|Robbery||Tuesday, Aug 26 2008. 08:30 PM.||PICKFORD AND SHERBOURNE LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Theft||Monday, Aug 25 2008. 11:30 PM.||GUTHRIE AV AND CHARITON ST LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Robbery||Tuesday, Aug 26 2008. 01:45 PM.||BURNSIDE AND PICO LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Theft||Tuesday, Aug 26 2008. 01:00 AM.||84XX W 4TH ST LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Theft||Monday, Aug 25 2008. 10:30 PM.||3XX S ALMONT DR LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Theft||Tuesday, Aug 26 2008. 10:15 PM.||63XX W 3RD ST LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Robbery||Saturday, Aug 23 2008. 09:00 PM.||85XX SATURN ST LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Theft||Friday, Aug 22 2008. 02:00 AM.||15XX HI POINT ST LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Theft||Saturday, Aug 23 2008. 01:00 AM.||HI POINT AND SATURN LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Theft||Saturday, Aug 23 2008. 07:00 PM.||SHENANDOAH AND CADILLAC LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Theft||Saturday, Aug 23 2008. 12:00 PM.||56XX VENICE BL LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Burglary||Friday, Aug 22 2008. 08:00 AM.||11XX HAUSER BL LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Burglary||Friday, Aug 22 2008. 05:30 PM.||98XX VIDOR DR LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Burglary||Friday, Aug 22 2008. 01:30 PM.||10XX HAUSER BL LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Assault||Friday, Aug 22 2008. 03:50 PM.||56XX BLACKWELDER ST LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Robbery||Sunday, Aug 24 2008. 01:00 AM.||BURNSIDE AND ADAMS LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Robbery||Friday, Aug 22 2008. 11:40 PM.||92XX VENICE BL LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Theft||Saturday, Aug 23 2008. 03:30 PM.||63XX W 3RD ST LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Theft||Friday, Aug 22 2008. 07:00 PM.||REGENT AND WATSEKA LOS ANGELES||View details|
I had a great experience at Delice Bistro and my friend the foodie and I agreed it was the best kosher restaurant in town.
Ellia Kassoff (CEO of Strategic Software Resources, Inc.) had a different experience.
Hi, I watched your video of Delice Bistro and I have to say, I did not have the same experience. Here is my post:
This place was awful!!! I’m kosher, and a friend recommend I try it out for my dad’s birthday. I was so excited to try a French, Kosher restaurant and it went downhill from there. We had a new server who was nice but didn’t give the greatest service. We all ordered and I asked for the most expensive dish which was the beef rib eye. It sounded so good. I asked the server to make it medium well but not dry. Next, we began to wait and wait…the people next to us who came in 20 minutes after us got their food but we had to wait 30 min. for ours! When I got my plate, the steak was small, burned, dry and fatty. I cut into it and it was sooo dry and fatty. I polity let the waitress know I was unhappy and she said there was nothing she could do. That was interesting..Next, when she came to my table, I gave her the plate, uneaten and was never asked if I wanted anything else. After my dad and his wife, ate the over-priced salad, and entree, the manager came over to see how things were. I mentioned the problem and he looked puzzled, like I was expecting.. I don’t know… food? Since the waitress just took the dish, I thought they were re-making the steak but nope..He then asked if I wanted anything else and I said it was too late and no one had asked till now. So, you would now think when the check comes, the steak would be off the bill? Nope! The steak was still there and the manager said he was told by the owner that it could not be taken off, since I ordered it well done, which I never did. Here is the REAL kick; I went to speak to the owner; (who never came over to discuss the problem) and told him the problem. He then told me it was my fault for ordering the steak well-done and he instructs his wait staff never to recommend well-done because it come out dry. I was never told by the server and then told him I eat well and med-well all the time at other places and they never are this bad. I also said that I never ordered it well done and he insisted I did. It didn’t matter. To my shock, he said he was charging me for it and it was my entire fault. Can you believe that? It gets better!! Then the waitress comes over and explains that it was actually her fault since I was correct that I did not order the steak well done. The owner said nothing and still insisted I still had to pay for it, after the server said it was her fault. He then said that they don’t make mistakes!
I’m sorry, but would you eat at a place where the owner doesn’t care about his customers? He actually told me that it was my problem and he gets enough customers so he wasn’t worried about losing a few.
