Ohev Shalom of Bucks County Hosting Open House: All Are Welcome

Ohev Shalom of Bucks County is hosting an Open House on Sunday May 6th from 9:30 AM until 11:30 AM. All guests are welcome to visit the Synagogue in Richboro and learn what we have to offer to prospective members. Guests can tour the buildings and Hebrew School classroom. At 10 AM, and can meet our clergy during the Clergy Meet and Greet. Dr. Rabbi Elliot Perlman, Cantor Annelise Ocanto-Romo, and Cantor Emeritus Paul Frimark will tell you all about Ohev Shalom’s innovative programs in Jewish life and education. This is a great time for prospective members to learn about the benefits of being a member of the Synagogue and how its programs help people lead more enriched Jewish lives as members of the Ohev community. Please join us and enjoy coffee and snacks with members of Ohev’s leadership while getting to know the Ohev Community.

 

For Jewish families with young children, Ohev Shalom is excited to mention that family membership is complimentary until the oldest child is in the Third Grade!

 

More information about Ohev Shalom of Bucks County can be found by visiting http://www.ohev.org, by calling 215-322-9595, or by sending an email to [email protected]. Ohev Shalom celebrates the uniqueness of each individual and welcomes diversity within our sacred community. All are welcome, as Ohev is an all-inclusive community, and we welcome interfaith couples and families into our community.

Jewish Education Assembley to Appoint New National President

The Jewish Educators Assembly (JEA) will appoint Michael Schatz of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania as its national president, during its annual conference in Atlanta on January 26-29.  

Schatz is the director of the academic program of the Jewish Community High School, and an adjunct instructor at Gratz College. He has been active in JEA for 15 years, and has served on JEA’s board of directors, as an officer and as the chair of national conference.

More after the jump.
JEA’s executive director, Edward Edlestein, said that “Michael has distinguished himself at JEA through his broad understanding of the challenges faced in Jewish education, and his deep commitment to growing and embracing new ideas and approaches to educating our children.”

JEA is the professional organization of principals, directors and educational administrators within the Conservative movement.

Israel Recognizes Conservative, Reform Rabbis


Rabbi Miri Gold

Israel’s Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein office announced yesterday that 15 Reform and Conservative rabbis will be recognized as rabbis of non-Orthodox communities and put on the state payroll for the first time — on a par with Orthodox community leaders. This out-of-court settlement brings to a close the 2005 petition before Israel’s Supreme Court by the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism and Reform Rabbi Miri Cohen of Kibbutz Gezer. The decision allows for equal financing of non-Orthodox rabbis in regional councils and farming communities throughout the country, but so far does not extend to the larger cities.

Rabbi Gold, who first heard the news on the radio said, “This is a big step for religious pluralism and democracy in Israel.  Israeli Jews want religious alternatives and with this decision the State is starting to recognize this reality. There is more than one way to be Jewish, even in Israel.”

The ruling in this case follows other successes by the Israel Religious Action Center including the placement of a Reform Rabbi in Mevasseret on the Religious Council there, the finding that forced gender segregation on public transportation is discrimination and prohibited, and the allocation of pre-fab units to non-Orthodox congregations for synagogue buildings.

According to DEBKA, “they have a long way to go before their authority is accepted for performing marriages, conversions and other religious matters along with Orthodox and Haredi rabbis.” However, this decision has hailed as an important milestone by the Conservative and Reform movements.

Reaction after the jump.  
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Vice-President of the Rabbincal Assembly
The Rabbinical Assembly is the international body of Conservative rabbis

This is a historic day for Israelis and Jews around the world. In order for Judaism to grow and thrive in Israel, it is necessary that the government recognize its obligation to provide equal funding to various Jewish religious streams and expressions that flower in the Jewish state.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, President of the Rabbinical Assembly

The announcement of Israel’s Attorney General Weinstein represents a dramatic step forward in the struggle for religious pluralism in Israel. The historic inequities in the funding of local community rabbis in Israel has long hampered efforts to bring a greater variety of spiritual options to Israelis.  Hopefully, this decision will open the door to new and exciting Jewish spiritual opportunities that will strengthen Israel, and bring Israelis to a new appreciation of Jewish tradition.

Rabbi Daniel Allen, Executive Director of ARZA; The Reform Israel Fund
ARZA is the major American Reform Movement funder of the Israel Religious Action Center, an arm of the Israel Reform Movement, that brought the case to court six years ago.

Miri’s success is success for all of us. With patience and perseverance, we will build an inclusive democratic Israeli society. Israel’s Declaration of Independence guaranteed religious freedom, it has to be that this freedom is for all Israeli’s, Jewish as well as Christian and Muslim. This decision brings us closer to the day where this will be the reality in Israel rather than the ideal.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism

This is a watershed moment for the Reform Movement and for religious pluralism in Israel. Mazel tov to Rabbi Gold and the many activists who work so diligently to ensure the eventual and thorough embrace of liberal Judaism in Israel.

Kenneth Bob, President, Ameinu

This historical decision is an important first step toward the recognition of non-Orthodox streams of Judaism by the State of Israel. There is still much work to be done, but it’s a big victory for pluralism and religious freedom in Israel. We salute the efforts of the Conservative and Reform movements and will continue to stand with you.