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On same sex marriage, NY Jewish groups are mixed

Following the decision by the New York State government to legalize gay marriage, Jewish groups take a range of stances.

Jewish groups came down on both sides of the New York State government’s vote to approve same-sex marriages.

The Anti-Defamation League called the Marriage Equality Act “a significant step forward in the pursuit of individual liberty and freedom from …

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Joan Krizack wins Champion of Freedom Award for the Documenting Diversity Project

In 1998, Northeastern University announced that it had received a two-year federal grant to “identify, locate, secure, and make accessible the most important and at-risk historical records of Boston’s African American, Chinese, gay and lesbian, and Latino communities.” Later that year, I met Joan Krizack, Northeastern’s University Archivist and Head of Special Collections, who …

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Why do we act? Lessons from the Freedom Rides

Fifty years ago, in May 1961, a small group of civil rights activists embarked on a journey that would change them and change America. Boarding buses headed south for what they termed a “Freedom Ride,” these young black and white activists challenged segregation by sitting together on the bus and in the waiting rooms of bus stations.

Though the Supreme Court had already declared …

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Over 60 Jewish groups condemn boycott movement

Over 60 Jewish organizations worldwide have issued a statement condemning the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement on college campuses.

The statement was published in the “BDS Cookbook,” an extensive resource for students and professionals to combat BDS through positive programming initiatives and coordinated reactive responses.

The statement asserts that academic, …

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Merkel honored by US Jewish group

The American Jewish Committee has honored German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her outspoken support fo r Israel and the Jewish people as a whole. The group’s executive director David Harris on Thursday presented Merkel with its Light unto the Nations Award at the chancellery in Berlin.

Harris says in a statement that “outspoken support for the Jewish people, the …

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History timeline of Jewish life in Poland

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge


Information about the Jews in Poland has began to be publicize in Polish chronicles


Warsaw Jews administered the Polish mint. Many coins had Hebrew inscriptions.


Jews were granted freedom to have their own land in Galicia.


The General Charter of Jewish Liberties known as the Statute of Kalisz was issued by the Duke of …

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History Timeline of Jewish People in America

History Timeline of Jewish People in America

Click to Enlarge

1630 Holland captures Pernambuco, Brazil from the Portuguese and invites Jewish settlement. A significant Jewish community develops in Recife.  (Recife is the 4 th largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 4,136,506 inhabitants.

1649 Solomon Franco was a merchant, who was granted a weekly stipend by the Puritan authorities on the condition that he leave on …

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The Long Road to Freedom

Avner Gold

Publisher: Artscroll

In a remote fortress prison in the mountains of northern Spain, a young prisoner named Sebastian Dominguez languishes, waiting for the Inquisition to decide his fate. His father has been burned at the stake, but the rest of the family has escaped to Paris. Will he ever see them again?

The Long Road to Freedom tells the story of the Dominguez family’s …

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The Jews and Their Future: A Conversation on Judaism and Jewish Identities

Esther Benbassa and Jean-Christophe Attias pose a number of controversial questions that challenge prevailing myths and attitudes about Judaism, upsetting conformist discourses and received ideas. What if the Jews were not the “descendants” of the Hebrews? What if the Jewish Book was more the Talmud than the Bible? What if medieval judeophobia could not be identified with modern …

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Inviting God In: Celebrating the Soul-Meaning of the Jewish Holy Days

Rabbi David Aaron

Publisher: Trumpeter

This warm, inspiring look at the Jewish holidays—by one of the most dynamic and accessible teachers of Jewish thought today—shows us how each holy day empowers us to recognize God’s loving presence in our life everyday.

