Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Nisan 16, 5774
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No longer able to draw a minyan on Shabbat -- let alone on weekdays -- Young Israel of Oxford Circle, founded 53 years ago, has decided to close its doors for good, making it the latest Northeast Philadelphia synagogue to fall victim to changing demographics and a worsening economic picture. "Fifty years ago, people never thought that the neighborhood would...
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African-American shul dedicates new scroll
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Aaron Passman, JE Feature
At the start of the ceremony dedicating the congregation's new Sefer Torah, Rabbi Debra Bowen of Congregation Temple Beth'El in Philadelphia summed up the situation: "I'm beside myself, as are most of Congregation Temple Beth'El," she said. "We've been unable to sleep, unable to eat -- and our medical personnel have told us that we have 'Torah fever.' " When...
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In selecting Rabbi Steven Wernick, religious leader of Adath Israel in Merion Station, as its next professional leader, the Conservative movement's congregational arm is betting that the 41-year-old is the right man to steer the ship at a time of anxiety -- even upheaval -- in the movement. In the past two weeks, two separate groups of Conservative leaders have...
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By:
Fredda Sacharow, JE Feature
" ... Synagogues struggled under heavy financial burdens and mortgage debts, watched their memberships shrink, and were often forced to curtail programs and dismiss personnel. ... [The crisis] threatened both the economic health and substantive role of synagogues." University of Pennsylvania historian Beth S. Wenger was writing about another large city and another financial crisis in her 1996 book, New...
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By:
Aaron Passman, JE Feature
In 2006, after leading a congregation in Birmingham, Ala., for nearly a decade, Rabbi Avraham Shmidman was looking to make a move. But how to go about finding that next job? After all, there's not exactly a CareerBuilder.com for rabbis. That's where Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future comes in, specifically the Morris and Gertrude Bienenfeld Department of Jewish...
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