Religion & Beliefs

Jews in the News, a Weekly Roundup

It’s nice to see that there are still some religious figures who can keep their pants on: Prominent cantor of the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem, Naftali Hershtik, seems to have been the target of an entrapment scheme that aimed to … Read More

By / April 4, 2008
  • It’s nice to see that there are still some religious figures who can keep their pants on: Prominent cantor of the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem, Naftali Hershtik, seems to have been the target of an entrapment scheme that aimed to get him fired for sexual misconduct. Hershtik was lured into the hotel room of a young woman while hidden cameras caught everything on tape. Apparently, though, nothing untoward happened. The plot seems to have been the work of Israel Rand, a former student of Hershtik’s.
  • Gravestones were defaced and smashed in a London Jewish cemetery, Damaged fences and a small fire were also reported in the apparently anti-Semitic attack. So far there have been no arrests.
  • Also in England, the Jewish community is catching some flack because several state-aided Jewish schools have been asking parents for inappropriate personal information and/or requesting donations on admissions applications. This is in breach of the government admissions code. The problem seems to stretch to most state-aided Jewish schools, and the Jewish Chronicle reports that some schools have violations in up to seven categories.
  • The Pope’s big news for Jews again. He’ll be attending Park East Syangogue in Manhattan on erev Pesach. This is the first papal visit to an American synagogue. Meanwhile, the Vatican has just released a statement about the revised version of the traditional Good Friday prayer for Jews. Though some rabbis and Jewish leaders are still not happy with the text, the Vatican maintains that the Good Friday prayer, "in no way intends to indicate a change in the Catholic Church's regard for the Jews."
  • On a lighter and slightly bizarre note, this week is the premiere of Margot Frank: The Diary of the Other Young Girl, at Shea Center for the Performing Arts at William Paterson University. The premise is a musical exploration of Anne Frank’s sister’s diary, where Margot reveals that she and Peter are in love, and calls Anne, “a conniving little bitch.” Writers Diana Rissetto and Lori Mooney say that the show is a serious attempt to ponder the voices silenced by the Holocaust and history. Um, okay.