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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

Netanyahu meets with House Armed Services members

Ron Kampeas Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likened Hamas to radical Islamists in Iraq and Syria in a meeting with members of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee. ... [Link]

Sinai terror group beheads four accused of spying for Israel

Marcy Oster Four Egyptian men were beheaded by a Sinai-based terror group for allegedly spying for Israel. ... [Link]

Holocaust memorial erected in Polish Jewish cemetery

Marcy Oster A Holocaust memorial was erected in the Jewish cemetery in Serock, Poland. ... [Link]

Wishing Joan Rivers a speedy recovery

Julie Wiener Comedian Joan Rivers is in the hospital after going into cardiac arrest. ... [Link]

Joan Rivers hospitalized, critical but stable

Ron Kampeas Joan Rivers is in critical condition, reportedly after stopping breathing during throat surgery. ... [Link]

Elsewhere: Israel’s Burning Man fest, Tinder’s Jewish founders, Gaza border fears

Talia Lavin JTA sums up noteworthy items from the Web. ... [Link]

Football broadcaster suspended for Jewish joke

Marcy Oster San Diego Chargers radio analyst Hank Bauer was suspended from announcing the team’s final preseason game for using a Jewish stereotype in an exchange with his on-air colleague. ... [Link]

Body found in Jerusalem Forest reportedly confirmed that of missing N.J. yeshiva student

Marcy Oster Israel Police reportedly confirmed that a dead body found in Ein Kerem near the Jerusalem Forest is that of Aaron Sofer, a yeshiva student from New Jersey who went missing in the area a week ago. ... [Link]

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