Jerusalem

In the Mix: An Orthodox Rabbi Takes A Humanist Turn

06/15/2010
Associate Editor

Google the words interfaith, wedding and rabbi together and you get a whopping 1.1 million hits.

Perched atop this list (most are about the issues, rather than sites actually offering rabbis who do interfaith weddings) you will find Rabbi David S. Gruber, an Orthodox-ordained rabbi who has performed 60 weddings since he started doing interfaith ceremonies two years ago.

Israel Approves Gaza Flotilla Inquiry Panel

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's Cabinet unanimously approved a commission of inquiry into the interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine passengers dead.

Two foreign observers were named to the commission.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during Monday's meeting to approve the independent public commission that its establishment "will make it clear to the entire world that the State of Israel acts according to the law, transparently, and with full responsibility."

Defending Israel, but maybe not its policies

 In recent days I've read a few eloquent pleas for American Jews to stand up and support Israel in the face of worldwide condemnation; now, the writers argue, is not the time to quibble about policy.

Some of these are written by people I really respect – and I'd respectfully like to take issue with them.

On Parashat Sh’lah Lekha And the Gaza Flotilla Incident

06/11/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

What follows is the sermon I delivered in my synagogue in Forest Hills last week. I wanted to share it with you because it is a more thorough treatment of the subject than I could do in a briefer piece, and I think it important. I hope you will as well.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Single Gal Sings the Wedding Blues

Because no one told me, I am telling you: If you are ever invited to an Israeli wedding, don't wear heels!

It's not like I'm a big high heel wearer. In fact, I don't even own that many pairs of shoes and the ones that I do own are all red. But since Israel is the land of casual-wear, when I dusted off some relatively spiffy threads for a work colleague's wedding, I noticed a pair of neglected heels in my closet and thought, Why not?

Jewish Leaders Press Abbas on Direct Talks, Incitement

06/10/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish leaders pressed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the issues of incitement and direct talks.

Abbas met for dinner Wednesday evening with an array of the national Jewish leadership under the auspices of the Center for Middle East Peace. The meeting came after he met with President Obama at the White House.

The major topic of the evening was Abbas' reluctance to advance from proximity talks, brokered by the United States, to direct talks with Israel. Both the Obama and Netanyahu administrations favor direct talks.

Orthodox Union Leaders Meet With White House Staff, Senators

06/09/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Leaders of the Orthodox Union met with top administration officials and with U.S. senators.

Members of synagogues and organizations affiliated with the umbrella body met Wednesday with top National Security Council staff and discussed the U.S.-Israel relationship, the peace process and Iran sanctions, as well as education and energy policy.

The Orthodox Union has been among the sharpest critics of Obama administration pressure on Israel to freeze building in eastern Jerusalem.

Fauxtographing the News: From Herzl to the Flotilla

Cross-posted at Blog.RabbiJason.com

Photoshop might not have been around a century ago, but the altering of images to change history has been around for a very long time.

This is a doctored photo of Theodor Herzl from 1898

Media Roundup: After The Flotilla, Cracks On The Right?

Some chilling words, even from Israel’s friends.

06/09/2010
Associate Editor

 There was a time when Jews trusted “the world’s” good sense. Former Israel Chief Rabbi Meir Lau, a child in the Holocaust, remembered Jews — and the Germans, too — wondering, on the eve of the Final Solution, “What will the world say,” and finding out — not much at all.

Woman Attacked By Fellow Birthright Participant

06/09/2010

 (JTA) — A New Jersey woman was attacked in Israel by a fellow participant on the Birthright Israel program.

Sherry Kestenbaum, 25, of Piscataway, N.J., was attacked May 31 in the hallway of a hotel at a kibbutz guest house near the Dead Sea, the New Jersey Jewish News reported. Fellow participant Jonathan Haft reportedly made advances to Kestenbaum, which she rebuffed, according to the newspaper.

Haft, a martial arts expert, remains in jail, charged by Jerusalem Police with assault with a deadly weapon. A court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

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