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View from Central Park

Tipping point

UNFORTUNATELY this past week’s mikveh scandal involving the accused Rabbi Barry Freundel is another in a chain of scandals that has been creeping upon the Orthodox Jewish community, painfully with all too much frequency. Sadly, I know that other denominations in Judaism are riddled with their own share of scandals. Being Orthodox, though, I am more familiar with and — for better or for worse — feel more affected when the scandals are from within the Orthodox community.

The Freundel scandal needs to be the tipping point in the Orthodox community. It is time to create a paradigm shift in rabbinic leadership.

Many of the scandals, including this one, are generated by aberrations. Perverts, disturbed personalities or criminals masquerading as authoritative rabbis ruin it for the rest of all the wonderful and devoted rabbis out there. Ruin it, rationally or not, as in breaching the congregant-rabbi relationship, perhaps irreparably.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 October 2014 12:31 )

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Conservative Lens

The media are much scarier than Ebola

WHY do some things scare people more than others? One reason is that people engage in a rational assessment of risk and conclude the appropriate level of fear. For example, people feel free to walk alone at midnight in Times Square but not in Central Park because they have made a rational assessment: Times Square, which at midnight is almost as bright as day and filled with people — usually tourists — is safer than Central Park. A second reason is that emotions rather than reason cause peo...
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Liberal Lens

Big Brother is here...literally

Why did Bradley Cooper and Jessica Alba fail to record a tip when they paid their cabbies during New York City taxi rides back in 2013? Why was Cooper near a Mediterranean restaurant in Greenwich Village? Why was Alba at a ritzy hotel in Soho? We don’t know the answers, but we do know exactly when and where the movie stars were going. And we know all of this not from some special government sting operation but from publicly available data about millions of people’s movements throughout New ...
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View from Central Park

Zuckerbergs...role models

What a refreshing change. Usually when I am checking email at my Yahoo address (I know, I’m old school), there are news stories highlighted, one more ridiculous than the next. Oftentimes they’re about celebrities’ ostentatious displays of wealth and excess, political pushing, or just random irrelevant information. This time the title of an article finally made me succumb to clicking on a Yahoo story. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife have donated $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control...
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Liberal Lens

Why isn’t economic inequality a bigger issue?

IF critics of income inequality are wondering why the growing gap between rich and poor hasn’t been a more potent political issue in the upcoming elections, a new study offers some answers: Americans grossly underestimate this inequality. That’s one of the key findings of a survey showing the gap between CEO and average worker pay in America is more than 10 times larger than the typical American perceives. In the report, Harvard University and Chulalongkorn University researchers analyzed ...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

AMIT to launch matriculation program in Israel with $6 million endowment

Marcy Oster The grant from the estate of the late board member Ellen Koplow is the largest single gift in the religious Zionist group’s 90-year history, AMIT said. ... [Link]

Sweden recognizes Palestine, following up on new prime minister’s vow

Marcy Oster Its foreign minister said the country’s traditionally close ties with Israel “are now complemented by an equal relationship to the other party.” ... [Link]

Museum turns Nazi-looted painting to wall to raise money for restitution

Marcy Oster The Wiesbaden Museum has hung the 19th century painting backwards, in a bid to raise public awareness and also the $118,000 it needs to buy the painting from its rightful heirs, ... [Link]

Israel Police kill suspected gunman in shooting of Temple Mount activist

Marcy Oster The suspect, identified as an operative for the Islamic Jihad terror group, was killed at his eastern Jerusalem home in a shootout. ... [Link]

Israel closes Temple Mount to Muslims, Jews after attempted assassination

Marcy Oster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the closure of the holy site hours after Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick was shot in Jerusalem a “declaration of war.” ... [Link]

Israeli, U.S. national security advisers meeting amid tensions

Ron Kampeas The announcement of the meeting came as tension continued to simmer over an anonymous Obama administration’s official personal attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ... [Link]

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai giving $50K to Gaza school reconstruction

Anthony Weiss The Pakistani teen will donate money from winning the World Children’s Prize to a U.N. agency’s effort to repair schools damaged by this summer’s fighting in Gaza. ... [Link]

Presidents Conference wants Netanyahu attacker ‘held to account’

Ron Kampeas The White House condemnation of the anonymous U.S. official who slurred Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu closes the matter, the Anti-Defamation League said. ... [Link]

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