There are many books that discuss how to celebrate the holidays; Inviting God In explains why we should celebrate. Using …

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The Woman Who Laughed at God: The Untold History of Jewish People

Johnathon Kirsch

Publisher: Penguin

Who is a Jew? In this colorful, eye-opening work, bestselling author and lecturer Jonathan Kirsch takes us on a three-thousand-year tour of Jewish identity and diversity and offers answers to this complex and difficult question. Kirsch reveals that Judaism has never been a religion of strict and narrow orthodoxy. For every accepted tradition in Jewish …

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Eyewitness to Jewish History

Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Throughout history, Judaism and Jewish culture have enriched the entire world with revolutionary conceptions of God, justice, freedom, learning, and, indeed, the very meaning of history. Eyewitness to Jewish History brings you face-to-face with the people, places, and events that have shaped and been shaped by the Jewish experience, …

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The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Jewish Philosophy

The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Jewish Philosophy

Oliver Leaman (editor), Daniel H. Frank (editor)

Publisher: Cambridge University

Influenced originally by Islamic theological speculation, classical philosophers and Christian Scholasticism of the Middle Ages, Jewish thinkers living in Islamic and Christian lands philosophized about Judaism from the ninth to fifteenth centuries. They reflected on the nature of language about God, the …

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A Journey Towards Freedom: A Haggadah for Women Who have Experienced Domestic Violence

A Journey Towards Freedom: A Haggadah for Women Who have Experienced Domestic Violence

Rabbi Lisa Gelber

Publisher: FaithTrust Institute

Journey Towards Freedom transforms the traditional Passover Seder into a special service that addresses the oppression and liberation of women journeying from abuse to safety. An ideal resource for congregations, community groups and domestic violence organizations, and as a supplement to any Passover Haggadah.

From the Author:

Shhh! …

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Gates of Freedom Haggadah

Chaim Stern, Andrea Meyer (illustrator)

Publisher: Behrman House

Rabbi Stern, the master of modern Jewish liturgy, offers the Passover seder that runs itself in this revision of his best-selling classic, Gates of Freedom.

The text is clearly marked so that families with young children can shorten the service, while those who want to deepen their seder experience can enhance it with both …

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Al Sharpton’s Apology As a Lesson in Repentance for the Jewish High Holidays

Last week about 20 rabbis from the Los Angeles area participated in a High Holiday sermon writing workshop called “Punching Up Your Holiday Sermons.” These pre-Rosh Hashanah sermon workshops for rabbis are nothing new, but this workshop had a twist. It paired the rabbis with Hollywood screenwriters who helped them come up with more engaging sermons.

It’s possible, however, that Rev. …

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Jewish Stars over Hollywood

Long ago Jewish Hollywood moguls decided that they can make more money if the viewing public sees the films as a christian. The fact is they wanted to blend in the Gentile community.

Thus a lot of Hollywood actors and actresses changed the names to sound more christian. Samuel Goldfish to Samuel Goldwyn and insisted that he was a gentile until his death, it was only known that he was Jewish …

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Relative of David Ben-Gurion becomes 2011 Jewish Idol

Ramat Hasharon’s central square was packed with local families, seniors and music enthusiasts as they geared up for the 2011 Hallelujah song competition on Thursday night.

Hallelujah, which has been on a 17-year hiatus, returned with a bang as 12 finalists took to the stage with the hope of becoming the next Jewish idol. Thirty contestants from around the world spent three weeks …

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Is Steve Jobs Jewish?

No, Steve Jobs is not a Jew.

The brilliant visionary genius, who was Apple CEO until resigning today, practices Buddhism. He was born to Catholic and Muslim biological parents, Joanne Carole Schieble and Abdulfattah John Jandali, and was adopted and brought up by Christian parents, Paul and Clara Jobs, according to sources.

Jobs was appointed chairman of the board at Apple today. He …

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‘Jewish Indiana Jones’ charged in New York Torah scandal

A Jewish charity co-founder who claimed he crisscrossed the globe rescuing Torahs as a “Jewish Indiana Jones” surrendered Wednesday to face mail and wire fraud charges after authorities said he duped benefactors by fabricating dramatic stories about sometimes dangerous trips, including to concentration camp sites in Poland and Germany.

