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‘Partnership minyans’ grow, as does the controversy

NEW YORK — If it wasn’t clear before, it should be abundantly clear now: The Orthodox establishment will not sanction so-called partnership minyans, and it’s willing to go to the mat to fight them.

In recent weeks, a flurry of articles by leading Orthodox rabbis and scholars have taken aim at the phenomenon of partnership minyans, which feature traditional Orthodox liturgy and mechitzah dividers separating the sexes but allow women to read from the Torah and lead certain parts of the service.

Last week came news of a penalty for a rabbinical school student who had attended one such minyan: The New York Jewish Week reported that Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, known as RIETS, had threatened to withhold rabbinic ordination from a young man who had hosted a partnership minyan in his home.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 March 2014 13:43 )

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Features

The chasidic female terrorism expert

The chasidic female terrorism expertNEW YORK — When a 16-year-old Lubavitcher named Ari Halberstam was gunned down on the Brooklyn Bridge on March 1, 1994 by a Lebanese livery cab driver, the killing seemed to be a cut-and-dried case. The shooter, Rashid Baz, was captured the following day and confessed to police. After a trial several months later, he was sentenced to 141 years in prison. But a murder conviction was not enough for Ari’s mother, Devorah Halberstam. She saw a terrorist conspiracy behind the shooting and criti...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 February 2014 13:03 )

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Features

The unexpected rabbinate of Susan Miller Rheins

The unexpected rabbinate of Susan Miller RheinsRabbi Susan Miller Rheins lifts a heavy chair and sets it down in front of Temple Sinai’s Ark. In contrast to the animated offices and populated hallways, the sanctuary is as subdued as her attire. For a few moments, Rheins’ initial reserve blends into the surroundings. Her voice is so soft she’s asked to speak louder. Then an unexpected question unleashes the candor lurking in her eyes. On Aug. 6, 1990, the New York Times published the wedding announcement of Rabbi Susan Lynn Miller and...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 February 2014 15:07 )

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Features

Death Café

Death CaféTo philosophize is nothing else but to prepare for death. — Cicero On a warm winter afternoon, strangers slowly enter Feldman Mortuary. Led into an adjoining room, they are encouraged to sample fresh coffee, assorted teas and an exquisite cake. There is no funeral at the mortuary today — but death is not taking a holiday. In fact, death is on everyone’s mind. Welcome to the Death Café, a global, grassroots conversation about our mortality that was founded by the UK’s John Underwood...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 February 2014 14:59 )

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Features

Lower tuition for first-time campers

Lower tuition for first-time campersNEW YORK — Think Expedia or Hotels.com or countless other vacation discount finders online, but instead to connect kids to Jewish camps. The Foundation for Jewish Camp announced this week that it is piloting a new program this summer offering first-time campers from middle- and lower-income families camp sessions at prices that are 40-80% below the camps’ standard rates. Called BunkConnect, the program, in partnership with the Center for Entrepreneurial Jewish Philanthropy, will make avail...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 February 2014 14:30 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Police: Murdered Florida State prof Dan Markel was target

Marcy Oster Dan Markel, the Florida State University law professor who was murdered in his home, was shot in the head by someone who wanted him dead, police said. ... [Link]

Three IDF soldiers killed in Gaza home explosion

Marcy Oster Three Israeli soldiers were killed in a Gaza house rigged with explosives. ... [Link]

Brooklyn man must pay $522,000 in Israeli charities scam

Julie Wiener A Brooklyn man who pleaded guilty to felony tax fraud in an Israeli charities scam was ordered to pay more than a half-million dollars in a civil suit. ... [Link]

The Israel-Hamas war through haredi Orthodox eyes

Miriam Moster Was a gay pride parade to blame for the kidnapping of three Israeli teens? Can modest garb and ice cream save civilian lives? ... [Link]

FAA extends Ben Gurion Airport ban another 24 hours

Ron Kampeas The Federal Aviation Administration extended for another day its ban on flights to Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv. ... [Link]

Survey: Half of U.K. Jews not overly concerned by rising anti-Semitism

Julie Wiener Nearly 70 percent of Jews in the United Kingdom believe anti-Semitism is on the rise, a new survey found, but half of the respondents are not overly concerned. ... [Link]

Elsewhere: Jon Stewart and Gaza, Hamas cementing hatred, Europe’s double standard

Julie Wiener JTA rounds up noteworthy items from the Web. ... [Link]

Military airfield lands as alternative to banned Ben Gurion

Marcy Oster Foreign airlines banned from using Ben Gurion Airport will be able to use a military airfield in southern Israel as an alternative, Israel’s transportation minister said. ... [Link]

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