Congregation Rodeph Sholom Bridgeport, Connecticut

Tradition Through Open Doors! A Conservative synagogue affiliated with USCJ

Study finds clues to blood cancer in Arabs and Jews

Posted on March 20th, 2017
By ISRAEL21c Staff    

Some risk factors for B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma are the same in both groups, while others are unique to one or the other.

New light has been shed on the interplay between genes, environment and disease with the publication of an Israeli study on risk factors for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in Jewish and Arab populations.

As of 2012, Israel ranked first in the world in NHL incidence rates. This blood cancer represents the fifth most common malignancy in Israel and the eighth most common malignancy among West Bank Palestinians.

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Conservative synagogues pass resolution allowing non-Jews as members

Posted on March 13th, 2017
From JTA

The umbrella body for Conservative synagogues approved a resolution to allow individual congregations to decide whether to grant membership to non-Jews.

The resolution was passed on March 1 during a special meeting of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism General Assembly held over the internet with electronic voting. The measure passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 94 to 8 with one abstention. According to a statement from the USCJ, 15 members did not vote.

“USCJ supports every affiliated kehillah in developing its own criteria for membership,” the resolution reads, using a Hebrew word for congregation.

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Artist Anish Kapoor named winner of $1 million ‘Jewish Nobel’

Posted on March 6th, 2017

Anish Kapoor, an influential and innovative artist as well a longtime social activist, was named the winner of the 2017 Genesis Prize.

Kapoor, the son of a Baghdadi Jewish mother and Indian father, was tapped Sunday for the so-called Jewish Nobel. He joins Itzhak Perlman, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actor-director Michael Douglas as recipients of the $1 million prize.

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Posted on February 27th, 2017
By Stephanie Butnick for Tablet Magazine  

Researchers identify 350-person founding population of Ashkenazi Jewry

According to a new study, all Ashkenazi Jews are basically cousins. More specifically, Ashkenazi Jews are at least 30th cousins. LiveScience reports on the international team’s new study, which found that “the central and eastern European Jewish population, known as Ashkenazi Jews, from whom most American Jews are descended, started from a founding population of about 350 people between 600 and 800 years ago.”

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How American Jews Have Detached Themselves from Jewish Memory

Posted on February 20th, 2017
Daniel Gordis for Mosaic

In recent years they’ve let go of both ancient communal memory and recent political memory. No wonder they’re now letting go of Israel.

Elliott Abrams is clearly correct in asserting both that American Jews are moving away from support of Israel and that this tectonic shift is traceable much less to Israel’s policies than to the manner in which American Jews now constitute their worldview and their Jewish identities.

As it happens, I am somewhat more critical than Abrams of the policies (or lack of policies) pursued by the Netanyahu government. Admittedly, there are few if any good moves that Israel can make on the international chessboard these days; but the optics have been significantly worse than they could have been. Still, nothing one might say on this point diminishes the rightness, or the importance, of Abrams’ thesis: the root cause of the growing gulf between the world’s two largest Jewish communities lies in the way that most American Jews now conceive of themselves and their Jewishness.

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