January 2, 2013

Understanding the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s religious affiliation study

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life recently released a global study of religion whose findings have appeared in newspapers and social media everywhere. Using more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers, it found that 84 percent of adults and children around the globe are religiously affiliated; the median age of two major groups, Muslims (23 years) and Hindus (26), is younger than the world’s overall population (28). Jews have the highest median age (36) of the groups studied.

Federation re-evaluating Board of Rabbis

When Rabbi Mark Diamond was honored for his 12 years of service to the Board of Rabbis of Southern California during a farewell lunch a few weeks ago, colleagues from synagogues from across the city and spanning denominations hugged and chatted, catching up on everything, both personal and professional. “One of the strengths of the Board of Rabbis is that people know each other,” said Rabbi Denise L. Eger, immediate past president of the region’s only cross-denominational rabbinic professional organization and spiritual leader of Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood.

Wanted: Diamond polishers in Israel. Piety not a problem

Diamond manufacturing is a dwindling trade in Israel. The country has one of the world\’s hottest diamond exchanges, but polishers and cutters of the precious stones have been replaced by cheaper workers in newer hubs like India and China.

The ‘war of the wall’ secret weapon

It’s easy to dismiss the antics of Warrior of the Wall Anat Hoffman. Her guerrilla gatherings of women in vocal prayer services at the Kosel Maaravi, or Western Wall, in defiance of an Israeli Supreme Court decision and in affront to the traditional Jewish men and women who most frequent the prayer site, are legend.

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Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.