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Jewish Journal

Tag: Synagogue

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  • A Parking Space By Any Other Name

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    5 days ago

    Rabbi Simcha Bunam of P'shis'kha taught that in one pocket we should carry a piece of paper which reads, “The world was made for me, and me alone,” and in the other pocket should be one that says, “I am but dust and ashes.”

    Any time we’re feeling particularly low or discouraged,...

  • Pew study prompts spirited synagogue leadership debate

    By Ryan Torok

    October 10, 2013 | 1:00 pm

    Five days after the release of the Pew Research Center’s “Portrait of Jewish Americans,” a report revealing that Jewish engagement is on the decline, speakers at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ Oct. 6 Synagogue Leadership Conference all appeared to be asking one...

  • Report: Indonesia’s last synagogue destroyed

    October 4, 2013 | 9:29 am

    Indonesia’s last synagogue has been destroyed, a Dutch news site reported last week.

    Unidentified persons demolished the Beith Shalom synagogue in Surabaya on the island of Java to its foundations sometime earlier this year, according to a report on Indoweb.nl.

    The synagogue...

  • Blogger Geller testifying before Toronto police board over nixed shul talk

    August 5, 2013 | 3:53 pm

    Blogger Pamela Geller said she will testify over a complaint she filed against a Toronto-area police force in the cancellation of a synagogue appearance.

    Geller told JTA via email on Monday that she was scheduled to testify Wednesday via Skype before a hearing of the Office of...

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  • The problem with prayer

    By David Suissa

    July 17, 2013 | 11:39 am

    If the practice of Judaism is based on synagogue attendance, and if synagogue attendance is based on the passive recitation of prayer, then Judaism is in trouble.

    The ritual of repetitive communal prayer might have worked in the shtetls to keep Jews Jewish, but it doesn’t work in...

  • Reading Lamentations with Gush Katif Evacuees

    By Orit Arfa

    July 15, 2013 | 1:12 pm

    I couldn’t see his face through the mechitza (the wall separating the men and women), but I heard him, the tears in his voice, the deep sorrow, as the cantor read Jeremiah’s Book of Lamentations poetically remembering the horrific tragedies the Jewish people have suffered.

    His...

  • Q&A with Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    By Susan Freudenheim

    May 8, 2013 | 6:37 pm

    On Sunday, May 11, Rabbi Ed Feinstein, senior rabbi at Valley Beth Shalom, will be feted for his two decades of service to the synagogue. He talks in this edited version of an interview about changes in synagogue life, his theology and what he prays for.

    Jewish Journal: Twenty...

  • Torah Flight

    By Michelle Azar

    May 6, 2013 | 4:50 pm

    I watched as my Torah portion flew out into the street. The pages were in the basket of my bicycle as I rode to Milky’s on Friday afternoon to study in advance of chanting this Shabbat. Milky’s boasts frozen yogurt with lots of choices for their special food needs clientage like...

  • Bomb threats called in to Houston synagogues

    May 2, 2013 | 9:32 am

    Two Houston synagogues received bomb threats.

    The bomb threats were called in to Congregation Beth Israel, a Reform synagogue, and Congregation Or Ami, a Conservative synagogue, on Wednesday afternoon.

    Both synagogues canceled Hebrew school classes for Thursday but said they...

  • Great Neck Synagogue Cancels Pamela Geller’s Talk

    By Orit Arfa

    April 10, 2013 | 9:22 pm

    The Great Neck Synagogue has revealed its cowardice, the same way the Jewish Federation revealed its cowardice when it cancelled Pamela Geller’s talk there on June 25, 2012 within a few hours of the event sponsored by the Zionist Organization of America when I served as its...

  • Getting it Right

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    April 10, 2013 | 8:00 am

    We’ve all heard stories of people who were turned off from Judaism by negative experiences with a synagogue, a rabbi, etc. “He wouldn’t even meet with us to talk about our marriage because my fiancé hadn’t converted yet,” or “They wouldn’t let me into High Holy Day services because...

  • Mogen David: A Sephardi, Ashkenazi and Orthodox future?

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    March 28, 2013 | 7:44 am

    On a recent Saturday morning, at Congregation Mogen David’s Ashkenazic Shabbat service, a blond-haired girl in a shimmery pink sundress tugged at the fringes of a man’s tallit (prayer shawl). The tallit belonged to Alex Katz, and he tried to ignore her entreaties as he led 90...

  • Reconstruction of synagogue roof unveiled at Warsaw Jewish museum

    March 12, 2013 | 8:53 am

    The reconstructed roof of a 17th-century synagogue was unveiled at Warsaw’s Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

    The replica of the now defunct wooden Gwozdziec Synagogue was presented Tuesday to journalists in a sneak preview of what will be the core exhibition of the museum,...

  • Getting to Know You...

    By Susan Freudenheim

    February 27, 2013 | 3:19 pm

    In 2000, an urban congregation of 1,000 families found itself at a crossroads. The synagogue had a balanced budget and a beloved rabbi who was retiring after three decades, but its building was badly in need of repairs and the congregation was aging. To survive, the leadership felt...

  • Synagogue in Siberia damaged by meteorite

    February 15, 2013 | 10:10 am

    A synagogue in Siberia was lightly damaged by a meteorite that fell nearby.

    On Friday, Rabbi Yechiel Michel Levitin, director of the Or Avner Jewish day school in Chelyabinsk, a city located 1,000 miles east of Moscow, was quoted by an Israeli website as saying congregants heard...

