Beis Rivkah High School’s war on Facebook immodesty [The Algemeiner]
A school in Brooklyn, New York, is coming under fire for trying to force students to delete their Facebook accounts (under fines and threat of expulsion). Why? Because girls, dammit! The Algemeiner writes:
“The decision by the all-girls Beis Rivkah High School in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday to demand that all students delete their Facebook pages has continued into Friday, according to numerous students at the school.
‘It happened to the 11th grade yesterday and today they gave out papers to the 12th grade,’ a student said.
All students The Algemeiner spoke with requested anonymity.
‘People on the board said it’s not proper for us to have Facebook because girls might be talking to boys on Facebook or they might be putting up immodest pictures.'”
Girls, man. It’s always girls. (Disclaimer: we here at New Voices think girls are awesome… ladies, we’re sure you’ll agree.)
Union for Reform Judaism undergoes lay-offs, restructuring [JTA]
The American hub of Reform Judaism has announced that it has laid off several employees, even as the movement takes steps toward enacting its vision for the future. JTA reports:
“The URJ’s overall budget will stay about the same, but many full-time employees will be replaced by part-time employees and outside consultants, Pelavin said. The net change in full-time equivalent employees will be a drop of about seven or eight positions, according to Pelavin. Overall, the URJ has approximately 220 employees, mostly in New York.”
Orthodox Jews and Rick Santorum? Yup. [Forward]
Turns out Orthodox Jews are drawn to Rick Santorum’s particular brand of conservatism, reports the Jewish Daily Forward. While it appears that Santorum doesn’t have as many Jewish ties, his emphasis on traditional family values, etc., seems to be making him quite the force in the Orthodox world. The Forward writes:
“‘There’s no doubt that Mr. Santorum’s religious background and conservative religious stances on things like abortion and same-sex marriage resonate well with much of the Orthodox community,’ Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for the ultra-Orthodox advocacy group Agudath Israel of America, wrote in an email to the Forward. Santorum’s large family and his disabled daughter, Shafran continued, are ‘something that endears him as a person to many an Orthodox heart.'”
Shabbat HaGadol and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict [Huffington Post]
In this article from the Huffington Post, Nancy Fuchs Kreimer argues that Shabbat HaGadol is an opportunity to renew our perspectives on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, getting to the heart of our ritual practice and our hopes for the future:
“That night, the Israelites go free, but their victory is not without a cost. There is not a house in all of Egypt, however innocent, that does not lose a child. God tells the Israelites: you have been spared the fate of the Egyptians; now, you owe. Place a lamb on the altar. Acknowledge, if only symbolically, that your own first born must be turned over to God.
This year, I am struck by the connection of this story to the ongoing conflict in Israel and Palestine. While I celebrate the return of my people to our ancestral homeland, I also know that others have paid a heavy price for this dream to come true, in particular the Palestinians who were there when we came home. Tragically, both Palestinians and Israelis continue to pay dearly, inflicting great suffering on one another and offering far too many young people up as sacrifices. My obligation, especially acute as a first born, is to acknowledge the shadow side of the seder and, similarly, that of the Jewish state.”