The Common Good

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Presbyterians Remove Controversial 'Zionism Unsettled' from Denomination's Website
Originally Posted: 07/02/2014 - 3:48pm | Type: Blog

The Presbyterian Church (USA) has removed from its website a booklet that many Jewish groups have criticized as hostile to Israel and denigrating to Judaism. The Presbyterian Chur ...

Muslim and Anti-Muslim Bus Ads Battle Heads to Round 3
Originally Posted: 06/11/2014 - 4:44pm | Type: Blog

A Christian, a Muslim, and a Jew turn up together on a Washington, D.C., bus. It’s no joke. They’re the faces of a new ad campaign by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil liberties group. ...

The Stubborn Persistence of 'Jew-Hatred'
Originally Posted: 06/11/2014 - 9:36am | Type: Magazine Article

David P. Gushee The term "anti-Semitism" hides an ugly history of racialized animus. THE SHOOTINGS ...

COMMENTARY: Cardinal John O'Connor Would Have Made a Great Rabbi
Originally Posted: 05/22/2014 - 5:05pm | Type: Blog

In April 1908, Dorothy Gumple, a 19-year-old Jewish woman living in Connecticut, converted to Roman Catholicism. In April 1908, Dorothy Gumple, a 19-year-old Jewish woman living ...

Jews Ordered to Register in East Ukraine
Originally Posted: 04/17/2014 - 4:55pm | Type: Blog

Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to “register” with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part ...

Central Conference Of American Rabbis (CCAR) To Hold 125th Annual Convention In Chicago -- March 30-April 2, 2014
Originally Posted: 03/26/2014 - 4:15pm | Type: Press

March 24, 2014 Sojo in the News http://www.einpresswire.com/article ...

Why You Ought to Leave the Church
Originally Posted: 03/17/2014 - 12:17pm | Type: Blog

What does it look like when God defies the restrictions we presume are in place? Recently,  a large wealthy church decided to break up with my denomination . I’m not 100 percent ...

God 'Beneath the Ordinary'
Originally Posted: 12/17/2013 - 10:55am | Type: Magazine Article

Robert Hirschfield The rabbi recognized poetry as November's calling and inveighed against his betrayal of it. ...

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah Converge on 'Thanksgivukkah' for First Time Since 1888
Originally Posted: 10/30/2013 - 5:05pm | Type: Blog

It last happened in 1888 and, according to one calculation, won’t happen again for another 77,798 years: the convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.  It last happened in 1888 an ...

American Jews Say Others Face More Discrimination
Originally Posted: 10/25/2013 - 10:43am | Type: Blog

y they face discrimination in the U.S., but they see Muslims, gays, and blacks facing far more. American Jews say they face discrimination in the U.S., but they see Muslims, gays, ...

Orthodox Rabbis Charged in Jewish Divorce Shakedown Plot
Originally Posted: 10/11/2013 - 3:11pm | Type: Blog

In a bizarre case involving threats of kidnapping, beatings, and physical torture — including the use of an electric cattle prod — two rabbis were charged in New Jersey in a scheme to force men to grant their ...

Water Initiatives Get Congregations to Pledge to Conserve
Originally Posted: 10/08/2013 - 2:37pm | Type: Blog

Across the country, water has become more than a ritual element used in Christian baptismal rites or in Jewish and Muslim cleansing ceremonies. It has become a focus for worshippers seeking to go beyond water’ ...

Jewish Feminists Say They’d Accept Western Wall Prayer Compromise
Originally Posted: 10/07/2013 - 3:25pm | Type: Blog

JERUSALEM — In a stunning reversal, a feminist Jewish prayer group said it will consider a government proposal to allow a mixed-gender prayer space at the Western Wall — but only after the government agrees to ...

Being Jewish Means Being Funny, and That’s No Joke
Originally Posted: 10/01/2013 - 1:41pm | Type: Blog

Yoo-hoo! Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, Larry David! No matter how unreligious you comics may be, American Jews seem proud to claim you. Yoo-hoo! Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, Larr ...

5 Reasons People Think Prince George is Jewish (Even Though He’s Not)
Originally Posted: 08/15/2013 - 5:08pm | Type: Blog

From the moment Prince William and Kate Middleton got engaged, a rumor ran happily through the Jewish blogosphere (and menacingly on many anti-Semitic websites): the couple’s progeny, the heir to the British t ...

Can a Hebrew Charter School Teach the Language but Not the Faith?
Originally Posted: 08/08/2013 - 9:24am | Type: Blog

As a public school, Sela can’t ask students about their religion, but Lody estimates that only about 20 percent of the school’s 120 students will be Jewish, and more than half will be African-American. ...

Anti-Semitism on Downward Slide but Still Rampant Online
Originally Posted: 07/25/2013 - 11:54am | Type: Blog

The Anti-Defamation League’s study of anti-Semitism in the U.S. shows a 14 percent decrease in incidents during 2012, the second consecutive year of a downward trend. The Anti-Def ...

