For three decades now, the American Jewish Reform movement has considered as Jewish the child of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother who is raised as a Jew. But most Reform Jews in the rest of the world still do not accept “patrilineal descent.”
We stood on Sukkot amid the Darfur refugee camps in eastern Chad along the Sudanese border: two prominent Reform rabbis, Rabbi David Stern of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas and Rabbi Rick Jacobs of Westchester Reform Temple in New York; John Fishel, president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, who is deeply knowledgeable about Africa, and Ruth Messinger, president of the American Jewish World Service (AJWS), which organized the trip and does such effective development work worldwide.
"It will be the most outstanding building in the State of Israel and will draw worldwide attention," says Rabbi Marvin Hier.
The dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is referring to the new Museum of Tolerance -- to be known as the Winnick Institute -- that will rise in the heart of Jerusalem on Hillel Street, any opposition notwithstanding.
Frank Gehry, widely considered the world's most innovative contemporary architect, is designing the $130 million center, a guarantee that it will indeed attract global attention and controversy.