  • Moroccan PM celebrates restoration of 17th century synagogue

    February 14, 2013 | 5:18 am

    About 200 people reportedly celebrated the completion of the restoration of a synagogue in the city of Fes in Morocco.

    The ceremony on Feb. 13 marked the conclusion of a two-year project undertaken by Mohammed VI, the king of Morocco, the website of the magazine Jeune Afrique...

  • Thoughts on the Visioning Process

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    February 13, 2013 | 7:00 am

    Last fall, I wrote here about the Visioning process our synagogue is undertaking. Now that the first part of the process, namely the house meetings, is over, our community is reflecting on what has happened so far.

    I attended one of the house meetings as a participant, and two...

  • National Council of Young Israel changes rule to let shuls quit

    January 31, 2013 | 4:38 pm

    The National Council of Young Israel voted to eliminate a rule barring member synagogues from withdrawing from the franchise.

    The rule became a subject of controversy two years ago when the National Council considered expelling a synagogue in Syracuse, N.Y., that was said to owe...

  • Feb 2–8, 2013

    By Ryan Torok

    January 30, 2013 | 4:24 pm

    SAT FEB 2

    “THE COMPOSER IS DEAD” 

    Before it was a recording or a book, the whodunit by “A Series of Unfortunate Events” writer Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) and composer Nathaniel Stookey was a work for narrator and orchestra. The tale follows an inspector who...

  • Long Beach synagogue vandalized

    By Ryan Torok

    January 23, 2013 | 4:24 pm

    Long Beach police are searching for a male suspect who threw a brick at the window of Temple Israel of Long Beach on Jan. 7. This was the second incident of vandalism at the Reform congregation, located at 269 Loma Ave., since the building reopened in October following a major...

  • Arrest made following Wilshire Boulevard Temple bomb scare, vandalism

    By Ryan E. Smith

    December 20, 2012 | 12:13 pm

    A naturalized citizen from South Korea was arraigned today on charges related to the numerous bomb threats made Dec. 18 against Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT) in Koreatown and a police squad car parked adjacent to its campus, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

    Wan...

  • BREAKING: LAPD investigating bomb threat near Wilshire Boulevard Temple

    By JewishJournal

    December 18, 2012 | 10:40 am

    [UPDATE: 5:00 pm] Suspect in custody in bomb threat investigation, says Wilshire Blvd. Temple statement.

    MORE ON THIS STORY: Wilshire Blvd. Temple target of bomb threats

    [UPDATE: 2:45 pm] "[The vehicle] was rendered safe. No device was found in or around the vehicle," said...

  • Mindful Eating

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 5, 2012 | 7:00 am

    As part of services last Saturday, we had what was billed as a creative eating meditation. “In our all too-busy world,” the congregation weekly email explained, “the practice of mindful eating helps us bring our full attention to the process of eating – to all the tastes, smells,...

  • Leaders of prominent N.Y. shul praise U.N. Palestine vote

    December 4, 2012 | 4:30 pm

    The leaders of a prominent New York City synagogue sent out an email to congregants praising the U.N. vote that elevated the Palestinians to non-member state status.

    "The vote at the U.N. yesterday is a great moment for us as citizens of the world," said the email, signed by the...

  • Southern California temple is vandalized

    November 14, 2012 | 4:41 pm

    A temple in an upscale neighborhood of Long Beach, Calif., was vandalized.

    Two-foot tall swastikas and the words "Nazi" were painted in red spray-paint on the front of the Temple Israel building on Monday night. Temple Israel is the oldest Reform synagogue between Los Angeles and San Diego, the Long Beach Post reported.

    Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman Nancy Pratt told the newspaper that the incident was being investigated as a hate crime.

    The temple had recently completed a yearlong $4.6 million renovation, according to the newspaper.

  • Deluged day school, ruined Torahs and devastated communities left in Sandy’s wake

    November 1, 2012 | 2:51 pm

    When Rabbi Avremel Okonov arrived Tuesday morning at the school he co-founded 10 years ago in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, the water in the basement had already receded from the high water mark. It only came up to his knees.

    Everywhere he looked around his school,...

  • Historic Connecticut synagogue damaged by fire

    October 15, 2012 | 10:37 am

    A historic synagogue in Connecticut was seriously damaged by a fire.

    Flames gutted the sanctuary at the Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont in Milford, Conn., on Sunday morning. Its two Torah scrolls were damaged, but Rabbi Schneur Wilhelm, spiritual leader of the congregation, told...

  • One in 6 unaffiliated U.S. Jews seeking Jewish expression, poll finds

    October 10, 2012 | 10:42 am

    Some 1 million American Jews -- or one in 6 -- are actively seeking Jewish expression and engagement outside of synagogue life, according to a new study.

    The results of a study released by the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring break down the notion that American Jews either are...

  • Blank bullets fired near Paris-area synagogue

    October 8, 2012 | 9:37 am

    Blank bullets were fired outside a synagogue near Paris.

    The security unit of France’s Jewish communities, SPCJ, reported that the shots were fired last Friday outside the synagogue at Argenteuil, a northwest suburb of Paris, hours after the city’s chief prosecutor gave a news...

  • The Jews of Kaifeng

    August 15, 2012 | 10:39 am

    Jewish liturgy and ritual frequently remind us that the Israelites were scattered to the “four corners of the earth,” as symbolized by the four fringes of the tallit, or prayer shawl. The extent of the geographic dispersion of the Jews over millennia has been vast, ranging from...

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