San Francisco’s J. newspaper reports from a “transgender Shabbat” — a first of its kind, organizers say. “The Saturday itinerary began with gender queer-themed Torah study and services in the Sha’ar Zahav sanctuary, followed by workshops. Topics ranged from legal issues facing the transgender community to developing new rituals to mark “trans” lifecycles at the S.F. Reform congregation,” the paper writes.
J. also reports on the discovery of some two-dozen small Palestinian flags planted on the lawn of the Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay.
The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle scouts the “next Jewish baseball hope,” third-baseman Ryan Braun, whom the Brewers recently called up from the minors. “Being Jewish is something I take great pride in. There aren’t too many Jewish athletes that have achieved success at the highest level, so it’s something I am very proud of,” Braun told the Chronicle.
The New York Jewish Week explores the divide within Reform Judaism over wedding ceremonies for intermarrying couples. The newspaper reports that Reform rabbis are coming under pressure from congregants to officiate at such ceremonies and that those who refuse are being denied jobs at some temples. All this prompts the Jewish Week to ask: “Is the marriage ceremony threatening to cause a divorce in Reform Judaism?”
In the L.A. Jewish Journal, Judea Pearl takes issue with those who call the Six Day War a “wasted victory” or seize on its 40th anniversary to attack Israel. “Whenever I read any of the harsh anti-occupation articles, many by well-meaning Jews, I can’t help but wonder whether these authors truly believe that Israel oppresses Palestinians out of pleasure or greed, and I ask myself what makes them blind to the collective agony that Israeli society goes through on account of the occupation, as well as to the nation’s genuine struggle to extricate itself from it, if that were at all possible,” Pearl writes.
Detroit Jewish News editor Robert Sklar looks at efforts by the local federation to prevent young Jews from abandoning the Motor City metropolitan area. “Imagine, for example,” he writes, “if Federation deployed cool emissaries in their 20s to Chicago and other hip metropolises to outreach to young Detroiters, alerting them to what’s happening back home — the new jobs that are available, the seed capital available for entrepreneurs, the lower cost of living.”
The Washington Jewish Week reports from this past weekend’s pro-Palestinian demonstration in the nation’s capital. The newspaper estimates attendance at a meager 1,500 and tracks down a pair of rally speakers who confess their disappointment.
The Australian Jewish News breathes a sigh of relief as the country’s Muslim spiritual leader — known for disparaging Anglos, women and Jews — is replaced. The paper declares its “cautious optimism,” writing that while the new mufti is respected by his peers, he has also praised Hezbollah and questioned whether Osama Bin Laden was behind 9/11.
The Canadian Jewish News reports that a pro-Palestinian group distributed 12,000 copies of a fake edition of The Vancouver Sun, attacking the newspaper’s “Zionist line.”
“Kibbitzing b’nai mitzvah guests: What’s a family/congregation to do?” Phoenix’s Jewish News tackles this sensitive issue.