Nominator(s): Jayjg(talk) 02:41, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I am nominating this for featured article because it achieved GA status in August, and has been considerably improved since then. I believe this article about a notable American Jewish congregation/synagogue now meets all the Featured article criteria. Jayjg(talk) 02:41, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Images All the images have OTRS stamps, and are therefore acceptable. I query whether this licence is necessarily appropriate for all the images. The photograph of of Rabbi Peres, for example, is Public Domain on grounds of age. I would suggest adding dates and photographer to the image description, if known, and changing the licence of the images of those who died more than 70 years ago to PD-Old Jimfbleak -talk to me? 11:07, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm not an expert on image licensing. I just did my best to get the pictures in the first place, and get proper releases for them. Wiser minds than mine can decide if other licensing would be even more appropriate. :-) Jayjg(talk) 07:38, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Comment. I was wondering if you could find a way to remove the multiple ref tags after some of the sentences. I don't mind when it's just two, but three or more can look awkward, e.g.
The first was Jonas Levy, who was hired as cantor and ritual slaughterer,
Also not keen on multiple tags inside sentences, e.g.
The son of a rabbi, he was born in Marktsteft, Bavaria in 1846, and attended three institutions of higher learning in Germany, before being was ordained there.
Could you find a single source who says these things, or else consider bundling the refs between one set of ref tags? Also note the "being was" in the second example. SlimVirgintalk|contribs 03:45, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. I've fixed the grammar issue, and will start to bundle triple refs over the next couple of days. Regarding finding a single ref for a sentence, wherever possible I did that, but sometimes the refs just covered specific points. I'll try to bundle them too. Jayjg(talk) 07:38, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
O.K., I think I've fixed all the triple references, and quite a few of the "in the middle of the sentence" references too, wherever I thought it was reasonable or feasible to do so. References in the middle of a sentence have never bothered me, particularly where they support different thoughts (e.g. parts of a sentence separated by a semi-colon). Please let me know if you think there are more that should be consolidated. Jayjg(talk) 19:56, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Would you consider going through the article and trying to tighten it a little? Pulling out an example at random:
"The year Ettelson arrived at Children of Israel he organized the Cross Cut Club, an inter-faith group intended 'to interchange views, to promote mutual understanding, cutting across denominational lines and working towards that understanding and good will which would prevent or soften religious or any other prejudices'" (48 words).
Instead, it could be: "The year Ettelson arrived he organized the Cross Cut Club, an inter-faith group intended to counter religious prejudice" (19 words).
There are other points in the article where things are spelled out too much, and tightening would make it easier to read. SlimVirgintalk|contribs 17:27, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
O.K., I see you think the level of detail is too high. I've made the change you suggest, which was a good one, and I'll go through the article again, trying to remove other similar material. It may be that I'm too close to the material to know exactly what could be shortened; after all, I've already summarized hundreds of pages of source material, so to me it seems short already. Also, you're a better copy-editor than me; if you can assist in any way it would be much appreciated. Jayjg(talk) 06:35, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I can give it a go, but I don't know which details matter, so I won't be able to shave much of it. A few points: (a) you use both en dash and em dash for parentheses; (b) in the lead: "Led at first by cantors and leasing various premises, B'nai Israel hired its first rabbi, Jacob Peres, in 1858. That year it leased its first building ...". It's a little unclear. It leased various premises. Then it leased its first building? (c) In the Tuska era: " In another break with tradition". Not clear what the other breaks were. SlimVirgintalk|contribs 13:35, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Your cuts were good. I changed they stray endash to emdash, and removed the confusing wording. Jayjg(talk) 00:15, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I cut around 180 words, not sure if you think this is enough. Overall, the article is now under 8,500 words, so I hope we're getting closer to what you're looking for. Jayjg(talk) 00:15, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
O.K., I cut some more, and moved some stuff into footnotes. It's now close to 8,000 words. Jayjg(talk) 06:50, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
That's looking better. It was 8893 words when you nominated, and it's now 7997. Any further tightening you can manage would help. I was wondering about this site, used as a ref 31 times, and often doubled up with others. Where it's a second ref, could it be removed, or could it replace the other one? SlimVirgintalk|contribs 16:23, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
In several places I've replaced the ref or removed it where others are used. The article's now down to 7920 words. Jayjg(talk) 01:53, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Support. I'm happy to support this now. It's comprehensive, clearly written, and a real achievement to have pulled it all together. Some remaining niggles: it's still a little over-referenced. I would consider removing or combining references for anything non-contentious, especially refs mid-sentence or doubled up at the end of sentences. I also think some of the details could go, either completely or be moved into footnotes, e.g. assistant rabbis and where they worked previously. And I would consider delinking all but the names and the most relevant details. But these are preference issues. Overall, it's a fine article. Please feel free to remove or restore anything I changed, by the way. SlimVirgintalk|contribs 19:25, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Thank you! I've consolidated some more of the references, and will continue to look for places to trim. Jayjg(talk) 01:53, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Sources comments: Generally, sources and citations look in good order. A few mainly minor issues:-
Ascalon Studios: the website is a fine advert for the studios, but I can find no reference to "Wings of the Heavens", or Temple Israel
No citations that I can see to "Our history" (Congregation Achduth Vesholom website)
Gordon (Encyclopaedia Judaica) is accessed via Highbeam, which is a subscription service. This should be noted via (subscription required).
