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Updated: 15 weeks 1 hour ago

Did Venerable Synagogue Fire Worker for Being Pregnant at Her Wedding?

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 08:32
The former program director of the oldest Jewish congregation in America said she was fired from her job because she was pregnant at the time of her wedding.

Marine Le Pen Faces Trial for Comparing Muslim Prayer to Nazi Occupation

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 10:25
French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen will go on trial for comparing Muslim street prayers to wartime Nazi occupation, a party official and the prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.

Reform Movement Urges Even Greater US Response to Global Refugee Crisis

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 10:20

In response to Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement that the U.S. would increase the number of refugees admitted to 85,000 in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We welcome Secretary Kerry’s announcement that the U.S. will increase the number of refugees in the coming two years, even as we recognize that the new admission numbers remain insufficient considering the scope of the crisis at hand.

During these Days of Awe, we are acutely aware that our actions are being judged by God. Yet we are also being judged by the millions of refugees seeking a haven, by our fellow nations, and by history. The world is facing the greatest refugee crisis since World War II when it was in many cases our own grandparents and great grandparents who were searching for nations to welcome them in their time of need. Though the circumstances then and now differ in many ways, the struggle to survive and provide a better life for one’s children is universal and it is incumbent upon each of us to do our part to address it. The nations of Europe and the international community broadly must respond with greater speed, compassion and efficacy to this crisis, and so must we.

We call on Congress to work with President Obama to fully implement the increased number of refugees to be admitted over the next two years – even as we urge the President and Congress to welcome even more refugees into our nation and fulfill its tradition as a beacon of hope and refuge to those in need.

The post Reform Movement Urges Even Greater US Response to Global Refugee Crisis appeared first on Fresh Updates from RAC.

After JCC Cancelation, Nashville Reform Temple Offer to Host Planned Parenthood Event

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 19:19
A Nashville synagogue has offered its facility as a venue for a Planned Parenthood event in the wake of a city JCC backing out of an agreement to host.

What a Catholic Mom Wants the Pope To Learn from Her Rabbi Daughter

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 12:55
Catholic mom Cindy Skrzycki has a message for Pope Francis: She wants him to reform the Church’s policy on female ordination — by taking a lesson from her rabbi daughter.

Pope’s White House Visit Will Coincide with Yom Kippur

Sun, 09/20/2015 - 12:57
Pope Francis’ visit to the White House will coincide with Yom Kippur, meaning that no rabbis likely will be in attendance at the arrival ceremony.

Spectre of Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Hangs Over Greece Election

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 09:27
Three fresh-faced children appear on the TV screen and, to the sound of kiddie piano music, declare that they want Greece to belong to the Greeks.

Feud Over Oldest Synagogue in Nation Heads to Closing Arguments

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 07:24
Lawyers for two Jewish congregations feuding over the ownership of the United States’ oldest synagogue will make their final arguments before a federal judge in Providence, Rhode Island, on Friday.

Kapparot Gets Green Light as New York Judge Quashes Suit

Wed, 09/16/2015 - 11:42
The Yom Kippur ritual of kapparot can proceed in New York, a state Supreme Court judge ruled.

U.S. Calls for Calm on Jerusalem's Temple Mount

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 13:41
The U.S. State Department on Monday voiced concern about violence at the compound surrounding Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, an area revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount.

Darshan Know Return

Sun, 09/13/2015 - 16:18
Just in time for the Days of Awe, Darshan, the neo-hasidic folk-rap duo release a new music video, “Know Return”, a poetic meditation on the spiritual cycle of Teshuva (repentance and renewal) that characterizes the months of Elul and Tishrei, including Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur. Through a series of dream-like tableaus, colorful moving images […]

Dwindling Georgia Community Enjoys Influx of Israeli Tourists

Sun, 09/13/2015 - 14:31
Rabbi Rakhmim Murdukhashvili had come to think of a crowded synagogue as a distant childhood memory.

Brooklyn Hipster Bowling Alley Hosts Rosh Hashanah Event

Sun, 09/13/2015 - 09:48
Peter Shapiro — the owner of Brooklyn Bowl, a mid-sized music venue in Williamsburg that boasts a bowling alley and a Blue Ribbon restaurant — has referred to himself as the “rabbi” of his unique venue. But, come Monday, an actual rabbi will be taking over the joint.

Benjamin Netanyahu Tells British Jews Settlements Aren't Problem

Sat, 09/12/2015 - 02:16
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed concerns raised by Britain’s chief rabbi about the growth of West Bank settlements.

Religious Freedom Versus Rule of Law; Battle Over Bears Ears; New Jewish Prayer Book

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 17:24

The case of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis and same-sex marriage has raised questions about the limits of religious freedom; residents in San Juan County, Utah are fighting a proposal to create a national monument that protects Native American land; and Jews in the Reform movement begin using a new prayer book for the High Holy Days

The post Religious Freedom Versus Rule of Law; Battle Over Bears Ears; New Jewish Prayer Book appeared first on Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

A New Jewish Prayer Book

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 13:28

As the Jewish High Holy Days begin at sundown on Sunday, September 13, Jews in the Reform movement begin using the first revision in 40 years to their holiday prayer book, which now includes language more friendly to younger Jews, non-Jews, and those who identify as LGBT, as well as poetry, meditations, and artwork. “We really wanted to create a prayer book that is inclusive of the full range of who is in our community today,” says the book’s executive editor, Rabbi Hara Person, director of publications for the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Revisit our stories about Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and the ten-day period of prayer and repentance that culminates with the fast of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

The post A New Jewish Prayer Book appeared first on Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Rabbi Hara Person Extended Interview

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 11:29

“We come every year. We sit in these pews, and yet every year our lives have changed, and we can really reflect on that change from year to year. Who is with us this year? Who was with us last year who’s not with us this year? Who’s going to be with us next year?” Watch more of our interview with Rabbi Hara Person, executive editor of the new Mishkan Hanefesh Jewish prayer book for the High Holidays.

The post Rabbi Hara Person Extended Interview appeared first on Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Rabbi Andrew Busch Extended Interview

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 11:15

Watch more of our interview with Rabbi Andrew Busch of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation about Reform Judaism’s new prayer book for the High Holy Days.

The post Rabbi Andrew Busch Extended Interview appeared first on Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Reform and Conservative Synagogues Merge in New Jersey

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 10:46
A Reform temple and Conservative synagogue in northern New Jersey will officially merge as of the first day of Rosh Hashanah.

Brooklyn Bowling Alley to Host Rosh Hashanah Service

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 10:41
Only in Brooklyn could you find a bowling alley that boasts a Blue Ribbon restaurant and hosts Rosh Hashanah services, complete with meditiation and music.