What really upsets me is many kosher restaurants seem to have this arrogance..until they close and wonder why… This was the first time eating out in my life when something I ordered came out bad and the restaurant insisted it was my fault and made me pay for a dish I never even ate.
I hope he closes and then he will see why customers are so important..
All I can say is try to go to places where they understand that mistakes are made and try to fix them quickly, politely and make sure the customer will come back. I will never go back again…Read More
There was a violent robbery at Corning and Airdrome.
|Robbery||Wednesday, Aug 20 2008. 06:35 AM.||AIRDROME AND CORNING LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Robbery||Tuesday, Aug 19 2008. 04:00 PM.||LA CIENEGA AND SAWYER LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Burglary||Tuesday, Aug 19 2008. 12:40 AM.||16XX S OGDEN DR LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Assault||Tuesday, Aug 19 2008. 09:15 PM.||VENICE AND CHARITON LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Robbery||Tuesday, Aug 19 2008. 09:15 PM.||VENICE AND CHARITON LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Theft||Tuesday, Aug 19 2008. 02:00 PM.||17XX S RIDGELEY DR LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Burglary||Tuesday, Aug 19 2008. 01:00 PM.||14XX S CASTELLO AV LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Theft||Tuesday, Aug 19 2008. 09:30 PM.||31XX BAGLEY AV LOS ANGELES||View details|
|Burglary||Tuesday, Aug 19 2008. 11:00 PM.||10XX S LA BREA AV LOS ANGELES||View details|
He was the rabbinic intern for about a year.
From canonist.com July 2006: “It’s all-YCT, all-the-time here at Canonist this week. Anyway, for as much as the delay in certification by the RCA might be setting the yeshiva back, it scored a pretty major coup recently when recent graduate R’ Jason Weiner was hired as a rabbinic intern by the Young Israel of Century City. The rabbi there, Elazar Muskin, is an RCA heavyweight.”
Although Rabbi Weiner was born in New York, he grew up in Southern California. After high school he attended Hebrew University of Jerusalem and California State University, Monterey Bay, where he received his B.A. in 2000. While at CSUMB he founded and led a Jewish Student Union and also became the director of Camp Gan Israel of Chabad of South Bay.
After graduating college, Rabbi Weiner returned to New York for six years where he received his rabbinical training. He attended Yeshiva Ohr Sameach in Monsey for two years, followed by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah for four years. During his time at YCT he served as a rabbinic intern at Congregation Ahavas Achim in Highland Park, New Jersey, and the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Rabbi Weiner earned his Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in 2006 as well as an additional Ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg in Jerusalem. Rabbi Weiner also earned a Masters degree in Jewish History from the Bernard Revel Graduate School at Yeshiva University in 2006.
Rabbi Weiner has published articles in the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, Milin Havivin, Jewish Life: Traditional Living in Los Angeles, as well as the West Coast OU?s weekly Parsha Insights.
Rabbi Weiner’s wife Lauren is from Los Angeles and is a fantastic mother to their children, Kayla Rachel and Yaacov Melech.
Articles by Rabbi Weiner:
Volume One, June 2005
On the Halakhic Basis for Wearing Black Hats
Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society
Number XLIX, Spring 2005
Tzitzit – In or Out?
Join us this Shabbat (Aug. 23) afternoon for Mincha @ 6:30 PM followed by Seuda Shelishit with guest speaker Rav Menachem Leibtag:
Rabbi Menachem Leibtag. founder of the Tanach Study Center (www.tanach.org), is one of pioneers of Torah Education via the internet. His weekly essays on Parshat Ha’shavua, read by literally thousands of subscribers world wide, introduce a vibrant analytical approach to thematic study of the Bible and reflect over twenty-five years of experience as a teacher at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel. Rabbi Leibtag teaches as well at Yeshivat Shalaavim, Midreshet Lindenbaum, and at the Gruss Institute of Yeshiva University in Jerusalem.Read More
Washington — Presidential historians and convention observers believe this year’s Democratic convention will be the first time that a rabbi gives an invocation before the presidential nominee’s acceptance speech since the advent of modern American political conventions nearly a century ago.
Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, will be making history August 28 as he opens the Democratic convention’s last day, in front of an expected crowd of 70,000 in the audience and millions more watching from afar.