Over-citation: The sentence "Ettelson retired in 1954, and was succeeded by Jimmy Wax" is cited in the lead to . Essentially the same sentence in the text is cited to . As a general rule there is no need to cite information in the lead if it is cited elsewhere in the article.
Ref 104: Maybe give one example of the contrary spelling?
Gordon (Encyclopaedia Judaica) is accessed via Highbeam, which is a subscription service. This should be noted via (subscription required). - fixed, thanks.
Over-citation: The sentence "Ettelson retired in 1954, and was succeeded by Jimmy Wax" is cited in the lead to . Essentially the same sentence in the text is cited to . As a general rule there is no need to cite information in the lead if it is cited elsewhere in the article. - this is a dispute over which there is no agreement. Some people insist article leads do not need to be cited, because the material is in the article. Others insist that everything in the article that might be challenged needs an inline citation, per WP:V. I'm cautious, and cite my FA leads. Jayjg(talk) 20:35, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
If a statement in the lead is contentious and/or likely to be challenged, or if it is a direct quote, then it should indeed be cited in the lead. But your lead citations are of routine facts—X succeeded Y, Z currently holds such-and-such office, etc—which are not likely to be challenged, and which are cited again in the text. This is over-citing rather than caution. I don't know of any policy or convention at FAC which OKs this approach. Brianboulton (talk) 11:38, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, I've seen it in other FACs, and I recently had one editor insist vehemently that every single sentence in an article needed a citation to satisfy WP:V. Nonetheless, I've removed all the citations from the lead, as everything is cited in the body of the article. Jayjg(talk) 04:10, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Ref 104: Maybe give one example of the contrary spelling? - done, thanks. Jayjg(talk) 20:35, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Comment There's an issue with all the refs to Mark K. Bauman, Berkley Kalin (eds), The Quiet Voices: Southern Rabbis and Black Civil Rights, 1880s to 1990s being sourced as written by LaPointe when Kalin wrote the chapter "A Plea for Tolerance: Fineshriber in Memphis", pp. 50-66, which is used as a source in the article (but referenced as LaPointe). The first LaPointe ref in References section also needs to be changed to Kalin. Christopher Connor (talk) 18:49, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
You're right, thanks! Fixed. Jayjg(talk) 01:04, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Comments Support -pending the sorting out of one measly conjunction/phrase. moseying my way up the FAC ladder, reading through and jotting notes:Casliber (talk·contribs) 02:44, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
who moved the congregation from Orthodox to Reform.- "moved" seems an odd verb here, comes across as a bit colloquial-sounding, yet I am stumped if I can think of a better one - "converted", "transferred" ???
Thanks for taking a look! I added "practices", which I think reads better: "moved the congregation from Orthodox to Reform practices". What do you think? Jayjg(talk) 04:10, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
nd used it to purchase a lot on Second Street - Never having been to Memphis and hence unfamiliar with it, is this in...where? Some form of suburb or district descriptor would be good to give context if possible.
