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“Jewish Women Call for Change”

On this date in 1972, a Jewish feminist study group, Ezrat Nashim (named for the women’s section of synagogue), submitted a manifesto to the Rabbinical Assembly, the rabbinic arm of the movement for Conservative Judaism, at the RA’s national convention. The document, entitled “Jewish Women Call for Change,” petitioned the Conservative movement to count women in […]

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Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg

Arthur Hertzberg, a champion of Jewish liberalism and independent thought who led the American Jewish Congress, stoked Jewish support for the civil rights movement, called for Palestinian statehood immediately after the 1967 Six-Day War, helped to found Peace Now, and wrote, edited, or collaborated on thirteen books, many of them about American Jewish history and […]

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American Jews Line Up Against the Trump Ban

by Ron Skolnik WITH NOT MUCH to smile about since Inauguration Day, it has been heartening to see the nearly undivided reaction of the American Jewish community to Donald Trump’s January 27 Executive Order (EO) on immigration and refugee admission – widely considered to constitute a Muslim ban. With one or two glaring exceptions — […]

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November 11: Rabbi Louis Ginzberg

Lithuanian-born Louis Ginzberg, who trained two generations of Conservative rabbis at the Jewish Theological Seminary and produced the enormously erudite and entertaining seven-volume collection of midrashic and aggadic materials from the Talmud, The Legends of the Jews, died just short of his 80th birthday on this date in 1953. A descendant of the Gaon of […]

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A Symposium on the Jewish Future

AT ONE OF THE SITES WHERE THAT FUTURE WAS CREATED by Elliot B. Gertel THIS IS THE THIRD and (at least for now) final installment in a series I’ve done about noteworthy discussions of Jewish religion and culture found on internet videos of valuable symposia. The first installment was a look at milestones at New […]

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July 17: Rabbi Louis Jacobs

Louis Jacobs, the founder of Conservative Judaism (Masorti or “traditional” Judaism) in the United Kingdom and author of over fifty Judaic books, was born in Manchester on this date in 1920. Ordained as an Orthodox rabbi, Jacobs was haunted by the dissonance between Biblical scholarship and Orthodox faith in the Torah text and spent much […]

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December 7: The Father of Conservative Judaism

Solomon Schechter, the Jewish scholar and educator who served as architect of the Conservative denomination of Judaism, was born to a Lubavitcher family in Romania on this date in 1847. Schechter became internationally known in 1896 for discovering and bringing to London more than 100,000 pages of rare manuscripts from the Cairo genizah. Invited from […]

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Netanyahu’s New Clothes

The Emperor is Naked. Will American Jews Say So? by Ron Skolnik From the Summer 2015 issue of Jewish Currents HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN’S 19th-century classic, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” tells of a pair of swindlers who claim to be able to weave beautiful garments that are invisible to anyone who is exceptionally stupid or unfit […]

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