Judaism

Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2017 and has been republished with updates.

For Rosh Hashana, more than 350 members of Uganda's Namutumba Synagogue dressed in white, chanted their prayers and feasted on a slaughtered cow to mark the beginning of a new Jewish year last week.

"We are so happy that we entered the new year with such joy and happiness," said Namutumba's spiritual leader Shadrach Mugoya Levi by telephone from Uganda.

Who Stole The Torahs?

Apr 29, 2018

Before dawn on March 21, 1995, someone broke into a synagogue in the Palestinian city of Nablus.

The Anti-Defamation League has identified 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents in its 2017 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents. That's up from 1,267 in 2016, marking the highest single-year increase since the organization released its first audit in 1979.

Peter Haden

On the opening day of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, founding chairman and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel said, “The museum is not meant to be an answer. It's meant to be a question.”

Museum director Sara Bloomfield says that’s the starting place for the new “Never Stop Asking Why” digital campaign, launched to mark the 25th anniversary of the institution by engaging new generations on the lessons of the Holocaust. 

“Why did the Holocaust happen? What made it possible? How could it have been different? What does it mean for me today?” she said.

Miami Herald File

For two years, the rabbinic search committee at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach looked nationally to find the right person to be the new senior rabbi at the 75-year-old synagogue. To no one’s surprise, the new senior rabbi is actually a rabbi who has served Temple Beth Sholom since 1994 — Rabbi Gayle Pomerantz. Her new duties will begin on June 1.

Pomerantz will be the first female rabbi in the history of the synagogue. She succeeds Rabbi Gary Glickstein, who has served as senior rabbi since 1985.

Hurricane Irma left the congregation of an area synagogue homeless just as the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah begins Wednesday evening. But a local church has stepped forward with help.

Donald Trump's first overseas trip as president begins Friday with a pilgrimage of sorts. With stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican, Trump will be visiting the centers of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the three major monotheistic religions.

But he's wading into deep waters with potential for missteps and disagreement. He'll meet with Muslim leaders despite declaring that "Islam hates us" during the campaign; he'll meet with Pope Francis, who advocates for countries to be welcoming to refugees.

WPTV Video

Palm Beach County education officials report that swastikas and racial slurs were painted on the walls of Santaluces High School.

According to a report by the Palm Beach Post, this is the second time a Palm Beach County high school has been vandalized with racially offensive graffiti in a week.

R
Saul Loeb/Reuters

Is Ivanka Trump Jewish?

She converted to Judaism before marrying Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, in 2009.

But in Israel, it’s not that simple: You’re only Jewish if the rabbinic authorities say you’re Jewish. Last year, they questioned the credentials of the rabbi who oversaw Ms. Trump’s conversion.

Then, a few weeks after her father Donald Trump won the US election, Israel’s chief rabbis made a proclamation: They were looking to change the guidelines on which Jewish conversions they recognize.

Illustration by Amanda Rabines / WLRN

Pope Francis and Imam Syed Rahman share a problem. They want to have it both ways when it comes to LGBT people.

The Pope tells us to love gays and lesbians. Yet he sticks with the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrine that homosexuality is a mortal sin.

Mark Stein / WLRN

This week, the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies hosts its 25th annual conference here in Miami. The society aims to study the history of Jewish communities persecuted during the Spanish Inquisition of the 14th and 15th centuries.