There Is More Than One Religious View On Abortion -- Here's What Jewish Texts Say

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There Is More Than One Religious View On Abortion -- Here's What Jewish Texts Say

By Rachel Mikva, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Chicago Theological Seminary. First published on The Conversation.

Alabama’s governor signed a bill this week that criminalizes nearly all abortions, threatening providers with a felony conviction and up to 99 years in prison.

It is one of numerous efforts across the United States to restrict access to abortion and challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide.

Six states have recently passed legislation that limit abortions to approximately six weeks after the end of a woman’s last period, before many know they are pregnant. Although the laws have not yet taken effect and several have been blocked on constitutional grounds, if enacted they would prohibit most abortions once a doctor can hear rhythmic electrical impulses in the developing fetus.

Michael Steinhardt, a Leader in Jewish Philanthropy, Is Accused of a Pattern of Sexual Harassment

MICHAEL STEINHARDT SHOWING ANTI-ISRAEL, ANTI-BIRTHRIGHT PROTESTERS WHAT HE REALLY THINKS. SOURCE: TWITTER PHOTO CAPTURE.  VIA JNS

MICHAEL STEINHARDT SHOWING ANTI-ISRAEL, ANTI-BIRTHRIGHT PROTESTERS WHAT HE REALLY THINKS. SOURCE: TWITTER PHOTO CAPTURE. VIA JNS

Michael Steinhardt, a Leader in Jewish Philanthropy, Is Accused of a Pattern of Sexual Harassment

By Hannah Dreyfus for ProPublica and Sharon Otterman, The New York Times

Sheila Katz was a young executive at Hillel International, the Jewish college outreach organization, when she was sent to visit the philanthropist Michael H. Steinhardt, a New York billionaire. He had once been a major donor, and her goal was to persuade him to increase his support. But in their first encounter, he asked her repeatedly if she wanted to have sex with him, she said.

Deborah Mohile Goldberg worked for Birthright Israel, a nonprofit co-founded by Steinhardt, when he asked her if she and a female colleague would like to join him in a threesome, she said.

Natalie Goldfein, an officer at a small nonprofit that Steinhardt had helped establish, said he suggested in a meeting that they have babies together.

Steinhardt, 78, a retired hedge fund founder, is among an elite cadre of donors who bankroll some of the country’s most prestigious Jewish nonprofits. His foundations have given at least $127 million to charitable causes since 2003, public filings show.

But for more than two decades, that generosity has come at a price. Six women said in interviews with The New York Times and ProPublica, and one said in a lawsuit, that Steinhardt asked them to have sex with him, or made sexual requests of them, while they were relying on or seeking his support. He also regularly made comments to women about their bodies and their fertility, according to the seven women and 16 other people who said they were present when Steinhardt made such comments.

The Clooneys Donate $1 Million To Anti-Defamation League | JP Morgan Splits $1 Million With ADL & SPLC

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The Clooneys Donate $1 Million To Anti-Defamation League | JP Morgan Splits $1 Million With ADL & SPLC

George and Amal Clooney realize there is work to be done in America. The worldly couple deeply involved in social justice movements in Sudan and other dire places globally have turned their attention to America, in the wake of Charlottesville. 

In the aftermath of the white supremacy marches near the University of Virginia, two organizations, in particular, are receiving support from big donors: the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center). 

Thanks to a $1 million grant from the Clooney Foundation, and another $1 million from Apple's president Tim Cook, the Southern Poverty Law Center is working hard to take down hate groups across America. 

Ivanka's NYC Rabbi Condemns Trump's Lack Of Moral Clarity As James Murdoch & Apple's Tim Cook Pledge $1 Million Each To Anti-Defamation League

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Ivanka's NYC Rabbi Condemns Trump's Lack of Moral Clarity On Charlottesville As Richard Spencer Tells Israelis To Trust Him

Rabbi Emeritus Haskel Lookstein and his successors Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz and Rabbi Elie Weinstock,sent a letter Wednesday night to members of New York's Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun In New York. Rabbi Lookstein oversaw Ivanka's conversion to Judaism in 2010. 

