Briefs: North America

A newly formed group of American Jewish leaders is opposing marriages of Jews to people of other religions. Supported by the American Jewish Committee, the effort will tell Jewish young people that the future of the faith depends on their marrying other Jews. A 1990 study revealed that about half of American Jews are married to non-Jews. Some in the movement want children in such families to be raised as Jews; others suggest that Gentile spouses convert to Judaism.

"We want to be very open with our agenda," Rabbi Joseph Epstein told Religion News Service. "I don't mind being up front and saying that my ultimate goal is conversion."

Only 16 percent of Texas Baptist churches are redirecting money away from the Southern Baptist Convention and into the new budget proposed by moderates (CT, Dec. 4, 2000, p. 17). As part of the continuing struggle between conservatives and moderates in the denomination, the Baptist General Convention of Texas passed a budget recommending that funding by 6,000 state Baptist churches for conservative institutions and programs be cut by $5.4 million. About half of the churches affiliated with the state convention are choosing to continue to fund through the old budget, while the rest have indicated "other" in the giving category. Income for the state convention is now under budget, and some projects have been put on hold, according to Religion News Service.

Cornelius Plantinga Jr. has been named the sixth president of Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Previously Plantinga was dean of the chapel and a professor at Calvin.

David E. Schroeder has been appointed president of Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, N.Y. He continues as president of Nyack College. Both institutions are ...

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