CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2013 |
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, one of Israel's most influential ultra-Orthodox spiritual leaders who presided over the Shas political party, has died. He was 93. Yosef died Monday at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. He had been treated in recent weeks for a series of medical conditions, including problems with his back, heart, kidneys and lungs. Strict but pragmatic, the authoritative rabbi held sway over several hundred thousand observant Sephardic Jews, who adhered to his rulings and teachings on marriage, politics and other topics.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 2013 |
When Joseph Harounian came out of the closet to his Persian Jewish family, relatives told him to march right back in. Some worried he'd turn his cousins gay. Others feared for the family's reputation. They began excluding him from family events. It was only after his grandmother intervened that he was gradually welcomed back into the fold. Now, years later, Harounian says his family has come to terms with who he is. But he knows that the fear of ostracism still keeps other gay Persian Jews from coming out. Support for gay rights and same-sex unions has never been higher, according to numerous polls.
August 7, 2013 |
JERUSALEM -- A once-prominent Orthodox rabbi accused of molesting male students was convicted Wednesday by a Jerusalem court of performing indecent acts against a minor. Mordechai Elon, former dean of a prestigious Old City religious school, faces up to seven years in prison when sentencing is handed down later this year. Elon was indicted in 2011 after former students came forward with allegations of kissing, fondling and touching. Graver allegations of sexual misconduct were not prosecuted because the statute of limitations had run out or victims refused to testify, Israeli media reported.
July 24, 2013 |
JERUSALEM -- Candidates backed by Israel's ultra-Orthodox community won a hotly contested election Monday to decide who will serve as the nation's next chief rabbis. Rabbi David Lau of Modiin will serve as chief rabbi for the Ashkenazi community and Rabbi Yizthak Yosef, son of prominent Israeli Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, will represent Sephardic Jews. In keeping with custom, each will represent the two main communities of Judaism in Israel. The 10-year term puts each man at the helm of a vast system of state-run religious institutions, responsible for thousands of appointments and jobs.
June 23, 2013 |
JERUSALEM-- Israel's Ashkenazi chief rabbi suspended himself from part of his duties Sunday amid an investigation into allegations of corruption. Rabbi Yona Metzger's attorneys informed the state ministers of Justice and Religious Services that he would step down from his posts of rabbinical high-court judge and president of the Chief Rabbinate council. He is not, however, stepping down as Ashkenazi chief rabbi, a post he has held for 10 years and which is coming to an end in several weeks.
May 30, 2013 |
We all know the musical about the singing nun. Well, this is the one about the singing rabbi. "Soul Doctor," a musical about the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, is coming to Broadway, with an opening scheduled for Aug. 15 at the Circle in the Square in New York. The musical ran last year at the New York Theatre Workshop and has also played in New Orleans, Miami Beach and Ft. Lauderdale. In those productions, actor Eric Anderson played Carlebach, tracing his biography from humble Holocaust refugee to the countercultural Orthodox sensation who wove together folk music and traditional Jewish tunes.