The choice of a Jewish religious leader to give the prime-time invocation is only one part of a move by the Democratic Party to raise the profile of faith in its rhetoric and activities, a move from which Jewish religious activists and evangelical Christians seem to be benefiting more than other faiths. Both groups are seen as key constituencies for the Democrats in the November elections.
“This shows how critical the party and the campaign believe the Jewish community is in the upcoming elections,” said Matt Dorf, Jewish outreach coordinator for the Democratic National Committee.Read More
POSTVILLE — About 50 rabbis charged with supervising the kosher slaughter and processing of meat at Agriprocessors walked off the job Wednesday morning.
The rabbis reportedly took the action because of a decrease in pay since a May 12 immigration raid caused the meat processing plant to drastically reduce production.
“The rabbis were complaining that they didn’t have as much time for overtime and additional shifts,” said Menachem Lubinsky, a spokesman for Agriprocessors.
Rabbis play a crucial role at kosher meat plants like Agriprocessors because production cannot continue without their supervision.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a New York-based Jewish news service, reported the walk-off lasted 45 minutes.
Lubinsky acknowledged the issue of decreased pay, as well as increased time between work preformed and payment, has been brewing with rabbinical staff since the raid.
Former Agriprocessors CEO Sholom Rubashkin, who remains involved in the company, did not return a phone call requesting comment.Read More
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Rabbi Judah Kogen was determined not to be a rabbi.
Rabbi Kogen, the new spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in West Brighton, brings with him to Staten Island a wealth of experience in leading congregations of every size, in developing high-level educational programs for both adults and youth, and in helping Conservative Jews understand what it really means to be a Conservative Jew.
Rabbi Kogen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He moved with his family to Manhattan’s West Side as a boy of 6 when his father, Rabbi David Kogen, became the vice chancellor of Jewish Theological Seminary.
He studied Bible at JTS while also enrolled at City College of New York, and he went to the JTS rabbinical school while studying at Columbia University’s graduate school.
After serving large congregations, Rabbi Kogen realized that “what I was chasing wasn’t there.”
The congregation had 160 members, more than three-quarters of whom were over 70. The rabbi also served congregations in Larchmont, N.Y., and Newington, Conn., before taking a job at the Jewish Center of Kew Gardens Hills — the Queens synagogue where eight Torah scrolls were reported stolen over the weekend.
The rabbi comes to B’nai Jeshurun following the retirement a year ago of its longtime spiritual leader, Rabbi Judah Newberger.
The rabbi emeritus and new rabbi led services together during one of Rabbi Kogen’s first Sabbaths on the Island, helping to smooth the transition.
Rabbi Kogen said he was interested in the Island’s oldest congregation because “B’nai Jeshurun was seeking the kind of leadership I can offer.
A “recovering New York Yankees fan,” Rabbi Kogen maintains an avid interest in Israeli music and in politics. Parents thinking about enrolling their children in B’nai Jeshurun’s Hebrew School can meet the rabbi — who will serve as its principal — at an open house and barbecue Sept. 7.Read More
David Saperstein, a high-profile Reform rabbi from Washington, D.C., will address some 70,000 spectators at Denver’s stadium, just before Obama is scheduled to speak.
Mark Schneier, a highly-regarded Orthodox rabbi from New York and founding director of the Jewish-Muslim Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, will also take part in the opening ceremony, alongside Amy Schwartzman, a Reform rabbi from Virginia.
“The Democrats have always been, are, and will continue to be people of faith, and the convention will demonstrate that in an unprecedented way,” Convention CEO Leah Daughtry said.Read More
A gutsy op-ed in The New York Times has sharpened the debate over the Agriprocessors kosher meat factory scandal – and perhaps pointed the way toward rapprochement between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews.
Written by an Orthodox rabbi, Washington’s Shmuel Herzfeld, it calls on the Rabbinical Council of America and the Orthodox Union, bastions of mainstream Orthodox Judaism, to appoint an independent commission “that would make sure the plant upholds basic standards of kashrut and worker and animal treatment – and that it is in full compliance with the laws of the United States.”
It’s the conflation of two ideas – “standards of kashrut” and “worker and animal treatment” – that makes Herzfeld’s essay controversial in the world of kosher supervision. As for workers’ rights and humane treatment of animals – that’s the purview of government agencies, says the OU.