Thousands of Athletes to Compete in “Jewish Olympics”
Originally Posted: 07/17/2013 - 11:04am | Type: Blog

More than 1,100 American Jewish athletes will be competing in the Maccabiah Games, known as the “Jewish Olympics” and held in Israel once every four years. More than 1,100 America ...

‘Princesses’ Embraces a Stereotype, Leaving Some Jews Uncomfortable
Originally Posted: 06/24/2013 - 9:09am | Type: Blog

They’re self-admitted “Jewish American Princesses,” and Bravo’s built a whole reality series, "Princesses: Long Island" around their exploits. The show follows six unmarried 20-something Jewish women ...

Creating Connections by Erasing Boundaries
Originally Posted: 05/07/2013 - 3:47pm | Type: Blog

Yes, it’s a tough time to be a denominational partisan, to believe one’s own tradition is absolutely right and all others wrong. But that was never God’s desire. God has wanted oneness, not separation; and hum ...

Jerusalem Court Upholds Women’s Prayer Rights at Western Wall
Originally Posted: 04/25/2013 - 5:03pm | Type: Blog

JERUSALEM — Women who want to wear prayer shawls while praying in the women’s section of the Western Wall are not breaking the law, according to a landmark decision handed down Thursday by the Jerusalem Distri ...

French Jews Face Uncertain Future After Scandal
Originally Posted: 04/23/2013 - 4:00pm | Type: Blog

Amid a finance scandal that touched the heart of France’s Socialist government, a quieter drama played out this month as the country’s top rabbi resigned his post after admitting to plagiarism. ...

Can You Hear My Song?
Originally Posted: 02/13/2013 - 10:58am | Type: Magazine Article

Shefa Siegel Leonard Cohen as irreverent master of prayer. IF YOU ARE not overly familiar with the repertoire ...

Report: Anti-Semitic Incidents Decline in the U.S.
Originally Posted: 11/05/2012 - 10:20am | Type: Blog

Anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. dropped by 13 percent in 2011, according to a report released Nov. 1 by the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks assaults and other attacks on Jews. ...

The Lord Says: 'Love Thy (Muslim) Neighbor': Jewish and Christian Groups Reach Out to Muslims
Originally Posted: 10/05/2012 - 1:14pm | Type: Blog

The racist, anti-Muslim ad in the New York Subway that used the language of civilized and savages has more than met its match. A large group of Jews and Christians have countered that hateful message by tappin ...

Jewish Groups Say Conspiracy Theory Over Anti-Islam Film Won’t Die
Originally Posted: 09/30/2012 - 12:13pm | Type: Blog

Respected news outlets unwittingly sent a lie around the world on Sept.12: a Jew backed by 100 Jewish donors made a film insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Respected news ou ...

Survey: Americans Overstate Size of Religious Minorities
Originally Posted: 09/17/2012 - 9:52am | Type: Blog

The typical American underestimates how many Protestants there are in the U.S., and vastly overestimates the number of religious minorities such as Mormons, Muslims, and atheist/agnostics, according to a new s ...

Jews, Sikhs, Hindus Root for Fellow Believers in Olympics
Originally Posted: 08/02/2012 - 10:10am | Type: Blog

Members of minority faiths in the U.S. — Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs — are rooting for U.S. Olympians and also saving a few extra cheers for their co-religionists, both Americans and athletes from other te ...

The Graduation Speech I Wish I Could Give
Originally Posted: 05/22/2012 - 12:37pm | Type: Blog

Choose carefully those with whom you surround yourself. Pay attention to that which you pursue with all your heart, all your soul and all your might -- and to what compromises you are willing to make in that p ...

Court Says Non-Jewish Man Can Sue for Anti-Semitic Remarks
Originally Posted: 04/24/2012 - 9:44am | Type: Blog

A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that a man who alleges he endured anti-Semitic slurs can sue his former supervisors — even though he is not Jewish. A New Jersey appeals cour ...

Holocaust Violins Live to Play Another Song
Originally Posted: 04/11/2012 - 8:42am | Type: Blog

Violins that outlived the owners who played them in the death camps and Jewish ghettos are being brought back to life by Amnon Weinstein in his shop in Tel Aviv. As Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance) gatherin ...

Faith is Certain and Endless
Originally Posted: 04/03/2012 - 10:59pm | Type: Blog

Faith alone offers no guarantees. Faith is not the proof of our beliefs, but rather the hope that what we choose to believe in is right. While the proven theories in life can only extend to a given limit, the ...

The Problem with Daniel Pearl's Mormon Baptism
Originally Posted: 03/04/2012 - 12:25pm | Type: Blog

A simmering interreligious controversy resurfaced recently with the news that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had posthumously ``baptized'' a number of deceased Jews, including Daniel ...

