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Shul Destroyed by Fire, Being Rebuilt

Get close enough to the building that used to house the Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont and you’ll get a whiff of its burnt-out interior, empty since an Oct. 14 fire ravaged the building. Things are finally looking up for the beleaguered temple, however. On Sunday, about 150 supporters and dignitaries turned out for the ground-breaking for [...]

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AllJewishLinks.com Newsletter Issue # 82 - June 26, 2013

Catherine Afarian calls herself a “love child of the ‘70s.” Her mother discovered that she was pregnant after she had broken off a relationship of less than a year. Afarian has never met her biological father, but her mother always said he came from a big Italian family. In late 2010, though, Afarian learned that a [...]

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Non-Congratulations to the New Non-Rabbis

Thirty years ago, in 1983 we were happy to start sending our women Jewish Studies major graduates at the University of Minnesota to train to become rabbis in the Reform movement. We told them to go out and become full head rabbis of synagogues, not assistants or educational directors. Some did. We were proud. This [...]

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N.Y. Yeshiva Graduates its First Class of Female Religious Leaders

Yeshivat Maharat, which trains Orthodox Jewish women to be religious leaders, held its first graduation ceremony on Sunday. The ceremony, in which Ruth Balinsky Friedman, Rachel Kohl Feingold and Abby Brown Schier graduated, was attended by some 500 people. The graduates are set to work for Orthodox synagogues and institutions. Maharat is a Hebrew acronym [...]

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Reb Leibel Bistritzky, Provider of Physical and Spiritual Sustenance

Rabbi Yehudah Leib (“Reb Leibel”) Bistritzky, 86, a prominent and much loved figure in the Chabad-Lubavitch community and beyond, passed away on May 13. He was more commonly known as “Reb Leibel.” Reb Leibel escaped Nazi Germany at the age of 12. He subsequently developed a special relationship with the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef [...]

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UK Jews Express Support for Local Muslims Following Attack

Synagogues and Jewish groups in London have offered support and solidarity after a suspected anti-Muslim attack at an Islamic community center in a northern suburb of the capital, The Jewish Chronicle reported. The Al-Rahma Islamic Center, which was home to the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association, was destroyed by fire, started in the early hours of Wednesday morning. [...]

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Elkin: The Jewish People Are Not Alone

Anti-Semitism is not just an Israeli or a Jewish problem, but is first and foremost a problem for any society in which it is allowed to manifest itself, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin said on Tuesday. Speaking at the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism which convened in Jerusalem, Elkin said that there should be a [...]

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OU Lends Hand to Oklahoma Aid Network

The Chabad Community Center of Southern Oklahoma, which is on the ground organizing relief efforts for the communities hit hard by last week’s devastating tornado, has received $15,000 in disaster-relief funds from the Orthodox Union. The funds were received just before the Jewish Sabbath, and are being distributed over the Memorial Day weekend and throughout [...]

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Turkey’s Jews Worship Quietly

As visitors heave open the thick, vault-like metal door to the Neve Shalom Synagogue on a discreet side street in the Galata neighborhood of European Istanbul, a skittish guard confronts them. Guests are shuttled through secure, windowless rooms to an X-ray machine and metal detector. Pockets are emptied and passports surrendered. The guard questions the [...]

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Divine Profiling? Exploring The “Chosen People” Doctrine

It’s The Jews Again! Jerusalem (SatireWire.com) Update – Jews, who’s troubled, 10,000-year term as G-d’s “Chosen people” finally expired last night, woke up this morning to find that they had once again been hand-picked by the Almighty. Synagogues across the globe declared a day of mourning. Asked if the descendants of Abraham shouldn’t be pleased [...]

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Holland Jews Welcome King with Prayer

Together with millions of Dutch people celebrating the coronation of Willem-Alexander as Holland’s new king on Tuesday, the nation’s Jews celebrated this historic day in their own way – with a special prayer and an ancient traditional blessing. The prayer, which has been distributed among the Jewish communities of Holland in recent days, states: “May [...]

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Imagine an Off The Derech Utopia

Imagine a Neo Hasidic community, where you can believe in evolution, the Big Bang and the FSM, you can play basketball, football and hockey, wear a t-shirt, jeans and Rashi-gatches, unlimited masturbation, loads of kishka, kugel and cholent, you can eat lobster on Yom Kipur and pizza on Pesach, you can have premarital relationships and [...]

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Egypt’s Jews Get New Leader

Egypt’s Jewish community has announced that it has elected the daughter of a well-known leftist and nationalist icon to protect its heritage and care for its dwindling, elderly membership. Magda Haroun, 60, told The Associated Press Tuesday she aimed to continue the work of her predecessor, Carmen Weinstein, who died Saturday at the age of [...]

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Global Anti-Semitism Rises by 30 Percent

Last year the world saw a “considerable escalation in anti-Semitic manifestations, particularly violent acts against Jews,” constituting a 30-percent increase over 2011, according to a Tel Aviv University study released on Sunday. The report, published by the university’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, said the escalation followed two years of decline. [...]

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Lack of Support Leaves Lithuanian Synagogues in State of Ruin

Lithuania’s wooden synagogues, the vestiges of a Jewish presence that was wiped out in the Holocaust, are falling into ruin from a lack of funding and support. Hidden behind a row of houses, the wooden synagogue in the eastern town of Alanta “looks more like a barn than a former house of worship,” according to [...]

