Strengthening an ancient faith: Jewish groups experiment with new ideas - New York News

Strengthening an ancient faith: Jewish groups experiment with new ideas

Updated:

By: Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News

The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, commences Wednesday at sundown. At the birth of their new year, American Jews are working to buttress their congregations with innovations such as rethinking the bar mitzvah ceremony and offering financial incentives for Jewish families to relocate to the South.

A front-page article in Wednesday's New York Times highlights a movement called the B'nai Mitzvah Revolution that aims to change the way Jewish families prepare their children for the bar or bat mitzvah coming-of-age ceremonies.

“Families have been treating this rite of passage not as an entry to Jewish life, but as a graduation ceremony: turn 13, read from the Torah, have a party and it's over,” Laurie Goodstein reported for the Times. “Many leave synagogue until they have children of their own, and many never return at all - a cycle that Jewish leaders say has been undermining organized Judaism for generations. …

“Thirteen Reform congregations across the nation have volunteered to pilot the change, and an additional 67 are on the runway. Everything is on the table. … Parents will most likely be expected to play a larger role and emphasis will shift from prayer to social action.”

USA Today reported Wednesday that Jewish congregations in Southern states like Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana are providing financial incentives to Jewish families who actively practice their faith and are willing to move south.

“In some places, the effort is taking an unorthodox turn - and working,” USA Today's Alison Bath wrote. “In Dothan, Ala. - a city of about 67,000 near the Florida border - one group offers as much as $50,000 to Jewish families willing to move to the town and stay at least five years. …

"Jewish groups in other cities such as New Orleans offer job and housing assistance, free or discounted synagogue memberships and other enticements to Jews willing to relocate to their cities."


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Is NYC the most unhappiest city in America?

    Is NYC the most unhappiest city in America?

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:36 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:36:19 GMT
    When researchers in Canada and Harvard University examined the results of a survey that asked “In general, how satisfied are you with your life?” they found that New York City is the unhappiest city in the country. The data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Pittsburgh, Louisville, Milwaukee and Detroit round out the list.
    When researchers in Canada and Harvard University examined the results of a survey that asked “In general, how satisfied are you with your life?” they found that New York City is the unhappiest city in the country. The data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Pittsburgh, Louisville, Milwaukee and Detroit round out the list.
  • Two babies get herpes during ritual circumcision

    Two babies get herpes during ritual circumcision

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:19 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:19:03 GMT
    The New York City Department of Health has issued an alert after two babies were diagnosed with neonatal herpes this month after undergoing a ritual Jewish circumcision called metzitzah b'peh.  In this type of circumcision the mohel sucks blood directly from the infant's cut penis.  The infants need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous acyclovir.
    The New York City Department of Health has issued an alert after two babies were diagnosed with neonatal herpes this month after undergoing a ritual Jewish circumcision called metzitzah b'peh.  In this type of circumcision the mohel sucks blood directly from the infant's cut penis.  The infants need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous acyclovir.
  • Blaze engulfs commercial building in NJ

    Blaze engulfs commercial building in NJ

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:07 AM EDT2014-07-23 12:07:25 GMT
    A two-alarm fire broke out in a commercial building in New Jersey on Tuesday. The fire erupted on Bergen Boulevard and 12th Street in Palisades Park. SkyFoxHD was over the scene as heavy smoke poured out from the building. It is not clear what sparked the fire. No injuries were reported.
    A two-alarm fire broke out in a commercial building in New Jersey on Tuesday. The fire erupted on Bergen Boulevard and 12th Street in Palisades Park. SkyFoxHD was over the scene as heavy smoke poured out from the building. It is not clear what sparked the fire. No injuries were reported.

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices