Black community has new option for health care: the church


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Every Sunday at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, the Rev. Joseph Jackson Jr. praises the Lord before his congregation. But since last fall he’s been praising something else his Black community needs: the COVID-19 vaccine. “We want to continue to encourage our people to get out, get your shots. I got both of … Read more

Will Naftali Bennett’s diverse coalition lead Israel to recognize Jewish diversity?


JERUSALEM (RNS) — For most of the past 12 years, Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalitions depended on the highly leveraged participation of small Haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, political parties, who helped keep Israel’s longest-serving prime minister in power as long as he resisted reforms that would promote religious pluralism and provide legitimacy to non-Orthodox Jews.    Now … Read more

NY Holocaust survivors celebrated at concert after isolation


NEW YORK (AP) — Dozens of Holocaust survivors clapped, sang and danced Monday at a concert held in their honor in Brooklyn in the first large gathering for New York-area survivors after months of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. The concert by popular Orthodox Jewish singer Yaakov Shwekey was organized by the Nachas Health and … Read more

The social-media-examined life is not the one that sustains us


(RNS) — I was recently asked if the life I lead — the public one, as a writer, speaker and “influencer” (as they say) — was the one I’d always envisioned for myself. The answer is no. My public life is not what feeds the desires of my heart. It is not the vision I … Read more

New e-prayer rug offers digital support to Muslim prayer


(RNS) — A new smart prayer rug is being offered as an educational tool for use by Muslims concerned they may make errors in their daily prayers. The company behind the new rug says it has exceeded its funding goal by more than 200%. Thakaa Technologies, based in the Persian Gulf kingdom of Qatar, said … Read more

‘All-in’ Buddhist practice combines meditation and martial arts


(RNS) — In all Zen traditions, meditation is the backbone of the practice. Students sit with a tall spine, hands loosely interlocked and eyes half-closed. At Chosei Zen in Madison, Wisconsin, though, new students are never quite prepared for the rigor of Rinzai Zen, which asks participants to remain motionless for up to 45 minutes … Read more