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Still small, and iconic, early Somerville chavurah reshaped American liberal Judaism

Still small, and iconic, early Somerville chavurah reshaped American liberal Judaism

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — To certain first-time visitors to Havurat Shalom, the congregation’s prayer room may look remarkably familiar.

From the macrame Jewish star adorning the ark and the Middle Eastern-style lamp serving as a ner tamid to the pillows on a bare floor and the sparely decorated walls, the room looks exactly as it does in a photograph from The Jewish Catalog, the do-it-yourself Judaism guidebook published in 1973 that brought the then five-year-old Havurat Shalom a measure of fame.

At the time, the image suggested an innovative vision of Judaism, stripped of pretense and focused on cultivating a tight-knit sense of community and direct devotional experience. Today, the room looks as if it had been preserved in amber.

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Features

Pro-Israel Muslims seek peaceful alternative to radical Islam

Pro-Israel Muslims seek peaceful alternative to radical IslamJEWS around the world were inspired last month when Arab-Israeli teenager Mohammad Zoabi cloaked himself in an Israeli flag and spoke into a bedroom video camera, “I am an Israeli and will remain an Israeli. Israel will remain a Jewish and a democratic country.” What few realized is that within days after the video went viral, Israeli police arrested three men in his own family for plotting to cause him harm in retaliation for the piece. His cousin, Arab Knesset member Hanin Zoabi, called h...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 July 2014 14:52 )

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Features

Dutch Christians defend Israel

Dutch Christians defend IsraelAMSTERDAM — Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands Haim Divon nodded approvingly as he surveyed the small army of 50 men and women fighting for Israel. Around a conference table in an office in the Amsterdam suburb of Buitenveldert, 30 volunteers were writing and collecting pro-Israel materials and transferring them to an editor who posted them on social networks. Nearby, the graphics department churned out glossy logos and catchy memes that compared weather forecasts from London — partly c...
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Features

Diary from former shaliach, Shaul Amir

Diary from former shaliach, Shaul Amir‘The fighting could have been over by now if we would use the same tactics our enemies use’ July 18. Just came out of the secure room. The longest siren since the beginning. Three interceptions of the Iron Dome above us. Thinking of the absurdity of this round of violence. We started the ground offensive for humanitarian reasons. Yes, it sounds crazy but hear me out. We have the ability to flatten the Gaza Strip from the air (remember what happened to Dresden in the Second World War?), but...
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Features

The two sides of the (retired) Alan Dershowitz

The two sides of the (retired) Alan DershowitzCHILMARK, Mass. — Alan Dershowitz’s house is a bit of a mess. Most of the rooms in his Martha’s Vineyard home are cluttered with half-unpacked boxes filled with items from his Cambridge house, which he and his wife emptied recently and sold after he retired from his Harvard Law School professorship in June. Dershowitz himself wears a few days growth of gray beard with his black track pants and a faded blue T-shirt that says “Martha’s Vineyard” in English and in Hebrew letters, look...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Gross’ release, and changes in diplomatic ties, signals new day for Cuban Jews

Ron Kampeas The island nation’s Jewish organizations can be much more in the open with the historic deal that freed Alan Gross and reopened U.S. ties to Cuba. ... [Link]

Alan Gross credits Jewish efforts for his release from Cuba

Uriel Heilman The Jewish-American contractor offered special thanks to the Washington Jewish community. ... [Link]

Despite passionate reactions, EU ruling on Hamas is a small legal glitch

Cnaan Liphshiz Hamas is no longer on the EU terror list, but that’s more for procedural than ideological reasons. And it will likely be reinstated soon. ... [Link]

Dieudonne seeks accord with France’s Jewish community

Cnaan Liphshiz The French comedian, following years of punitive measures for inciting racial hatred against Jews, says he wants to meet with French Jewish leaders and “move forward.” ... [Link]

European Parliament passes resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood

Cnaan Liphshiz The nonbinding measure says recognition should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks with Israel. ... [Link]

Alan Gross released amid U.S.-Cuba rapprochement

Ron Kampeas The Obama administration insisted the agreement to release the Jewish-American contractor was technically separate from sweeping changes in policy toward the island nation, including a return to full ... [Link]

Australian commission to probe how Chabad handled abuse claims

Ron Kampeas Some of Australia’s most senior Orthodox rabbis have already been subpoenaed to supply documents ahead of the hearing starting Feb. 2 in Melbourne. ... [Link]

Kerry: Talk of U.N. statehood recognition for Palestinians ‘premature’

Ron Kampeas Palestinian officials said they hoped to advance a statehood recognition resolution this week through the Security Council. ... [Link]

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