News

Growing number come from intermarriages
BY Julie Wiener
November 21, 2013

When Eric Woodward started rabbinical school at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary, he assumed he would be the only student who grew up celebrating Christmas along with Chanukah. But midway through his training, when Woodward started a discussion group for students of interfaith families, more than 20 people showed up. Not all were children CONTINUE »

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Conservative synagogues wrestle with intermarriage
BY Uriel Heilman
November 21, 2013

To an outsider, the battles might seem to be over trifles — in some cases, just a few feet. Where may a non-Jewish parent stand in the synagogue during his child’s bar mitzvah? Can a non-Jew open the holy ark? Should non-Jewish synagogue members have voting rights? Such questions have been pushed to the fore CONTINUE »

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BY Maayan Jaffe
November 21, 2013

Judith is a beautiful widow who has fascinated artists, writers, poets and composers through the centuries. The heroine of the Book of Judith, a text that was never accepted into the Jewish cannon, Judith serves the role of holy Jewish widow, of seductress and of soldier. Here is a quick rundown: Judith comes onto the CONTINUE »

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The Chanukah story lights the way to ideas of energy conservation and sustainability
BY Melissa Gerr
November 21, 2013

A beautiful thing about many Jewish laws is that they are open to interpretation. Evolving analysis helps transform a seemingly obsolete idea into a concept that is relevant and applicable to contemporary issues. Bal tashchit is one of those laws. Its original form commands to “not destroy with wanton abandon” (particularly geared to war time), CONTINUE »

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Act protects against discrimination for sexual orientation, but creates uncertainty for some religious organizations
BY Marc Shapiro
November 21, 2013

When the U.S. Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (64 to 32) on Thursday, Nov. 7, it was widely applauded by a number of advocacy groups, including those inside and outside the Jewish community. “It is legislation whose time has come,” said Eric Fusfield, director of legislative affairs at B’nai B’rith International. “Attitudes have shifted.” CONTINUE »