Herzfeld isn’t the first rabbi to call for an ethical dimension for kosher certification. Conservative rabbis, led by Minnesota’s Morris Allen, are pushing for a hechsher tzedek – a righteous certification – that would do just that.
AGRIPROCESSORS FOUGHT back this week, distributing a rebuttal to Herzfeld written by one of its attorneys, Nathan Lewin, a legend in Washington for his defense of Jewish religious freedoms. The rebuttal is remarkable for its focus not on the allegations against the plant, which Lewin largely ignores, but for its attack on Herzfeld’s premise that a plant’s kosher certification should be linked to its business ethics.
Lewin does this by trying to discredit the validity of Herzfeld’s reference to Rabbi Israel Salanter (1810-1883), the pillar of the ethics movement known as Mussar. According to Herzfeld, Salanter “refused to certify a matza factory as kosher on the grounds that the workers were being treated unfairly.” Lewin can’t find a solid scholarly reference to the Salanter story, and calls it “fallacious.” Imagine the credit it would bring to Torah-observant Jews were leaders to immediately draw up their own set of labor and animal welfare standards. NON-ORTHODOX RABBIS like Allen have been way out front on this one. I grew up in a Reform synagogue and was taught why classical Reform chose to reject kashrut. That too many institutions and individuals – and that includes many Conservative Jews – have failed to take up this challenge is a loss for Judaism, and Jews.
I understand why a temple would bristle at adopting standards set by Orthodox supervisors. Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews have grown distant over the years, and the mutual recriminations over Agriprocessors won’t help.Read More
Financial crises occur. Personal trainers need their access. The All-Star Game can run late.
“I had some, uh, mixed feelings, Seth, about your missing our last appointment,” said Rabbi Stuart Shiff, sitting one morning the other week across the table in a midtown Manhattan office from one of his private students, Seth Horowitz, executive vice-president of sporting goods company Modell’s.
The rabbi thumbed the pages of the Torah on the table. Shiff is one of five rabbis employed by an international Orthodox Jewish organisation known as Aish HaTorah, which offers many services to regular people at its Upper West Side centre. It offers some special attention to those whom its managing director, Rabbi Adam Jacobs, refers to as “very significant people”.
Almost all are accustomed to personal trainers and personal services.
People sometimes seek grounding when times get tough,” he said.
One said he became a participant soon after he married a “very secular” Jewish woman. Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean of the Centre for the Jewish Future at Yeshiva University in New York, said the Aish programme reflected a long tradition in Judaism of co-operation between the tribes of ancient Israel known as the Zebulun and the Issachar.
“We did classes at Goldman Sachs for years,” said Rabbi Brad Hirshfield, president of the National Jewish Centre for Learning and Leadership.Read More
With the 11 a.m ceremony, Kol Ami of Annapolis and Nevey Shalom of Bowie will become Kol Shalom at the former Kol Ami site at 1909 Hidden Meadow Lane.
Rabbi Philip Pohl and his new Kol Shalom congregation will be joined in the celebration by Rabbi Ari Goldstein from Temple Beth Shalom in Arnold and members of the Seaboard Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
The newly consecrated scrolls will belong to the congregation of Kol Shalom, meaning “voice of peace.” The name is a unification of the previous congregations of Kol Ami, “voice of my people” and Nevey Shalom, “oasis of peace.”
The Kol Ami congregation was begun in 1977 and now has about 90 members. A decline in Bowie’s Jewish population and an aging congregation at Nevey Shalom, along with the lack of a full-time rabbi at Kol Ami, led to official consideration for a merger in May 2007.
“Kol Ami found themselves in a position where merging with Nevey Shalom would allow them to flourish,” Lederman said.
Conservative Judaism takes a contemporary, approach to the faith and stresses education, community, the synagogue and tradition in Jewish life.
The new Kol Shalom will be the third Jewish congregation in Anne Arundel County, along with Kneseth Israel, an Orthodox synagogue, and Beth Shalom, a Reform temple.Read More
“That’s pretty impressive for this part of the country,” said Ryan Kittell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
Tucson-based Lightning Location and Protection Inc., reported that the lightning strikes ended in Los Angeles County at about 12:30 a.m. as the storm moved northwest.
