Newsletter Issue # 27 April 25, 2012

Yisroel Amar has grown up looking for ways to reach and inspire more people, and at the age of 13 and gifted with an angelic voice he use it to channel Jewish teachings and uplift audience in South Florida. At eight years old his father would give him and his brothers pieces of the services to sing during Sabbath and people in his community would join in.

A 474-year-old painting plundered by the Nazis during World War Two was returned to the heirs of its Italian Jewish owner, ending a 15-year international effort in restoring the work to its rightful owners. Along with representatives from Interpol and the US Attorney’s office, US Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Susan McCormick outlined the events leading to the return of “Christ Carrying the Cross Dragged By A Rascal” by Italian artist Girolamo de’ Romani.

The Israel’s Masorti (Conservative) Movement have approved the ordination of homosexual rabbis, in a dramatic vote. The Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, affiliated with the movement, will admit gay and lesbian students for training as spiritual leaders in the coming school year. By doing this the Israeli Conservative Movement has joined the American branch of the movement, whose rabbinical seminaries have been admitting gay students for some years.

According to a study made by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry said that Israel sees a 6% drop in its workforce in 20 years because of the growing ultra Orthodox and Arab population shares. But according to attorney Yoav Laloum doesn’t believe that the predictions coming true. he said that the  The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry should increase employment opportunities for haredim rather than hiding behind gloomy statistics.

Sometimes tourists are directed towards the HP garage, which is marked with a plaque and gets photographed a lot. HP bought that garage, and the house it is attached to, decades ago, and preserves it. HP holds receptions in that old house and people cherish the honor of being close to two pioneers of the technology revolution. Some pioneers of the technology revolution are Jewish women. One of then is named Esther Wojcicki, aka “Woj” who served as Vice Chair on the Creative Commons Board of Directors, and is a pioneer in education and technology.

A lot of press about Rabbi Sharon Brous has been going around lately, since she became the first woman to crack the top 5 on the Newsweek America’s Top 50 Rabbis list. This is not the first recognition of Brous for her work building IKAR, a vital and exciting Jewish community in Los Angeles; for she’s already been recognized by the Forward, Jewish Women International, the Jewish Community Foundation of LA, and others, who herald her as a leader in reimagining Jewish life for the 21stcentury.

It has now been close to thirty years since women began studying for ordination in Conservative Judaism. Within the Conservative movement, women rabbis have become commonplace and it is no longer an issue for the majority of Conservative congregations. The most common questions I get from Orthodox Jews is how I can defend the Conservative movement’s decision to ordain women as rabbis. It was a very tense time at the Jewish Theological Seminary where students and faculty were split on the issue, and have debates concerning women’s ordination in the late 70s and early 80s.

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