Profiles of Our Fallen

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Liberal Denominations Face Crisis as Rabbis Rebel, Numbers Shrink

Conservative Judaism’s membership rolls are in free fall. According to a strategic plan for renewal issued in February by the denomination’s congregational arm, the number of families served by synagogues belonging to what was once American Judaism’s leading stream has shrunk by 14% since 2001. In the denomination’s Northeast region, the number of families has dropped by 30%.

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Egypt’s Other, Overshadowed Revolt Is a Demand for Economic Justice

There are really two revolts going on here in Egypt. The first and most publicized abroad and, to a lesser degree, even here, is a revolt for a free political system — the release of political prisoners, a free press, constitutional reform that would allow free and fair elections and set limits on time spent in office, and an end to police brutality and to the use of torture. All these issues quickly coalesced under the banner of two slogans: “Mubarak must go!” and “Down with the regime!”

7

Tireless Activist for Soviet Jews Now Needs Lifeline of Her Own

When I started working on my history of the Soviet Jewry movement almost seven years ago, the task seemed overwhelming. I was a young writer, just 27, attempting to tell an epic story that took place over three decades (mostly before I was born), involved a cast of thousands and demanded I describe how the Cold War was lived in America, the Soviet Union and Israel. But most daunting of all was the fact that this history was still so fresh. I never heard just one version of a Soviet Jewry story. I heard always at least five, with each narrator claiming a monopoly on the truth.

6

A JNF Drive To Make the Desert Bloom Means Destruction for a Bedouin Village

In American Jewish memory, the Jewish National Fund’s historic blue pushkes, or charity boxes, evoke warm images of hard-earned pennies given to the group’s mission of redeeming the Land of Israel through planting trees. But to the Bedouin of Al-Arakib, a village in the Negev, the group’s current forestation plans mean the destruction of their homes and what they say is the theft of land they have owned since the beginning of the 20th century.

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