The lightning was sparked by a cluster of thunderstorms that formed between Catalina Island and the mainland at about 11 p.m. Thursday, Kittell said. The storms also brought a scattering of rain, from trace amounts to about two-tenths of an inch in Ventura County valleys, he said. The rain was enough to prevent wildfires from erupting.Read More
Held by Jewish tradition to be unpronounceable, the Tetragrammaton is often replaced by “Adonai” or “Lord” when Jews read scripture. Christians often pronounce it as Yahweh or Jehovah.
Could Yahweh have both a yin and a yang? Does God’s gender matter?
“If we read the text as a mystic might, paying extremely close attention, assuming that the text conceals more than it reveals, we may find hints regarding God’s androgynous nature, so to speak, peeking out through the surface level of the Torah,” he wrote in the article published this week in the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis) Journal.
“If Moses’ name spelled backward becomes the name HaShem [God’s name,] might not God’s name spelled backward similarly reflect something essential about humankind? Indeed it does.”
The four consonants that make up the Tetragrammaton appear 6,823 times in the Hebrew Bible. Since early Hebrew script included no vowels, the pronunciation of the name was known only by those who heard it.
According to Sameth’s research, ancient Israelites sprinkled the Tetragrammaton into everyday salutations until 586 B.C.E., when the First Temple was destroyed. Eventually, it was uttered only by priests. After the destruction of the Second Temple, it was no longer pronounced at all.
Sameth argues that when the four letters are arranged in their proper order, they spell out the sounds of “hu” and “he,” the Hebrew words for “he” and “she.” Therefore, he concludes, the ancient Israelites’ notion of God was not masculine, but dual-gendered, or hermaphroditic.
Sameth doesn’t advocate suddenly saying the name—backward or forward. But he does encourage Jews to open their minds and think more inclusively about God.
Thanks to the many of you that joined us on Friday for our Simply Shabbat event. The services were inspirational , the food superb and all the alcohol was consumed…
This Sunday we have a very special movie screening (see below) in honor of the fast day of Tisha B’Av. Tickets are limited so please don’t delay in purchasing yours today at www.JconnectLA.com
After this solemn day of commemoration, we will hit a lighter note by celebrating Tu B’Av, the Jewish version of Valentine’s Day. Walk under the chuppah next Thursday night and be made a match while grooving out to Moshav, DJ Eric Rosen and our all star performer list. $15 if you pre-pay (www.JconnectLA.com) includes 1 free drink, a kosher buffet and all the entertainment you can handle.Read More
Hello and welcome to Sunday Profile. I’m Monica Attard and tonight Rabbi Melissa Weintraub who’s on a peace mission!
Rabbi Melissa Weintraub is one of a growing number of women rabbis.
Ordained as a Conservative Rabbi in New York, her great passion takes her much further a field, back to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
You see she’s the co-founder of Encounter, a peace building organisation that does something not widely known and not widely done. She takes influential Jews from around the world into Hebron and the West Bank to sit face to face with ordinary Palestinians and witness first hand, the realities of their life there.
Ironically she can’t take Israeli Jews there because they’re forbidden from entering the territories at all.
She says the meetings are often very moving and she hopes, they might do more than merely create more understanding. You see Melissa Weintraub hopes they’ll positively influence Israeli decision makers.
Peace is obviously something which has eluded the Middle East and may well again with news this week that the embattled Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who had begun peace negotiations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will step down in the face of corruption allegations.
EHUD OLMERT: When a new chairman will be elected for the party I will resign from my duties as prime minister in order to allow the chairman to create a new government quickly and efficiently.
MONICA ATTARD: Despite the set-back of Ehud Olmert’s resignation, the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she’ll press ahead for a peace deal before the end of this year.
Well, our guest Rabbi Weintraub, is quietly working towards the same goal.
But I began by asking her what it takes to become a Rabbi.
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: It’s a five year process depending on the process depending on the background of which one comes in and it’s very traditional text study, we study Talmud and halakha, ancient Jewish codex of law and thought for five years with a smattering of Jewish literature and history, pastoral counselling as well and some practical rabbinics.
MONICA ATTARD: And what made you want to become a Rabbi?
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: I was always seeking a way to become a therapist and an activist and an academic all at once. So it was a way of being both a scholar and being in the trenches, finding a way to engage with ideas while also very much relieving human anguish and being involved with the life of the world.