Menachem Youlus, who owns the Jewish Bookstore …

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Gadolatry in Orthodox Jewish discourse

I first heard the term “gadolatry” attributed to the late professor Arthur Hertzberg. A portmanteau of “gadol” and “idolatry,” the word “gadolatry” refers to a perceived phenomenon in Orthodox Judaism where select rabbinic leaders are treated with a degree of deference or reverence, bordering on worshipping the person of the rabbi himself.

That Dr. Hertzberg would …

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Jewish and black South African teens cycle to Durban for charity

Jewish and black South African teens have come together for a joint, 400-mile bike ride to Durban under the auspices of the Cycalive outreach program, JTA reported on Monday.

Cycalive is an annual initiative that brings youth of different backgrounds together to raise funds for educational programs in need.

This year’s group of cyclists included 40 high school students from …

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Who will be Israel’s next Jewish idol?

The Hallelujah competition, a singing contest for Jewish youth from throughout the world, will be holding its final event on Thursday in which a winner will be selected.

The finalists have been chosen from a group of 30 young adults and 14,000 dollars will be split between the three top winners. Each contestant will be singing in Hebrew, and the team of judges will be headed by veteran …

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Researching Jewish Sports

Writing a book about a Jewish basketball team that had not played a meaningful game in nearly seventy years posed some challenges. The Philadelphia SPHAS were a great basketball team, but by the end of World War II, their best days were behind them. They were no longer significant players in the basketball world. So, I asked myself some questions. How do you find information about a team …

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U.S. Jewish leaders: Republican candidate Rick Perry’s Bernanke outburst not anti-Semitic

American Jewish leaders are expressing concern over declarations by Republican presidential candidates that emphasize the candidates’ Christian faith and their devotion to religious values. Jewish leaders firmly reject suggestions, however, that an attack by candidate Rick Perry, the Texas governor, on Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke during a campaign speech in Iowa earlier this …

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Is David Letterman Jewish?

No, CBS Late Show host comedian David Letterman is not a Jew.

When he was young his mother, who is of German descent, worked as a church secretary for the Second Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis.

Letterman is not a particularly religious man. He was married in March 2009 in a civil courthouse ceremony in Choteau, Montana.

Read More: @ tvzee.blogspot.com …

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Obama hires former NJDC chief in bid to secure Jewish votes

U.S. President Barack Obama has selected former National Jewish Democratic Council chief Ira Forman as its Jewish outreach director in a bid to secure Jewish votes for his re-election campaign, a JTA report said Wednesday.

“I am truly honored to be able to work toward President Obama’s re-election,” Forman said in a statement. “This President deserves the backing of our …

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Israel - Study: Judges ‘Looking Down’ on Jewish Law

According to a new study by Dr. Aviad Hacohen, Dean of the Shaarei Mishpat College, despite the talk by officials in Israel’s judicial system about the importance of Jewish law and its integration into the Israeli legal system, in practice no use is made of it and those who use it are looked down upon.

Justice Minister Yaakov Ne’eman has called in the past to incorporate mishpat …

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Israel putting money on a relationship between science and Jewish law

The Science and Technology Ministry is this year investing NIS 1.2 million in research and education on the relationship between science and halakha (Jewish religious law). Half the sum will be allocated to promoting enrichment courses on the subject, and the rest will be used to fund applied research on scientific and technological solutions to problems posed by halakha.

The ministry …

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Is Ralph Branca Jewish?

Yes the Brooklyn Dodger pitcher who achieved notoriety for throwing the home run pitch to Bobby Thomson in a 1951 playoff game against the New York Giants, Ralph Branca is a Jew – technically according to Jewish law – because his mother was born a Jew.

Wikipedia recalls that, “Branca entered the game in the ninth inning and surrendered a walk-off home run known as ‘The Shot …

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