The Chronicles

A Record of Times

North Carolina Church Gives ‘Homeless Jesus’ Sculpture a Home

A North Carolina congregation has permanently installed the controversial “Homeless Jesus” sculpture that had been previous rejected by other churches in the United States and Canada.

Yeshiva U. agrees to ordain student it rebuked over ‘partnership minyan’

NEW YORK (JTA) — Yeshiva University said it will grant rabbinic ordination to a student after previously threatening to withhold it over his having once hosted a so-called “partnership minyan.” “An agreement has been reached and the student will be receiving Semikha,” Rabbi Yosef Blau, a senior counselor at Y.U.’s seminary, told the Forward in an […]

Blast from the past: Cossacks, hundreds and ‘pogromists’ ride again

For many Ashkenazi Jews, Russia and Ukraine are part of a nebulous entity known as “the Old Country.” A large proportion of us, myself included, have relatives who made the trek overseas to America, often leaving behind a bloody, troubled past. In recent weeks, as Russia and Ukraine have been in the media spotlight, symbols […]

Conservative, Reform rabbis: Robinson’s Arch transfer plan ‘infuriating and unacceptable’

This week has seen a fair bit of news on the heretofore confidential negotiations surrounding the future of Robinson’s Arch, the area of the Western Wall open to non-Orthodox prayer. The Israeli Reform and Masorti (Conservative) movements, along with women’s prayer group Women of the Wall, have been negotiating for months with the Israeli government […]

Israeli cabinet secretary plans to block Robinson’s Arch transfer

(JTA) — Israeli Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit intends to block a draft agreement that would transfer control of parts of the Western Wall to a right-wing Israeli nonprofit. Mandelblit’s decision to oppose the tentative deal comes shortly after a group of Reform and Conservative rabbis sent him a letter strongly protesting the transfer of control. […]

Op-Ed: A Jewish approach to the ‘differently abled’

(Shutterstock) ROCKVILLE, Md. (JTA) — Increasing numbers of Jewish institutions are starting to pay attention to the disabled in our midst. The needs of this part of our community were in the communal spotlight this February, thanks to it being Jewish Disability Awareness Month. As with so many categories of Jewish teaching, the traditional Jewish […]

Johansson in post-SodaStream interview: I am not a role model

(JTA) — Actress Scarlett Johansson said in her first interview since the SodaStream blowup that she is not “a role model.” “I don’t see myself as being a role model,” she said in an interview published Thursday in Dazed and Confused magazine, adding that she “did not want to step into those shoes.” Johansson did […]

Christie confidantes joked about causing traffic problems for rabbi

(JTA) — Two former confidants of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joked about causing traffic problems in front of a rabbi’s home two weeks before the political scandal being called “Bridgegate.” Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff for Christie, and David Wildstein, a Christie appointee to a key position at the Port […]

Robinson’s Arch deal riles Reform and Conservative leaders

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements expressed concern over reports that the Israeli government agreed to put a right-wing organization in charge of the Robinson’s Arch area of the Western Wall. In a letter sent Thursday to Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit, who is working on a government plan to make the […]

Orthodox groups mum on Arizona religious exemption bill

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer yesterday vetoed a bill that would have permitted businesses to refuse service to gays if doing so would violate their religious convictions. The Anti-Defamation League commended her for the veto, and the Jewish Community Relations Council in southern Arizona advocated against the bill. From the JCRC release earlier this week: While we […]

Elsewhere: Chabad ‘Shofar’ alarm, Dara Horn’s history, Jews for Wagner

Chabad sounds alarm: Popular ‘Call of the Shofar’ workshops, which mix Judaism and Eastern thought, worry Lubavitch leadership. (N.Y. Jewish Week) Dara Horn on tech, history and her new novel: Novelist Dara Horn opens up about Jewish history, pacing, plot and how she writes. (Religion & Politics) Jews who love Wagner: Jewish support for Wagner goes way back, and the […]

North Korea: Missionary Detained

Australian missionary John Short, 75, was questioned and detained by North Korean authorities on Feb. 16., reportedly after police learned of gospel tracts in his possession. Short, who has lived in Hong Kong with his wife for the past 50 years, traveled to Pyongyang on Feb. 15 with a tour group, and police questioned him […]

IRAQ: Christians Facing ‘More than Desperate’ Crisis

Canon Andrew White, known as the “Vicar of Baghdad,” has requested urgent prayer for the church in Iraq…

KENYA: Pastor Murdered While Guarding Church

Assistant Pastor Lawrence Kazungu Kadenge was murdered in the early morning hours of February 2nd…

Belz Hasidim threaten mass exodus over Israel draft reform

One of the largest ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel says it is considering seeking refugee status in the U.S. for its members, if they face a mandatory army draft.     

KAZAKHSTAN: Pastor Receives Suspended Prison Term

On February 17th, a retired pastor accused of harming the health of a church member was handed a four-year suspended prison sentence….

Jerusalem to teach its taxi drivers English

Municipality aims to ease interaction between ties of its many visitors and their chaperones.     

Australian Detained in North Korea Added to

The following information has been added to allowing people around the world to send letters of encouragement to the wife of a detained Christian worker, as well as sending letters of protest to North Korean officials. You can also, on the profile page for Mr. Short, listen to an interview with Mrs. Short. The […]

Court hands Sudanese national 18 years for attempting to rape girl

After stabbing mother, assaulting girl, man was beaten unconscious by father in family’s Tel Aviv home.     

Turkey’s Syriac Christian Community Receives Deed for Lands of Mor Gabriel Monastery

ICC Note: A large amount of land has now been officially returned to the Syriac Church community in Eastern Turkey. The process of recovering the land that is part of a still-active, 1,700 year old monastery has been a long and arduous one. At a time when many Syriac Christians across the border into northern […]

Obama the inquisitor vs. Netanyahu, Abbas

Obama’s message to the two leaders: Cooperate with the U.S. initiative – or go it alone after the talks fail.     

Syria crisis: ISIS imposes rules on Christians in Raqqa

ICC Note: In one of the most troubling news reports coming out of Syria, the Jihadist group – ISIS – controlling the city of Raqqa has officially implemented a protection tax – “dhimma” – on Christians living in the city. According to a statement posted online they met with 20 Christian leaders and gave them […]

State rejects plea bargain with long-time Olmert aide

Shula Zaken, confidante of former PM Ehud Olmert had offered to testify against him in Holyland corruption trial.     

Religious Liberty in the United States Faces ‘Sophisticated Warfare’ Says Expert

ICC Note: For several years, ICC has monitored conditions for religious freedom in the United States. While American Christians today live with far more freedom than their brothers and sisters in the majority of the rest of the world, alarming developments, including a marked increase in hostility towards traditional Christian values, has many concerned that […]

Germany rejects Greek community's claim for Nazi-era reparations

Jewish residents of Thessaloniki paid huge ransom for release of workers who later perished in the Holocaust.     

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