Business

Virtually There

Guests joining the party from every corner of the world —
on their computer screens. How technology
is connecting families as never before.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/23/2010

A few months before his son Jonah was born, David Bryfman reluctantly told his Australian parents it would be best if they skipped the baby’s brit milah. Their presence in his small Brooklyn apartment would be more helpful a few months later.

His parents came anyway, dining on bagels and lox, tearing up with emotion and toasting the newborn — whose image was projected on a giant screen in a party hall in Bryfman’s hometown of Melbourne, Australia. 

Conservative rabbis Erez Sherman and Nicole Guzik married each other in January.

The Overscheduled Jewish Child

As families and children juggle multiple activities, congregations seek to accommodate — and provide
a haven from — their demands.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/23/2010

 Traditionally, when Jewish children first learn their Hebrew letters they’re given candy or honey to create a sweet association. At North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, L.I., the connection is more savory — try marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. So begins the Tuesday night Hebrew school for students in seventh grade. 

Blessing of a Friday-night meal: Family dinner takes precedence over soccer and music lessons for some local families.

David Weprin’s Excellent Adventure

06/23/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

The number of people who attended last month’s Israel Day Concert, the annual right-wing rally in support of Israel’s settlement movement, and a joint event, two weeks later, between Jews and Muslims, would almost certainly be zero if it weren’t for one person — state Assemblyman David Weprin.

David Weprin: Hard-right Jewish crowd one day, Muslim-Jewish coexistence crowd another.

Jews Brace For Next Phase In Iran Battle

New sanctions surge could lead to new dilemmas for groups that have banked on issue.

06/23/2010
Washington Correspondent

Recent breakthroughs in the U.S.-led effort to squeeze Iran could change the political calculus for American Jewish groups that have benefited hugely from their decades-old focus on Iran — and which have largely succeeded in making Iran’s threat to both U.S. and Israeli interests a top policy for Congress and  the White House.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Dreams Confront Reality On Pilot Israel Campus Trip

College students, recent grads hopeful and fearful about taking Israel plunge.

06/23/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

They came from all over the United States and Canada — college and graduate students, ready to embark on a whirlwind tour of Israel.

This wasn’t a Birthright trip, though. The 33 students who participated in the Jewish Agency’s Campus Aliyah Fellowship pilot trip had all been to Israel before. Now, they came with practical goals — and big dreams.

Syosset, L.I., native Brooke Katz shows off her Israeli passport. Jewish Agency

Rubashkin Sentence Seen As ‘Piling On’

But debate over whether 27-year rap will hold up on appeal.

06/23/2010
Staff Writer

The 27-year bank fraud sentence imposed Tuesday on Sholom Rubashkin, former manager of what was once the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse, was widely viewed by law professors and criminal defense attorneys alike as too severe.

“A sentence of 27 years is beyond excessive, it is patently offensive — especially for a nonviolent crime in a case where the defendant had no prior criminal record,” said noted criminal attorney Ben Brafman, who was not involved in the case. 

Sholom Rubashkin: Judge said she tacked on points because of his “obstruction.”

Chabad Schools, Gets Schooled in Diplomacy at D.C. Confab

06/23/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Chabad emissaries usually associate Washington with their emphasis on education, but this year they got a taste of foreign policy suasion while handing out some, too.

Hundreds of emissaries from across the United States and the world descended on the U.S. capital for two days last week for a conference organized by American Friends of Lubavitch.

R&R For The Heart And Soul: Chabad-Style NY Welcome For Wounded Israeli Veterans

06/22/2010
Staff Writer

A year and a half after the left side of his body was torn head-to-toe by shrapnel in the Gaza war, 23-year-old Ron Lichi was enjoying a relaxing tour of the Empire State Building, the White House and the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s gravesite, among other American tourist destinations.

Israeli soldiers wounded in Gaza war visit the Statue of Liberty, top, and meet with Chabad leaders here. Bentzi Sasson

U.S. State Department Warns Against Travel in Israel

06/22/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The U.S. State Department warned Americans to "exercise a high degree of caution" while traveling in highly trafficked areas in Israel.

It also said that Americans should avoid West Bank demonstrations because of dangers posed by Israeli troops dispersing protesters, and should not attempt to enter the Gaza Strip by sea.

Reaction Mixed to Israeli Announcement on Easing of Gaza Blockade

06/22/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's decision to loosen its blockade on Gaza is drawing both praise and criticism.

Israel's security Cabinet on Sunday voted to ease land-based civilian imports to the Gaza Strip; the naval blockade will remain in place.

The move garnered praise from the White House, which released a statement Sunday saying it welcomed the new policy toward Gaza.

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