The town of Roosevelt, N.J., was born out of an era not much different from today. It was 1937, the economy was in the toilet, and the country bitterly divided.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt had won a second term in office — an election as acrimonious as today's — and with his re-election, a host of New Deal programs moved forward. One of these projects built 99 towns outside of industrial centers across the country. The town of Roosevelt, 50 miles south of New York City, was one of them.
Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman compares Jewish cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot to some of the giants of opera. Helfgot is the chief cantor at Manhattan's Park East Synagogue. He has sung at the Metropolitan Opera. Now, he and Perlman have recorded an album together that goes back to a time when cantors were opera stars. Jon Kalish reports.
The question of whether to circumcise a newborn son is no question at all for most observant Jews. In Europe, the practice has come under fire. This summer, a German regional court ruled that circumcision is physical abuse, and a Swiss hospital temporarily banned the procedure. The debate has infuriated Jewish community leaders there.
In Israel, even the most secular Jews overwhelmingly have their sons circumcised. But the debate in Europe has drawn attention to a still small but growing number of Israeli Jews who are forgoing the procedure.
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 2:11 pm
There's a story out of Hungary that has received quite a bit of play from the religious press but hadn't quite risen to the mainstream until the AP ran a piece about it today.
It's quite dramatic with an incredible plot twist: One of the leaders of Hungary's Jobbik Party, which the Anti-Defamation League says is one of the few political parties in Europe to overtly campaign with anti-Semitic materials, has discovered that he is himself a Jew.
Conservative men from many religions demand that women dress modestly so the men can avoid feeling tempted. Some ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in Israel are selling special glasses that blur men's vision so they can't see women clearly.