MONICA ATTARD: And have you come from a kind of orthodox Jewish background, your family? Was it something that you actually grew up with?
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: I grew up in a hybrid Jewish family; I like to say that there was religious pluralism at my kitchen table as a child. I grew up in the only kosher home in a small town in the middle of America, in the heartland.
My mum drove three hours for kosher meat and filled the freezers in our house with kosher meat and my daddy has bacon cheese burgers on paper plates in the kitchen.
MONICA ATTARD: Oh I see.
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: So I really was exposed to different paths up the mountain right from the start which I see very much as a source of the work of the peace building work that I’m doing now because I have that kind of bifocal vision of being inside and outside a religious culture and also the larger context in which I lived.
MONICA ATTARD: So would you say at this point in time that it was more the social issues, the pastoral care issues that drew you to where you are now? Or the religious tradition?
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: I can’t single out religious and cultural issues because for me they’re so bound up with each other. Me religious commitment is all about relieving suffering. It’s something I see as a religious obligation, we are called as Jews to have the opposite affair as hard and heart to respond to human suffering and that means always cultivating a kind of stance of open heartness to the pain of the world and doing everything we can to relieve it.
MONICA ATTARD: And of course in the heartland of Judaism there certainly is a lot of heartache, but we’ll come to those issues in a moment. Are you recognised as a Rabbi by all the traditions and codes of Judaism?
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: I’m recognised by all of Judaism’s liberal nominations and I was ordained within the most traditional denomination that still recognises women as Rabbi’s.
So I suppose in Australian Christian terms we correspond to the Anglican end of the spectrum. There are those who are more traditional than us and those that are more liberal than us.
MONICA ATTARD: Yes I was going to say there… is the same kind of split or debate in Anglicanism. Is it as furious and as fast in Judaism as it seems to be in Anglicanism in the world at the moment?
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: In certain denominations it is, I think these questions have been really laid to rest.
In my own denomination women have been ordained for 20 years, 50 per cent of my seminary consists of women. Women are participating in all rules of religious life, marrying people and burying people and leading services and giving sermons and really engaging fully in the religious public sphere and it’s no longer a live question in the same way.
For Orthodox women there are still really, it’s a very cutting edge debate.
MONICA ATTARD: Is there one kernel of advice or truth that you would pass on to your brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church as they grapple with this issue of the ordination of women?
Is there something that holds the key to what is right?
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: I think that the important thing in embracing religious tradition is to recognise that there’s always text and context and purpose and in Judaism for example, traditionalists will point to passages that talk about the importance of women stepping back from the public sphere because it’s seen as a kind of degradation of men, of disrespect to men for women to assume those rules and that there’s really a traditional split in the public and private sphere.
And we live in a different historical context where those sociological assumptions no longer hold and where the purpose of the text and the intent of the text no longer holds.
So my advice to Anglican women is to be patient and to keep engaging in what I call exogetical rivalry over the meanings of your tradition and seeking out the deeper values and deeper context of that tradition.
MONICA ATTARD: So would you say at this point in time that from your perspective, the debate within Judaism is actually moving forward for women?
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: Absolutely, it’s clear the direction in which the community is moving, even in the most traditional Jewish communities, women are having greater and greater access to public rules.
MONICA ATTARD: Ok, now the role of a Rabbi of course is one that has traditionally been focused on questions of Jewish law and teachings and philosophy rather than pastoral care.
You’re doing something that’s actually very, very different aren’t you, through an organisation which you created called Encounter.
What do you do Melissa in Encounter?
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: We bring Jewish leaders from across the political spectrum into Palestinian cities and the West Bank. We have been the most significant Jewish non-military presence in Palestinian areas in the West Bank since before the second Intifada and it’s the most religiously and politically diverse groups ever to participate in people to people initiatives for bringing hardliners and people who indentify with the centre and the right of the political spectrum and this is very new and challenging and for many of our participants, many of them come with great trepidation, emotional and physical.
MONICA ATTARD: I can imagine.
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: Yeah.
MONICA ATTARD: Does it oppose security issues?
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: The best way to protect oneself, engaging with Palestinians is to come clearly as a friendly presence, travelling with people who have enormous street credibility, recognition and we have very deep relationships with our Palestinian partners and there’s hundreds of Palestinians involved with the program so we don’t feel any security risk.
