A social justice activist from Oakland, Calif. A party planner from New York. The leader of a small havurah in Detroit. These were some of the 93 people who were invited to Berkeley, Calif., to help build a more cohesive movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews.
It is Friday evening in Midtown Manhattan, and Oleg Boksner, aka Alec Fly, is standing on a small wooden stage in the basement of the Broadway Comedy Club. He’s wearing a Russian fur hat with a communist badge on the front, and mimicking a grumpy immigrant from the former Soviet Union.
The historic Bialystoker Synagogue, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, looked set to launch a new era this past June: For the first time, the Orthodox congregation was prepared to allow a woman to run for a position on its board.
The joke making the rounds in Jerusalem ahead of next week’s Netanyahu-Obama summit: Time to bone up on geology.
Last fall, Rabbi Lennard Thal gave an uncharacteristic warning to senior rabbinical students at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the seminary that trains Reform rabbis: Consider options other than the pulpit for your rabbinic career.
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