is reasonably priced, promotes Jewish identity in a secular...

  • Modern Orthodoxy’s Marriage Crisis

    By Alana Newhouse

    June 8, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Hard-to-marry-off children have been worrying parents since Genesis, when Leah, her eyes tender from the sadness of being unwanted, took part in a hoax to trick Jacob -- her younger, prettier sister's suitor -- into marrying her. There's no indication of how old Leah was at...

  • A Step Into Secular

    By Sue Fishkoff

    January 26, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Chaim breezes into a diner on the Upper West Side of Manhattan clutching two huge shopping bags.

    "I got some clothes, this plaid shirt, two for $5, this leather jacket just $20," says Chaim, 19, in the clipped, Yiddish-accented English of the Chasidic world he comes from. "I didn't...

  • The Married Charedi and Me

    By  Orit Arfa

    December 22, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    I met Oren after watching "Kol Nidrei," a new play by Israeli playwright Yehoshua Sobol. The play is about Charedi (ultra-Orthodox)

    Jews who lead double lives -- as Bnei Brak yeshiva bochers by day and Tel Aviv bar-hoppers by Friday night. "Kol Nidrei" is inspired by real life, and...

  • An Ode to Parents and Other Strangers

    By David Finnigan

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    When Paul Reiser co-created and starred in the 1990s hit sitcom, "Mad About You," -- about a secular Jew married to a Christian -- he helped spur a new trend in TV comedy: the cute but neurotic Jewish leading man. Along with Jerry Seinfeld and Richard Lewis ("Anything But Love"), he...

  • Pullout Seen Really as West Bank Issue

    By Tom Tugend

    August 11, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The Gaza withdrawal in itself plays only a small part in the current face-off between settlers and the Israeli government. Three other and more basic issues are at stake, and they go to the core of what the Jewish state will become, according to Arie Nadler.

    Nadler, a professor of...

  • An Oleh Love Story

    By Jonathan Udren

    June 2, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    During my first visit to Israel when I was 24, fantasies of aliyah and Israeli women captured my imagination.

    I pictured myself waking up every day to the tangerine Jerusalem sun in a narrow Nachla'ot apartment that overlooked the city.

    Then I imagined falling in love with one of...

  • Works of Renewal and Celebration

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    September 16, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    The Chasidic masters had a custom of creating short lists of practical spiritual advice for their followers, and some of the devotees would write these on small pieces of paper and carry them in their pockets as frequent reminders. These spiritual practices, or hanhagot, is a genre...

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