There’s always danger of a kind of freak or fringe kind of attack but that would be true if we were walking through the streets of Melbourne or Paris or Jerusalem for that matter.
MONICA ATTARD: Sure, but when you say ‘going in with people who are friendly towards Palestinians, do you mean going in with Palestinians?
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: Yeah, everything that we do on our program is with a very strong Palestinian presence. Not friendly towards Palestinians but Palestinians who are recognised among other Palestinians as having credibility are with us at all times. So that we’re recognised as a friendly presence not an invasive or military presence.
MONICA ATTARD: It seems so simple doesn’t it when you look at the problems that the Middle East has faced that Jews and Arabs could come together and yet they don’t, there’s very little social interaction.
MELISSA WEINTRAUB: These are two societies that are bypassing each other everyday. People often come on our trip and say this is the twilight zone, you know. I’ve lived in Israel off and on for 10, 15 years and I didn’t know there was a whole other country here.
To tell you one story, a woman named Ariel who grew up in an Orthodox home in Baltimore came on the trip and at one point I saw there were tears streaming down her face and she said ‘I feel like this is the twilight zone, I realise that I’m seeing now what everyone around me has been blocking for years’ and just as she said that a church bell went off right over her head and she said ‘I think I’ve heard an echo of that bell in Jewish Jerusalem and thought I was hallucinating because everyone around me told me that bell didn’t exist’.
That’s the degree of the lack of recognition of even basic humanity and contact, there’s just total disconnect that she hadn’t even believed that that bell existed and being there it felt so undeniable and obvious connecting with people like her on the other side she felt great resonance with and those clicks happen so often on our trips.
To give you another example, we brought a group of really high level American Jewish leaders a few months ago and a woman, one of our Palestinian panellists is an up and coming Fatah leader and one of our American Jewish participants asked her, ‘what will the day after occupation look like?’ and the women responded, ‘I just want to be stopped by a Palestinian policeman’.Read More
AUSTRALIA’S Orthodox rabbis gathered in Sydney late last month for the biennial National Rabbinic Conference.
And over the course of the two-day conference -– arranged by the roof body Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia (ORA) -– a number of resolutions were passed.
In a first-ever motion, ORA resolved to interact with the community lay-leadership, namely with representatives of Executive Council of Australian Jewry in ongoing liaison.
In relation to education, ORA said that with a substantial percentage of children not attending Jewish day schools, it resolved to provide for their education through both personal assistance and by facilitating further enrolments.
The conference also resolved to form a subcommittee to explore the practical and halachic issues associated with organ transplantation and donation in Australia.
In regards to abortion, ORA resolved to issue a public statement regarding the Torah view.
Regarding same-sex relationships, ORA reaffirmed that all Jews were part of the Jewish community and klal Yisrael, and were “welcome in our synagogues”.
However ORA reaffirmed that a same-sex commitment ceremony, “in any form, has no place in Judaism”.
ORA also resolved that the rabbinic state bodies should form a subcommittee to deal with potential chillul Hashem and unethical public behaviour.Read More
Moscow, August 1, Interfax – Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar urges believers to take footballers for a model.
Every man should live like “in a football field, to give all his energies and abilities,” he writes in his article published by the Lechaim magazine in August.
“Footballers play to kick the goal to the rival. If there is no rival, there is no football. However, life is the same! God could have created the world to make everything easy for a man, but then life would be deprived of sense,” the rabbi writes.
According to him, God created “a rival” to each man including “various obstacles we have to overcome in order to gain something.”
“Yes, it makes life much more difficult, but much more interesting! We are like footballers have to overcome “opposition of the enemy” and acquire new skills,” the article says.
Lazar also noted that a good footballer is an all-around sportsman who can play as both guard and forward.
“A team with utility players will always dominate the rival. To fulfill his mission in everyday life, a person also must know how to attack and guard,” he writes.Read More
Dennis Shulman is a blind psychologist who’s also an ordained rabbi. Political experts say the 58-year-old Democrat’s quest to unseat Rep. Scott Garrett is a long shot. “The Republican administration has simply made so many mistakes that people have given up on seeing Republican leadership as dealing with the issues facing the country,” said Ingrid Reed, director of the New Jersey Project at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics.
