culture/multiculturalism · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · race/racism · religion

Jews in the News Roundup

I don’t necessarily agree with all of these articles but they definitely caught my eye this past week. 

“Gay vs. Orthodox: A Deadly Turn in Israel’s Culture War? (Time)

This article points the finger at the ultra-Orthodox segment in Israel for the attack on a local gay youth club.

“The Intermarriage Dividend”

This article uses statistics to show that intermarriage really isn’t a “disaster.” You be the judge.

“The ‘Who is a Jew’ saga, UK version (JPost)”

Is Judaism a race or a religion? The UK brawl over “Who is a Jew” continues.

“Catholics recall Jewish ancestry at Denver conference” (Denver Post)”

Some Catholics are embracing their Jewish heritage while others are finding it problematic.

“’You can’t allow the nation to be divided’-An Interview with Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar” (Jewish Press)”

An interview with the man who decided Israel doesn’t accept diaspora Orthodox conversions ‘carte blanche.’

“A Cultural Struggle Where Hate is the Enemy” (New Jersey Jewish News)

The haredi (ultra-Orthodox) can’t catch a break in the news this week. Here’s more fuel to that fire.

“Russian Jews defy Israeli rabbi’s ban on marriage” (The National)

A symbolic public wedding ceremony is held by Russian couple who cannot legally marry in Israel.

“The Remarkable Journey from Intermarried to Torah-True Home” (5 Towns Jewish Times)

Okay, the story’s a little cheesy but it defies the old fairytale about non-Jewish women stealing “our Jewish men.” Here’s another tale of a non-Jewish woman dragging her Jewish husband (kicking and screaming) back to Judaism.

“Black Like Me” (Haaretz)

The Ethiopian woman, whose conversion was annulled amidst a trial that pitted her against the yeshiva student who ran her over in a parking lot, finally speaks out.

“Restoring their heritage” (OA Online)

Controversy arises over “Certificate of Return” being issued to Anusim without a conversion process.

“ACLU Challengees Georgia’s Kosher Laws” (Washington Post)

The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging a Georgia law that mandates all foods sold as kosher adhere to Orthodox religious rules and requirements.

“The Long Shadow of Scandal: Now and Then” (The Forward)

Historian Jonathan D. Sarna looks back at a history of Jews making headlines for criminal behavior.

“U.K.’s Jewish-School Ruling: Who Decides Who Is a Jew?” (Time)

Does anyone else feel like Time magazine reports Jewish news, like, two months too late? Did they really just hear about this case? Anyway, this article is very to the point.

“First Hispanic? Just for Yourself” (Jewish Week)

Yes, those crazy Jews are at it again trying to prove that Benjamin Cardozo was Hispanic and therefore the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. How about letting the Hispanic community decide who is a part of the club and who isn’t? After all, if the article preceding this is any prove Jews don’t like it very much when others try to decide who is Jewish for them!

6 thoughts on “Jews in the News Roundup

  1. I have to laugh. Rabbi Amar says, “This gives me no rest, as it is forbidden to tear this nation in half. Having various political parties who disagree on ideology is not threatening – that can occur in the best of families – but once you stop marrying each other, that's a real split and it is forbidden that this should occur.”

    If so, then why is he making conversion more strict???!!! Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Berkovits, when faced with precisely this same concern, the unity of the Jewish people, said that therefore, we must follow the most lenient conversion standards allowed by the Shulhan Arukh, in order that as many people as possible meet thta standard. With halakhic analysis very similar to that of Rabbi Benzion Uziel (whose approach is famously championed by Rabbi Marc Angel), Rabbi Berkovits proposed that Orthodox rabbis oversee all non-Orthodox conversions, so that the non-Orthodox conversions, and their non-observant converts, would nevertheless be ritually Jewish from an Orthodox perspective.

    I don't understand this. Rabbi Amar says the Jewish people must be unified, that we must not divide ourselves into sects that cannot intermarry, and yet he uses this precisely to justify that which he criticizes!

    Hypocrisy.

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  2. oh — just got back from some R&R in NYC, and decided to treat myself to a Bway play — for the first time in 10 years. so I saw “In the Heights”. Que Rico! it was fabuloso!!! thought of you.

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  3. I don't think it is fair to call Rav Amar a hypocrite. He is trying to navigate a very difficult position mediating between some of the extreme non compromising elements. If not for his efforts things would be much much worse. He is one of the few people who sincerely does care about the Jewish people. You don't have to agree with everything he does but we should think very carefully before choosing targets.

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