Is Purim the Jewish Halloween? Some Jews Say No.
Originally Posted: 03/02/2012 - 4:57pm | Type: Blog

Commemorating Queen Esther's efforts to save the Jews of Persia from extermination, Purim calls on Jews to rejoice in costume and to give goodies to neighbors and friends. But it's not Halloween. ...

Company Touts 'Medical Tourism" in Israel for Sick Pilgrims
Originally Posted: 02/16/2012 - 12:23pm | Type: Blog

JERUSALEM — Every year, thousands of Americans travel abroad for less-expensive fertility treatments, hip replacements and other medical procedures. Now, an Israel-based tourism company is offering a package t ...

Why Do Mormons Baptize the Dead?
Originally Posted: 02/16/2012 - 12:09pm | Type: Blog

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has apologized for a Mormon who baptized the late parents of famed Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal. But despite calls this week from Holocaust survivor and Nobel la ...

Today in God: Feb. 10, 2012
Originally Posted: 02/10/2012 - 11:33am | Type: Blog

Nuns vs. strippers. Oprah and Hasidim. A Christian TMZ.com? Muslim tweeter is in trouble. Female backlash against the GOP. Catholic television network EWTN files a lawsuit against the contraception mandate. Sa ...

Military Chaplains Heed Call to Serve God and Country
Originally Posted: 02/07/2012 - 12:37pm | Type: Blog

"God, I think, had better plans for me," Balbale said, looking back. And so it is for a number of military chaplains who, by twists of fate or perhaps divine Providence, found their calling to become ...

Eddie Long's Bizarre 'Kingship' Ceremony
Originally Posted: 02/06/2012 - 12:09am | Type: Blog

Atlanta-area megachurch pastor Eddie Long has had his share of headlines, many of them not good. Now he's making news — and raising eyebrows — again with a "kingship" ceremony that can only be d ...

Heeding the Bethlehem Call: Freedom Comes from Tenacity
Originally Posted: 12/23/2011 - 12:07pm | Type: Blog

If all who hear the “Bethlehem Call” respond then momentum will build for the liberation of all God’s children in the Holy Land. In preparing to leave for the Holy Land a few week ...

Links of Awesomeness: Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011
Originally Posted: 12/14/2011 - 10:19pm | Type: Blog

Jesus Toast! A vicar beatboxes the Nativity Story. Butter shortages wreak havoc on Norway. Ten out of Tenn gives away its new Christmas album. Knit some dim sum for your cat. Iconoclastic Hasidic-reggae master ...

The Friday News: Dec. 9, 2011
Originally Posted: 04/17/2012 - 3:39pm | Type: Blog

The Friday News: Dec. 9, 2011 RNS: Hanukkah Music: Young, Hip Jews Leading a Makeover A year after a group of Yeshiva University students hit it big with what some called th ...

The Morning News: Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011
Originally Posted: 12/08/2011 - 11:01am | Type: Blog

The Morning News: Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011 THINK PROGRESS: ‘Morning Joe’ Crew Mocks Perry’s War On Christmas Ad As if the overwhelmingly negative reviews from YouTube users an ...

#OccupySunday: We Are the 100 Percent
Originally Posted: 11/15/2011 - 9:07am | Type: Blog

Any society that will not care for its poor, in effect, prefers its rich. Any society that will not care for its poor, in effect, prefers its rich. It may give power ...

Rule No. 1 of Interfaith Relations: Faith is Required
Originally Posted: 10/28/2011 - 9:02am | Type: Blog

I know that effective blog posts require some kind of news hook to get people interested, so, take your pick: Nearly two weeks ago, 24 Copts died in Egypt. I know that effective ...

#OccupyWallStreet: A Liturgy
Originally Posted: 10/25/2011 - 9:18am | Type: Blog

Interfaith Worker Justice has published a Prayer Service designed to help people reflect on a moral economy within the context of their religious tradition. Interfaith Worker Ju ...

Prayers, Songs and Sukkot: A weekend at #OccupyWallStreet in NYC
Originally Posted: 10/18/2011 - 5:30pm | Type: Blog

New York City. Saturday - Sunday October 15-16, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, Lower Manhattan. With prayers from the weekly Multi-Faith Service, led by the Rev. Michael Ellick of Judson Memorial Church. ...

The Spiritual Side of #OccupyWallStreet
Originally Posted: 10/18/2011 - 5:30pm | Type: Blog

USA Today's religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman has a great post this morning looking at coverage of the spiritual import of the #OccupyWallStreet protests from the perspective of several religi ...

#OccupyWallStreet: The Faith Factor
Originally Posted: 10/18/2011 - 5:30pm | Type: Blog

Slowly but surely, as media coverage of the #OccupyWallStreet demonstrations in New York and across the country continues to grow, attention is turning toward what the spiritual/religious/faith elements are t ...

#OccupyWallStreet: Bruce Came From Vermont...
Originally Posted: 10/18/2011 - 5:30pm | Type: Blog

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Bruce came from Vermont. "God is here," he said. "It might not be as direct as you are looking for but God's here." The first thing I saw when I walked toward the pa ...