The 5th District, a narrow strip running along the state’s northern border, covers traditionally conservative areas that compliment Garrett’s own conservative views. Garrett, as an incumbent, also has the potential to raise cash fast.
So far, Shulman hasn’t lagged too badly in the money race: Shulman had $258,381 on hand, to Garrett’s $649,003, as of June 30. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also included Shulman in an early July round of radio advertisements and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has campaigned for Shulman.
Shulman argues that Garrett is so conservative that even 5th District residents want a change. The Alexandria, Va.-based American Conservative Union lists Garrett as one of the most conservative congressmen in the Northeast.
Shulman has a long list of differences with Garrett. Shulman, for example, is against President Bush and Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s proposal to allow more offshore oil drilling. Garrett thinks the proposal has some merit.
For the past week and a half, Rabbis Sholom Laine and Mendel Levin have spent most mornings in their rented car driving to a city, town or highway they’ve never heard of before.
The first week it was Ocala, Beverly Hills, Lecanto, Inverness, Lake City and Live Oak.
This week it’s places closer to Gainesville: Williston, Archer, Alachua, Starke and Waldo.
Laine, 22, and Levin, 23, don’t know anyone in these towns. Some days they have a short list of names. Other days they open the phone book and run their fingers down the columns, looking for familiar-sounding names.
“Sometimes you just look in the phone book for the Goldbergs,” Laine said. “And the Steins,” Levin added.
The rabbis are staying at the Lubavitch-Chabad Jewish Student & Community Center just north of the University of Florida, as members of the “spiritual peace corps,” as they call it.
They’re looking for Jews in places where Jewish life is hard to find.
They go to these places to visit with Jews who may have no rabbi, no temple, no Jewish community center.
Recently ordained rabbis from Brooklyn, N.Y., Laine and Levin came to Gainesville at the invitation of Lubavitch-Chabad Rabbi Berl Goldman. Laine plans to work with Goldman through UF’s fall semester.
For the spiritually and communally isolated Jews in North Central Florida, meeting with the two men, who identify with one of the most conservative branches of Judaism, can be an experience.
In Lake City on Monday, for instance, Laine and Levin met with a woman in the local public library because she wasn’t comfortable inviting them to her home.
With long and unkempt beards, black skull caps, black pants and white button-up shirts, the two men stand out in a crowd, although the rabbis did catch the eye of a man with an Israeli accent, who approached with questions of his own.Read More
A dynamic young Rabbi is hoping to build an “East End” type community when he takes over from his father, Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue.
Aaron, who lives in Watford, has been profiled in GQ magazine as one of the most dynamic young religious leaders of his generation.
The 38-year-old father of two, who has been married to Tammy for ten years, is aiming to create a community of people who look after eachother like they did in the East End, where people wanted to create a feeling of togetherness for themselves.
He said: “I am not here to judge, I am here to guide, and act as a facilitator.
“I would like to empower people through adult learning programmes, to enable people to put into practice their Jewish skills.”
Rabbi Goldstein, who has been a Rabbi for six years and lives in Watford, officially takes over from his retiring father, who has been the synagogue’s Rabbi since 1970, next month.
He said: “I am so excited about this, it is a growing congregation with young families, who join us from as far as Hampshire, and Milton Keynes.
“It really is phenomenal.
“In fact we are such a large congregation that our High Holy Day services are held in the Colosseum, in Watford, because there are too many of us for the synagogue.”Read More
(IsraelNN.com) South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein has strongly defended Israel against charges that it practices Apartheid, which was the official policy of the separation of the black majority by the former white government in the country.
Writing in the Times of South Africa, he stated that the only analogy between Israel and South Africa is that both countries were forced into an armed struggle because there was no partner for peace.
He wrote that the accusations against Israel of Apartheid “defame the Jewish state and also diminish the victims of the real apartheid — the men, women and children of our beloved South Africa — who suffered for centuries under arrogant, heartless colonialism, and then for decades under the brutal apartheid policies of racial superiority, oppression and separation inflicted by the National Party. If everything is apartheid, then nothing is apartheid.”
Former American President Jimmy Carter last year published a controversial book entitled Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid in which he accused Israel of practicing the policy of Apartheid by building the security barrier against suicide bombers.
“All citizens vote on the same voters’ roll in regular, multiparty elections, and there are Arab parties and Arab members of other parties in Israel’s parliament,” the rabbi told his readers.