This was early in Memphis's history; everything was downtown and pretty close to everything else. The main North/South streets are Riverside Drive on the Mississippi River waterfront, then Front Street parallel to that, then Second Street, then Third Street. Second street is about four blocks from the river. Would you like me to add something like "near the Mississippi River waterfront"? Jayjg(talk) 04:10, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that'd be good. Anything that just further pinpoints geography a little. Most of the streets of Memphis don't have pages (I looked), and just having street names leaves me a little rudderless reading it. Casliber (talk·contribs) 19:33, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
I actually added the sentence "In its first decades, the congregation worshiped in various locations in downtown Memphis, near the Mississippi River waterfront", and re-organized the material so that the first paragraph was about the services, and the second about the places of worship. That way, the opening sentence covers all the locations mentioned. Jayjg(talk) 02:28, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
something forbidden by Jewish law, and despite the rule he had championed. - the second clause sounds odd. I am guessing it refers to the law mentioned in the last sentence of the preceding paragraph - the "despite" is awkward. I'm thinking a reword is in order, "contrasting with the rule he had championed"? Not necessarily "conflicting" or "contravening" since they are separate circumstances but you get the idea...
I used "despite" because the rule was passed under his leadership, with the consequence of not getting honors on the High Holy Days. So, despite this rule being passed, and despite this consequence, he still opened his business on Saturdays. I'm not sure what other word is better, but I'm open to suggestions or ideas. Jayjg(talk) 04:10, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
I think it's the position of "despite" that's slightly off. Suggestion:
The congregation also moved more towards Orthodoxy, and passed a rule stating that only members who were Sabbath observant could receive Torah honors on the High Holy Days.
Despite this, Peres himself kept his businesses—a grocery store and a commission business he owned with his brother—open on Saturdays, something forbidden by Jewish law. He was finding his wages insufficient to support his wife and four children, and Saturday was the busiest day. Some of the congregants objected ... etc.
I just realized when reading this that I don't know what a commission business is. SlimVirgintalk|contribs 14:32, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
I like your suggestion, but Casliber also had a good suggestion below, and yours made the footnoting more complicated and ubiquitous, so I took the easy way out. :) I've added an explanation of what a "commission business" is, and added a link for the word "commission"; it's basically selling goods owned by others for a commission. "Commission business" was a term commonly used in the 1800s, but today we'd refer to it as "selling on consignment". Jayjg(talk) 02:28, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
The blockquote rejig is good. Agree that 'despite' was a good word but just sounded funny where it is/was. Casliber (talk·contribs) 19:33, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
PS: As an alternative, I slotted in "at odds with" for "despite", which I feels flows better there and highlights the contrast. Jayjg, as you're the pilot on this one I have no strong opinion between my rejig and SV's rewrite above (or any other idea actually), and have listed my support as it is a pretty minor stylistic point. Nice bit of local colour :) Casliber (talk·contribs) 22:23, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Thank you! I'm going with your change, see above. Jayjg(talk) 02:28, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
CommentSupport. I did the GA review for this article, so a lot of what I thought should be addressed got done then. I like the article a lot, but I'm still a little perturbed by a couple of aspects related to the civil rights era. First, I don't think the lead section evenly summarizes the article: for example, the specific reason why Peres was fired gets one paragraph in the article body and one sentence in the lead, but specifics of the civil rights activism in the Wax era gets five paragraphs in the article body and no sentences in the lead. That doesn't seem right. Moreover, a Reform Jewish congregation in the South during the civil rights era is a story that sits on top of several fault lines in American history, and I think more needs to be said about the attitude of the congregation during this time. That is to say, the quote "Almost all native-born Southerners whose families lived in the South for two or more generations have segregationist attitudes" needs more followup. Was there a sharp split in the congregation? Did Wax risk losing his backing among them altogether? How did the congregation, or the temple board members, or temple educators etc., resolve their Jewish teachings with their Southern heritage? The article talks a lot about what Wax did during this period, but I'd like to see a fuller treatment of what the whole congregation felt and did during it. Wasted Time R (talk) 03:07, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your review! I'm concerned about the article getting too long (a concern of other reviewers), but I've added material to the civil rights section and adjusted the balance (and material) in the lead, based on your comments. What do you think? Jayjg(talk) 01:41, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Long articles don't bother me (I've produced a few!) I've tweaked some of what you did; looks good to me now. Wasted Time R (talk) 13:26, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, and I like your edits. Jayjg(talk) 01:31, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.