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things of interest in the synagogue world
Updated: 55 min 57 sec ago

Women Read From Torah Scroll at Western Wall

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 06:44
Women of the Wall read from a full-size Torah scroll during the group’s monthly prayer service at the Western Wall.

Elio Toaff, Rabbi Who Brought First Pope to Synagogue, Dies at 99

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 06:27
Elio Toaff, the chief rabbi of Rome for half a century and a pivotal player in Christian-Jewish reconciliation, has died at the age of 99.

Poland Demands Apology from FBI Chief Over Holocaust Remarks

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 12:03
Poland’s Foreign Ministry protested remarks by FBI director James Comey in which he said the Poles were the Nazis’ accomplices during the Holocaust.

FBI Chief James Comey Says Holocaust Key Lesson for Agents

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 07:47

FBI director James Comey called the Holocaust the most significant event in history and said that’s why a U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum program on its lessons is mandatory for new agents.

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Chilly Scenes of Cleveland Synagogues

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 06:00

What happens when a senior rabbi announces from the pulpit on Rosh Hashanah that he is suffering from ALS? In his posthumously published novel, Raphael Silver chronicles the power struggle.

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'Felix and Meira' Reaches Into a Cloistered World — and Beyond

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 06:00

In ‘Felix and Meira,’ director Maxime Giroux opens a window on the nuances of Hasidic life. And he creates a beautiful and bittersweet story at the same time.

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Suburban Washington D.C. Teen Admits Synagogue Vandalism

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 13:46

A suburban Washington teenager reportedly has confessed to police that he vandalized a local synagogue.

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Heard the One About the Jewish Musical That's Better Than You'd Think?

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 06:00

‘It Shoulda Been You,’ a new Jewish-bride-marries-gentile musical, sounds like a stream of cliches. But Jesse Oxfeld says it turns out to be a lot smarter than that.

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Manhattan Synagogue Members Sue To Block $13M Building Sale

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 20:36

Members of a Manhattan synagogue are asking a judge to halt the sale of their building in a deal made without their knowledge.

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At the Consultation: Supporting a Secure, Peaceful Israel

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 17:00

The past few months have been eventful for Israelis and those who care about Israel, in more ways than one. At Consultation on Conscience (April 26-28), there will be an opportunity to discuss current issues in Israel on Monday evening at 7:15 PM. The event will feature Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, Natan Sachs, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and Rabbi Noa Sattath, Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC). Tune in for the livestream at youtube.com/racrj.

Within Israel, a focus for millions of Israelis was the new elections for Knesset (Israel’s parliament), which occurred in March. The country held elections after the previous governing coalition, which had been in office for less than two years, dissolved and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for new elections. After a close election campaign that pitted Prime Minister Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, against the center-left Zionist Camp, Prime Minister Netanyahu won a convincing victory and is in talks with other parties to form a coalition.

Outside of Israel, there’s an important election that’s still going on: the World Zionist Congress elections. ARZA, the Zionist wing of the Reform Movement, has put together a slate of Reform Movement leaders that are gearing up to fight for civil rights, religious pluralism and peace. Having ARZA do well in the World Zionist Congress elections gives ARZA influence and funding power over the Jewish Agency, the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish National Fund and other vitally important agencies and organizations in Israel and around the world. Voting is open until April 30th, so go vote!

Israel and the United States have also been working to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. After a year and a half of negotiations, the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China, plus Germany) and Iran agreed to a framework deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program. Reform Movement leaders have expressed reservations about conditions in the agreement, while still supporting diplomacy as the best alternative to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Amidst these global-scale events, we’ve also been monitoring a continued string of tensions in Jerusalem and attacks targeting women and non-Jews. Of note, there has been a continuing legal battle over flights by Israeli airline El Al, which have sometimes been delayed due to ultra-Orthodox men demanding that the women who are sitting next to them move seats.

Join us at the Consultation or by livestream to learn more about Israeli affairs.

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto Pleads Guilty To Bribing Israeli Police

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 10:49

Celebrity Israeli Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto pleaded guilty in a Tel Aviv court to charges of bribery as part of a plea deal.

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Shots Fired at Nashville Synagogue

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 14:32

No one was injured when shots were fired outside a Nashville synagogue.

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