Judaism features

The secrets of successful synagogues

By Simon Rocker, February 16, 2014

The gap between practice and belief among UK Jews was again demonstrated in the new National Jewish Community Survey carried out by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research.

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Culture, not faith, is the key to continuity

By Rabbi David Goldberg, February 6, 2014

Last week, the JC summarised the findings of the largest-ever survey of UK Jewry. The results broadly confirm my own amateur observations, based on over 40 years in the Progressive rabbinate.

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We must not abandon the Jews left in Ethiopia

By Rabbi Sybil Sheridan, January 26, 2014

It is Friday late afternoon and the synagogue is packed. Though we still have 10 minutes to the start of the service, we have to make our way to the very back of the women’s section — at least 400 have got here before us. Looking behind the curtain, we see that there are far fewer men.

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Segregating men and women is not sexist

By Rabbi Daniel Levy, January 17, 2014

In early 2013, several British universities followed University College London by allowing separate seating for men and women during talks organised by certain Muslim groups.

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Why people are like trees

By Dr Ben Elton, January 12, 2014

Tu Bishvat in my Jewish primary school was celebrated as a largely Zionist festival, emphasising the importance of planting trees in the state of Israel. That was not an inappropriate slant; after all, Tu Bishvat was originally concerned with the trees and the produce of the Land of Israel.

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Can friends argue without falling out?

By Simon Rocker, January 5, 2014

God chose the Jews because He likes a good argument, the Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks joked. Jews are a quite an argumentative lot, said Simon Schama in his recent TV series.

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Are religious labels past their sell-by date?

By Matt Plen, December 27, 2013

I’m about to head to the Limmud conference, where thousands of Jews of every conceivable stripe will spend five days learning, debating, celebrating and socialising together. Coming hot on the heels of that other winter highlight, Chanucah, Limmud sets out a particularly fashionable message about contemporary Jewish existence.

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Classic bedtime tales to keep children listening

By Simon Rocker, December 16, 2013

When my son was a young boy, I wanted to read him some stories of Jewish interest besides the favoured pirate adventures. After all, Judaism has generally communicated its ideas and values through stories rather than systematic creed so where better than to start at bedtime?

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Who's on at Limmud

By Simon Rocker, December 12, 2013

The Limmud conference, which starts in just over a week, includes a large cast of Torah teachers, educators and religious scholars from abroad.

Here are just a few of the guests:

Rabbi David Wolpe:
named as America’s most influential rabbi by Newsweek in 2012, the Conservative leader is author of book such as Why Faith Matters.

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow:

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The holy hippy who got Arabs and Jews dancing

By Rabbi Gideon Sylvester, December 11, 2013

One of the most intriguing rabbinic characters of modern times was Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach; the charismatic outreach pioneer, storyteller, musician and hippy. His colourful career is the subject of a new biography by Natan Ophir.

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