The rabbis said: "We are appalled by this resurgence of bigotry and antisemitism, and the renewed vigor of the neo-Nazis, KKK, and alt-right." The letter continued: "While we avoid politics, we are deeply troubled by the moral equivalency and equivocation President Trump has offered in his response to this act of violence."

Other Jewish leaders spoke out on Wednesday. the Republican Jewish Coalition is calling on the president to “provide greater moral clarity in rejecting racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism.”

In another bold stance registered against Trump's embrace of white nationalism, 

James Murdoch, the chief executive of 21 Century Fox and the son of Trump ally Rupert Murdoch, donated $1 million to the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and asked his friends and colleagues to consider supporting the organization as well.

Apple CEO Tim Cook pledged that his company will donate $1 million each to ADL and the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center). Apple also will match employee donations to the two groups and others two for one through September, according to a memo Cook wrote Wednesday night obtained by BuzzFeed News.

Cook said he strongly disagrees with US President Donald Trump’s comparison between the neo-Nazi and white supremacist protesters and those who opposed their rally in Charlottesville.

“Hate is a cancer,” Cook wrote. “This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality.”

Text Of James Murdoch Email Seeking Support For ADL & His $1 Million Donation | Apple Commits $1 Million Each To ADL & SPLC

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Renee Rabinowitz Wins Case Over Ultra-Orthodox Demand That She Be Moved On El Al

Renee Rabinowitz Wins Case Over Ultra-Orthodox Demand That She Be Moved On El Al

The most obvious erosion of women's rights in Israel centers around issues of religion and gender in public spaces. Now 83-year-old Renee Rabinowitz has won a critical court ruling, suing the strictly Orthodox male passenger who demanded that she be moved from her El Al aisle business-class seat when he boarded Flight 028 bound for Tel Aviv from Newark in December 2015. Strictly Orthodox Jewish men believe they are contaminated and tempted in the close proximity of women who are not their wives. 

Ms. Rabinowitz, who lived through traumatic days of the Nazis in Europe, moved reluctantly. But she landed in Israel determined to take action. This week a Jerusalem court ruled that gender segregation and the movement of passengers to accommodate gender discrimination was illegal on El Al. 

As Modern Orthodox Jews, Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump Share Deep Connection To Israel & Chabad

As Modern Orthodox Jews, Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump Share Deep Connection To Israel & Chabad

The Trump-Kushner family have said they practice Modern Orthodox Judaism and Jared Kushner graduated from The Frisch School, the prestigious New Jersey yeshiva. In Washington the family has joined the Chabad synagogue attached to Washington's Kalorama neighborhood.

Rabbi Levi Shemtov, heads the small membership synagogue, which is a seven-minute walk from their home. Throughout the years, many Jewish politicians have attended TheSHUL, including former senator Joe Lieberman and current Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, several Jewish ambassadors posted in Washington, and Israeli Cabinet ministers from the Orthodox parties. If Trump and Kushner attend the synagogue on a regular basis, it is likely to gain a lot of public attention, writes The Forward.

In a separate article The Forward poses the very question that captured my attention, writing "It might seem odd for a Modern Orthodox Jewish family to join a Chabad synagogue.  The relationship of Jared and Ivanka to the Chabad movement, also known as Lubavitch and Chabad-Lubavitch, was explored in one of the two Zembla videos exploring Donald Trump's relationship with the Russians. Chabad is the largest Hasidic movement in the world. 

This evening, Thursday May 25, all US media confirms that Jared Kushner is under scrutiny by the FBI for his involvement with the Trump campaign and the Trump White House. Trump's lawyer, Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, Jamie Gorelick, has said that Jared Kushner will be fully cooperative with investigators. 

RelatedThe Media Goes Deeper and Deeper Into Ivanka Trump: Zembla Looks At Jared, Ivanka & Lev Leviev.  (Zembla videos embedded). AOC Redtracker Daily