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Deb Herman
 
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Why do they leave?

Federation study examines Rockland’s non-Orthodox synagogues

Published: 28 May 2015

Why do synagogue members stop paying their dues?

It’s an important question for all synagogues to ask.

But it is a particularly important question for the non-Orthodox synagogues of Rockland County, where changing community demographics have led to shrinking memberships and synagogue mergers.

That’s why the Rockland Jewish Initiative, a project of the Jewish Federation of Rockland County, commissioned a survey of attitudes of synagogue leaders, members, and former members.

The results of the survey were released in March, and published at http://jewishrockland.org/rockland-jewish-initiative. In coming weeks, Cantor Barry Kanarek, the initiative director, said he will meet with synagogue leaders to discuss the report and what actions to take based on it.

 
 

Join team Yachad for a walk/run

CommunityPublished: 22 May 2015
 
 

Shabbat centennial in Hoboken

Event Location | New Jersey | Event Type | ReligiousPublished: 15 May 2015
 
 

Sherman quits Iran confab over ‘vulgar’ ad

Jewish groups slam Boteach ad on Susan Rice

Published: 05 March 2015

WASHINGTON — An array of Jewish groups condemned an ad by a foundation associated with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach that accused National Security Adviser Susan Rice of turning a blind eye to genocide.

“Susan Rice has a blind spot: Genocide,” said the advertisement, which appeared in Saturday’s New York Times, touting a talk on Iran in Washington hosted by Boteach, the Englewood-based author and pro-Israel advocate.

As soon as Shabbat ended, Jewish groups rushed to condemn the ad by This World: The Values Network.

The American Jewish Committee called it “revolting,” the Anti-Defamation League called it “spurious and perverse,” the Jewish Federations of North America called it “outrageous” and Josh Block, the president of the Israel Project, said it was “entirely inappropriate.”

 
 

Who stood at Sinai?

Conference to look at 25 years of Jewish feminism, examine what might come next

Cover Story Published: 06 February 2015

Every Jew who ever was and ever will be born stood together at Sinai when the mountain smoked and trembled and God revealed the law to them, midrash tells us.

Born Jews stood with those who were born into other faiths but were created with a Jewish spark that was liberated when they left their native people to join us. Souls encountered each other there, across millennia and over the boundless expanses of ocean that separate the continents.

At that one time and place, we were one people.

But wait a minute.

Exactly who was at Sinai?

According to the text, was everyone really there?

 
 

Learning to give

Local students donate to the American Friends of Magen David Adom

LocalPublished: 06 February 2015

Maybe they can’t write checks, but children can drop coins in a tzedakah box.

They’ve been dropping those coins at a fast clip since the January launch of the two-month Bergen County Day School Magen David Adom Fund Drive, held in conjunction with the annual county fundraising drive begun around Rosh Hashana through American Friends of Magen David Adom.

The children’s enthusiasm for filling up the ambulance-shaped charity boxes in their classrooms is spreading to their parents and area businesses, pushing the needle ever closer to the $100,000 goal that will add a real ambulance to the fleet of Israel’s national emergency medical response organization.

“We spend 15 to 30 minutes in the different schools educating the kids about Magen David Adom and the important lifesaving work they do in Israel,” said Teaneck’s Deputy Mayor Elie Y. Katz, who started the project with his wife, Esther, to commemorate the 25th yahrzeit of Esther’s father, Rabbi Joseph Feinstein.

 
 

A solar field grows in Israel near oil spill

WorldPublished: 26 December 2014

TEL AVIV – In the sun-parched fields near where the largest oil spill in Israeli history poured millions of liters of crude oil into the desert on Dec. 4, an ambitious effort is under way to help reduce global dependency on petroleum for energy.

Known as the Eilot Belt, the area is the site of Israel’s largest solar energy field. It is the locus of an effort to provide by next year the daytime energy for the area’s 55,000 residents and fill all their energy needs by 2020.

The area’s eight commercial solar fields are part of a wider initiative that aims to reduce the world’s reliance on the black liquid that befouled a 3.5-mile stretch of Israeli desert. The plan also includes a model village subsisting entirely on renewable energy sources and an incubator for clean energy high-tech start-ups.

 
 

‘Sheriff of Mars’ tells story of Daniel Antopolsky

Film | MusicPublished: 12 December 2014

It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers. High on heroin. Rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt.

But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the grandson of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the “Sheriff of Mars” fled the aggressive U.S. music scene for a tranquil life on a farm in Bordeaux, France.

Over the last 40 years, Antopolsky has written nearly 500 songs. Now, for the first time ever, his music is being shared with the world through a new documentary and music album, the latter produced in conjunction with some of country music’s finest players and by award-winning producer Gary Gold.

 
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Jewish federations meet, schmooze

Their future, they say, is in increased collaboration

WorldPublished: 14 November 2014

OXON HILL, Md. — There was the vice president of the United States, two Supreme Court justices, and an Academy Award-winning actress with a compelling Jewish story.

There were Jewish professionals, lay leaders, clergy, and recent college graduates. The West Point cadets’ Jewish choir performed.

The Israeli prime minister appeared via satellite from Jerusalem.

Part pep rally, part training session, and part family reunion, this week’s annual General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America drew some 3,000 people to a conference center outside Washington to cheer federations’ philanthropic work, listen to presentations on subjects ranging from European anti-Semitism to crowdfunding, and to schmooze.

 
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Shabbat in Hoboken

Event Location | New Jersey | Event Type | Food | ReligiousPublished: 31 October 2014
 
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