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AllJewishLinks.com Newsletter Issue # 68 - February 21, 2013

Two women who exemplify the inner and outer beauty of the Jewish Queen Esther were honored during Chabad of Western Monmouth County’s 25th annual Jewish Women’s Day program. The annual event held in memory of Rebbitzen Chaya Mouska Schneerson OBM, was highlighted by Proclamations issued by Marlboro Township Mayor Jonathan Hornik and Manalapan Township Mayor [...]

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Ancient British Synagogue Begins Restoration

The restoration process of one of Britain’s oldest synagogues will begin in March, the BBC reported Monday. The roof of Exeter Synagogue, which celebrates its 250th anniversary this year, will be replaced in the project. The work will cost about $158,000 dollars and will include repairing one of the walls which has suffered from damp, [...]

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AllJewishLinks.com Newsletter Issue #67 - February 14, 2013

Hasidim have hoodies too. Though theirs are intended for winter Sabbaths. Many New Yorkers have wondered how Hasidic fashion changes with the seasons, given their seemingly year-round custom of having men wear three-piece dark suits and women calf-length skirts, long-sleeved blouses and thick stockings. Several observers have figured out that except for lighter fabrics Hasidic [...]

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European Rabbis: Hope Next Pope Will Fight Hate, Too

The European Rabbinical Council said Monday that it hoped that Pope Benedict XVI’s replacement would continue to fight anti-Semitism, as Benedict himself had continued from his predecessor. In the wake of Benedict’s announcement that he planned to resign at the end of the month, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, head of the group, said that Benedict had [...]

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The Rabba Revolution Continues

Three years ago this month, Rabba Sara Hurwitz made history in the Jewish world by becoming the first publicly ordained female rabbi in the Orthodox community. Since then, the 35-year-old mother of three has been working as Dean of Yeshivat Maharat, an institution dedicated to training women Orthodox clergy, as well as working as Rabba [...]

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Jewish Agency: Don’t Sugar-Coat Israel

American youth who learn about Israel, including the country’s problems, are more “motivated to engage in more Israel-based service,” according to a report released on Wednesday by the Jewish Agency in conjunction with the NGO Repair the World. The report, titled Serving a Complex Israel: A report on Israel-based Immersive Jewish Service-learning, “bucks the commonly [...]

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Soviet Roots of Modern Jewish Germany

Over the past three years, new immigration rules have sharply reduced the number of Jewish people immigrating to Germany. The door has been closed, but now 90% of Germany’s 220,000 Jews are immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Germany’s concerted effort to rebuild Jewish life over the last 20 years, essentially by importing it from [...]

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AllJewishLinks.com Newsletter Issue # 62 - January 9, 2013

A cache of 1,000-year-old documents written by the Jewish community in Afghanistan and unveiled in Jerusalem provides unprecedented insight into medieval Jewish community in central Asia. The collection was reportedly discovered by chance in a cave inhabited by foxes two years ago in northern Afghanistan. The dry climate of the cave preserved the papers, keeping [...]

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Manhattan Synagogue Faces Eviction

Manhattan’s 16th Street Synagogue is facing eviction this week, Tablet magazine has reported. According to the report, the National Council of Young Israel sold its headquarters on West 16th Street in Manhattan to a real estate developer about a decade ago with the hopes that the two synagogues occupying the first two floors would get [...]

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The Times v. the Orthodox Male Control Over the Non-Sacred Space at the Western Wall

The Times is helping to stir up anti-Orthodox political sentiment in Israel by focusing in a report on the denial of rights to women at the Western Wall. Talmudic Analysis In fact the area of prayer at the Wall is not a holy site in formal Judaism. It is outside the location of the ancient [...]

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Magnificent Old City Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue to be Restored

One of the most magnificent synagogues in the Old City, the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue, is to be restored by the Jerusalem Municipality. After the successful restoration of the Hurva Synagogue, the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem Ltd. (JQDC) has undertaken to rebuild the synagogue, [...]

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Major Prayer Rally to be Held in Moscow

A major prayer rally will be held Tuesday in Moscow, with thousands of Jews gathering to pray for the success of the IDF an the safety of all Israelis during Operation Pillar of Defense. The prayer family comes after a letter was issued by Russia’s Chief Rabbi, Berel Lazar, urging Jews in communities around the [...]

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New Program Teaches the Profession of a Community Rabbi

Would anyone think of seeing a doctor who did not undergo any practical training?  Would anyone use a lawyer who had studied in law school but did not receive any applied, hands-on education? The obvious answer to these questions is a resounding “No!” This is true because in the State of Israel today, like in [...]

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Berlin Shul Reopens, Reviving Community

How fitting it is that during Holocaust Education week, a Berlin synagogue damaged during Kristallnacht has just completed an extensive reconstruction, allowing it to reopen this past weekend, and revive the community’s Jewish spirit. The Ryke Street synagogue, Germany’s largest shul with seating for 1,200, re-opened its doors on November 2, almost 70 years after [...]

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In Wake of Sandy Disaster, Jewish Volunteers Step Up

Just before Shelly Fine went to sleep Tuesday night, he posted his contact information and an appeal seeking volunteers for the Hurricane Sandy relief effort on a popular Upper West Side blog. When the 63-year-old woke up the next morning, he had 163 responses. Together with other volunteers, Fine is helping to orchestrate a grassroots [...]

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