The Rabbinical Alliance of America—Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American Rabbis—calls on the Trump administration to bring notorious accused terrorists Hamada and Abu Zayed to justice for the reported murder of Americans in a 1982 terrorist attack in Paris. On Aug. 9, 1982, two Palestinian terrorists—Nizar Tawfiq Mussa Hamada and Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed—reportedly fired submachine guns and threw hand grenades at the Jo Goldenberg restaurant in the Jewish quarter of Paris. Six people were murdered and 22 wounded. The six murdered victims were Mohamed Bennemou, André Hezkia Niego, Grace Cuter, Anne Van Zanten, Denise Guerche Rossignol, and Georges Demeter. [...Click headline above for more...]
by Rav Dr. Joseph Frager, Chairman of RAA/Igud’s Israel Advocacy Commission
Historically, the Jewish People have always done better when their political leaders have gotten behind their Rabbinical leaders. One of the reasons for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s success and longevity has been his respect and rapport with Rabbinical leaders. It should not be lost on or forgotten by future Prime Ministers. It is to Ben Gurion’s credit that he had a close relationship with first Chief Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook of Blessed Memory. It is also a remarkable feat that Ben Gurion continued the Chief Rabbinate and handed over control of marriages, conversions, divorce and Kashrut after the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Z’L envisioned the Chief Rabbinate as a position as follows: “The Rabbanut will have an impact by virtue of its constant efforts to bring people together, to inject a spirit of harmony among all parties and factions, and to strengthen the Torah and its honor in the Holy Land and throughout the world.” It is up to all of us to achieve this lofty goal. [...Click headline above for more...]
The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American Rabbis — condemns the August 25, 2020, arson attack on the Chabad Center at the University of Delaware. The Chabad Center, although not officially part of the University of Delaware, serves as an important Jewish cultural and religious institution on campus and services the religious and spiritual needs of the Jewish students who attend Delaware University. According to Assistant State Fire Marshal Michael Chionchio the torching was an arson, but there is “no indication of a hate crime” and that the fire marshal’s office is “exploring all avenues.” [...Click headline above for more...]
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On Monday, August 24, 2020, the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim (RAA), Chazaq and the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) partnered to present the RAA’s 78th annual pre-High Holiday “Chomer LiDrush” (homiletics) session. An annual event, the Chomer LiDrush session offers timely examples of sermon material from master speakers and thinkers, to help rabbis prepare their own speeches and classes during the upcoming holidays. This year’s conference, held online due to the global pandemic, prepares rabbis for a particularly challenging holiday season full of opportunities to discuss personal, communal and theological issues. To offer useful and compelling Torah content during this unique year, RAA partnered with NCYI and Chazaq in bringing six distinguished rabbis to address the gathering: [...Click headline above for more...]
The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American Rabbis — condemns the anti-Semitic vandalism perpetrated against New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, whose door of her Manhattan home was splashed with paint and under whose office’s door was placed a vulgar, anti-Semitic note. The Rabbinical Alliance of America offers sympathy to Assembly Member Seawright nd calls upon the authorities to prioritize this matter as a hate crime and to fully investigate, apprehend and prosecute the perpetrator(s) of this heinous act of hate to the fullest extent permitted by law. [...Click headline above for more...]
The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis — calls for the Jewish community’s full participation in the 2020 Census. As a community, we must understand the full extent of the unusually difficult current state of affairs which we are experiencing. These are difficult times for our country and we face daunting challenges. The coronavirus pandemic, the pause of economic activity, and the underlying racial inequalities and anti-Semitism have caused great pain and uncertainty. The Jewish community has always played a significant role in local civic and economic life. A complete and accurate population count results in appropriate representation in government and fair distribution of funding for programs and services like healthcare and education, that our community needs and on which it depends.
The Rabbinical Alliance of America is reaching out to you about one easy thing you can do from your home to ensure that your neighborhood recovers from this crisis: Complete the 2020 Census. The more people from your community fill out the census, the more money your neighbors in need will get from the government for hospitals, healthcare, schools, and housing over the next decade. Particularly in light of the current crisis, the Jewish and local communities need these funds more than ever. Additionally, census data serves as the basis for redistricting legislative and congressional seats. An undercount will have serious consequences for your elected representatives.
In these times of fear and frustration, there is no better demonstration of unity and compassion than providing funding for essential services and emergency preparedness. And this is where you come in.
This is an urgent problem. For example, Manhattan self-response rates for Census 2020 are considerably lower than 2010, most likely due to the pandemic and people leaving the city. Rabbis, we need you to send a standalone message to your membership outlining the importance of members of the Jewish community completing the census, for many reasons including the ongoing health crisis and combatting anti-Semitism. Quite simply, each completed census brings money to their neighborhoods, ensures representation in Washington and can be filled out online in less than ten minutes at http://www.my2020census.gov. [...Click headline above for more...]
The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis — calls for the cautious reopening of schools for the new school year, following medical recommendations. Throughout the pandemic, RAA/Igud has called for following the guidance of halachic scholars and leading medical professionals, particularly the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On July 23, 2020, the CDC issued a report titled “The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall” which emphasizes the health benefits of opening schools compared to the risks of keeping them closed. Because local conditions differ, every school must follow local medical and legal guidance in order to maintain the safest possible environment. However, within those limitations, RAA/Igud encourages reopening schools wherever possible. [...Click headline above for more...]
How do couples obtain a marriage license in this difficult time of Covid-19? On Monday, July 27, 2020, the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim (RAA/Igud) convened an important roundtable dialogue with the Hon. Michael McSweeney, who serves as the New York City Clerk and Clerk of the Council. This special outdoor meeting of the RAA/Igud was hosted by Rabbi Dr. Joseph Frager, chairman of the Israel Advocacy Committee of the RAA/Igud and organized by Rabbi Dovid Katz, Menahel of the RAA/Igud. [...Click headline above for more...]
New Yorkers who receive a summons should not feel overwhelmed by the administrative process. There is an address for help, a way to obtain assistance in navigating the seeming maze of the New York City court system. On July 22, 2020, the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim (RAA) and the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) joined NYC’s OATH (Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings) for its first Fairness in Trials and Hearings (F.A.I.T.H) webinar to learn how to access justice with minimal pain. [...Click headline above for more...]