Newsletter Issue # 11 January 4, 2012

Bad news for Jewish day school advocates during the month of December. According to the Avi Chai Foundation, day school enrollment saw a “modest decline” of about 1.4% in the 2011-12 school year, compared with the year before. The sharpest decline was reported among the Solomon Schechter schools of Conservative Judaism, which experienced a 3.8% drop, followed by so-called Community (non-denominational and/or federation-sponsored) schools, which fell 2.5%, and Modern Orthodox schools, which fell 1.6%.

Results of new research showed an increase in the rate of intermarriage among European students, which caused an alarm with The European Centre for Jewish Students (ECJS). The study  in Europe. The annual research found a rise of 17% in the rate of intermarriage in Europe.  the report was conducted among a representative sample of Jewish communities and student organizations in Europe.

the late Pope John Paul II lifetime friend and childhood playmate Jerzy Kluger passed away in an clinic in Rome.  Kluger, a Polish-born Jew was 90. His wife Irene Kluger told The Associated Press that her husband died on Dec. 31 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for three years and was buried Monday.

At the age of 25, Kesha Ram is currently the youngest woman serving as a state legislator in the United States, was born to a Jewish mother and Hindu father. Ram applied to the Taglit-Birthright free Israel trip. Ram said she have lived in both worlds and have gone to synagogue and temple. she have been to India three times, but  have never been to the sacred places of her Jewish ancestors.  She would like to better understand Israel and her heritage for both personal and professional knowledge.”

Gender segregation has reached a store that belongs to the Rami Levy supermarket chain in the ultra-Orthodox city of Beitar Illit. The store recently introduced two men-only and two women-only cash counters. According to a shopper, The buyers are pretty indifferent about it. He said, The men’s counters usually have male cashiers and the women’s counters have female cashiers.

Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik is known for his essay, “The Lonely Man of Faith.” The article was published in 1965 in the Orthodox journal Tradition and then as a book with an introduction by Professor David Shatz.  Recently the Koren-Maggid publishers have reissued the essay with a new introduction by Rabbi Reuven Ziegler.

J.J. Goldberg, editor-at-large of The Forward, recently wrote an article refering to the “Jewish Techs” blog post about the Hanukkah (חנוכה) spelling confusion on The Jewish Week‘s website (“How Do You Spell Hanukkah?”). Goldberg asserts that the blog started off with “an incorrect premise” and then look for an answer “in the wrong place” and have lead readers on “a bit of a goose chase.”

then finally, a video that was taken in August 2008, Beijing Olympics in which a reporter took the streets and ask people on the streets by Houhai Lake on “What do Beijingers think of the Jews?”

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