Rabbis

Meet the media-savvy voice of Reform Judaism

By Simon Rocker, July 21, 2011

The Reform movement has appointed its first full-time rabbinic spokesman to act as its voice on religious issues.

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, 47, who has served with one of the biggest Reform communities, the North-Western Reform Synagogue (Alyth Gardens) in London for eight years, will move to the new role of movement rabbi in January.

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'Pillar of European Jewry' Aba Dunner mourned

By Jennifer Lipman, July 18, 2011

The executive director of the Conference of European Rabbis has died at the age of 74.

Rabbi Aba Dunner, who had been ill for several months, was a prominent figure in the international Orthodox Jewish community.

Born in what was then the German city Konigsberg, his father was also a rabbi and served as the head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations.

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Pack leader enjoys landslide win at US

By Simon Rocker, July 14, 2011

The new United Synagogue president is Stephen Pack, who scored a landslide victory over outgoing US vice-president Peter Zinkin in Monday's poll.

Mr Pack, 61, is president of Hadley Wood, a satellite of Cockosters and North Southgate Synagogue. He attributed his 124-42 vote victory to his emphasis on making the US more attractive to younger people.

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Rabbinical college criticised for Israel memorial email

By Jennifer Lipman, July 14, 2011

The chair of an organisation dedicated to supporting the families of Israel's war casualties has expressed concern about a proposal by a US rabbinical college to "broaden" commemorative ceremonies.

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Religious extremism: a challenge to the state

By Azriel Bermant, July 14, 2011

Over the past few years, Israel has seen a worrying upsurge in religious Jewish extremism. Prominent Israeli rabbis have been using poisonous, inflammatory language that poses a serious threat not only to the already fragile relationship between Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens but also to the justice system.

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'Chief rabbi should be chosen by ballot'

By Jessica Elgot, July 14, 2011

Popular support is growing among United Synagogue members for the next chief rabbi to be elected, with a straw poll of members at a debate this week showing more than 90 per cent favour of a ballot.

And the role of women in central Orthodoxy will also be a crucial issue for Lord Sacks's successor.

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The New York rabbi and the Shabbat sex scandal

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2011

A rabbi and his wife are engaged in a court battle over his alleged involvement with prostitutes and her role in a sting operation to catch him.

Long Island rabbi Avraham Rabinowich, who is even alleged to have hired prostitutes on Shabbat – after services - was secretly filmed by a private investigator. The investigator had been hired by his wife Dr Amora Rachelle during a custody fight.

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Buenos Aires rabbi wins parliament seat

By Jennifer Lipman, July 11, 2011

A rabbi who has worked tirelessly for justice for the victims of the Buenos Aires Jewish centre bombing has been elected to the city's parliament.

Rabbi Sergio Bergman, who won with three times more votes than the second-placed candidate, is the founder of Active Memory.

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Rabbis answer call from Liberal HQ

July 7, 2011

The first female Scandinavian rabbi is part of a new ministerial team at Liberal Judaism's central London headquarters.

Sandra Kviat was one of four Progressive rabbis ordained on Sunday by Leo Baeck College at a service at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John's Wood. She will mainly advise on the educational content of national and congregational ventures.

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Joining the rabbi doctors

By Simon Rocker, July 7, 2011

Rabbi Harvey Belovski of Golders Green Synagogue has joined the elite band of "Rabbi Drs" in Britain after being awarded a PhD by the University of London's Birkbeck College.

His thesis is on the thought of Rabbi Shemuel Bornstein, a Chasidic rebbe from Sochaczew in Poland, who died in 1926.

Rabbi Belovski began his doctoral research four years ago.

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