Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Av 24, 5774
African-American shul dedicates new scroll
By:
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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By:
Aaron Passman, JE Feature
If it were a TV show, it might be called Extreme Makeover: Synagogue Edition . Society Hill Synagogue will soon begin repairs and renovations to its historic home, thanks to an $80,000 matching grant from the Philadelphia Regional Fund for Sacred Places, a division of Partners for Sacred Places, a nonprofit established in 1989 that provides assistance to congregations occupying...
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