Newsletter Issue # 32 – May 30, 2012

Two bronze sculptures created by artist Sigalit Landau have been stolen from the yard of an art collector in Herzliya. The two statues, “Vomitus-Narcisus,” created in 2007, and “Stranded on a Watermelon in the Dead Sea,” from 2009, were both placed in the collector’s yard during the past year. Each of the sculptures, which were of feminine figures, is estimated to be worth $100,000.

An international association of Conservative rabbis, announced during its annual conference in Atlanta that it would be advising all Conservative and Masorti Jewish groups to patronize hotels that make their Torah scrolls available for them to use. The association said that Conservative groups frequently encounter difficulties when trying to use the Torah scrolls of several  hotels they are staying in for mixed-gender, egalitarian services, which members of this stream conduct.

300 community members and guests turned out for a special Torah dedication ceremony, parade and family fun fair at Chabad in Greensboro, NC. The ceremony marked the completion of a brand new Torah scroll. The new scroll is now housed at shul at the Chabad center, run by Rabbi Yosef and Hindy Plotkin. “The Torah is a living guide for that instills our lives with life-giving values and an abiding connection with something greater, a power that reaches beyond the vicissitudes of life,” explains Rabbi Plotkin.

Israeli archaeologists have discovered a rare trove of 3,000-year-old jewelry, near the ancient city of Megiddo,where the New Testament predicts the final battle of Armageddon. Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University, who co-directed the dig, said that the find offers a rare glimpse into ancient Canaanite high society.  Archaeologists who unearthed a jug during excavations at the site in 2010 left it in a laboratory while they waited for a molecular analysis of what was inside. When they were finally able to clean it, pieces of gold jewelry – a ring, earrings, and beads – dating to around 1,100 BC poured out

The Amigo Shabbat Scooter is a clever invention. Manufactured by a Michigan company, their kosher scooters help Jews keep faith and gets disabled Orthodox followers to synagogue. Michael Balkin observes traditional Jewish practices, but walking to services has been difficult for the past 20 years and a neurological disorder has made walking more than a few steps nearly impossible. But in recent years, things have improved for Balkin, thanks to a motorized and perfectly kosher scooter.

This month marks 40 years since the ordination of the first woman rabbi in America and the Reform Movement is doing some celebrating. Rabbi Sally Priesand and Rabbi/Cantor Angela Buchdahl, the first Asian-American woman rabbi in US history, were featured speakers at the New York Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s ordination ceremony.

If some woman writes to the media from Yemen telling how upset she is at the media’s portrayal of the state of Muslim women and how wonderful this Muslim lifestyle is and how she can leave whenever she wants and how beautiful the Koran’s view of women is. However she just fails to mention that she’s an educated American with enough resources and means and outside ties to leave whenever she wants, and the country really has no way of stopping her because shes an American citizen?

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