United States

NYPD Cops Working The Interfaith Beat

Shomrim, Muslim Society officers in emerging relationship, despite obstacles.

06/16/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

When it comes to “Kumbaya” moments, as some critics have dubbed Jewish-Muslim dialogue, “Police officers are pretty much a harder sell [than other people],” says Det. Lawrence Wein, president of the New York Police Department’s Shomrim Society. “They are a bit more cynical than peace activists.”

Det. Ahmed Nasser, left, was detained in Israel for over two hours when he arrived with fellow NYPD members.Doug Chandler

An Obligation To The Dead

06/16/2010

 The oldest Jewish cemetery in the United States would probably be an official historical landmark site today, but no one knows where it’s located.

Shortly after the original group of 23 Jews from Brazil arrived in then-New Amsterdam in 1654, they founded Congregation Shearith Israel then successfully petitioned city authorities to establish a Jewish burial ground on “a little hook of land,” most likely on the sparsely developed island of Manhattan.

Rabbi Hayyim Angel. Michael Datikash

U.S. and Israel Agree on Key Issues—For Now

06/15/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The relationship between the Obama administration, the Netanyahu government and the pro-Israel community is ensconced on all fronts in “agree, for now” mode.

On isolating Iran, everyone agrees -- and is pleased -- that the new set of U.N. sanctions will make it easier for the United States to enhance its own unilateral sanctions.

Differences are looming, however, on whether the U.S. sanctions should carve out exemptions for countries that helped push through the U.N. sanctions.

Mets’ Kosher Vendor Reportedly Sues To Open On Shabbat

06/15/2010

The Star-K kashrut certification company denied this week that it gave Kosher Sports, Inc., a company with concessions at seven sports stadiums in the eastern United States, permission to keep its trio of stands at the New York Mets’ ballpark open on Shabbat.

The New York Post reported that Kosher Sports, based in Englewood, N.J.,last week sued the Mets in Brooklyn’s Federal Court, claiming that the team has barred the firm from selling its products at Citi Field during Friday night and Saturday games while Star-K agreed to let them stay open.

‘Beautiful Words Written Beautifully’

Irene Hizme, an Auschwitz survivor who suffers from multiple sclerosis crafts, hand-lettered cards
to benefit aging Holocaust victims.

06/15/2010
Staff Writer

In the basement of her Oceanside, L.I., home, next to a window and a hand-lettered “Patience” poster, Irene Hizme sits at a drawing board, creating works of intricate calligraphy and flower-filled branches.

A Czechoslovakia-born Holocaust survivor in her “early 70s” and retired biochemist/computer programmer, she spends much of her free time these days making thank-you notes and birthday cards. She does many of her works as a volunteer for The Blue Card, an organization that offers financial assistance to aging Holocaust survivors.

“I’ve had a good life,” says Irene Hizme, who survived the Holocaust and now copes with multiple sclerosis.

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.

Day of the Locust (in the wake of the flotilla)

Don't be fooled by the noise against Israel, the clacking of locusts in a darkening sky. Maybe Obama's buying into it, announcing a $400 million gift to the Palestinians, including the Gaza of Hamas, which is like a geek handing over his lunch money to the bully in the playground, and there are plenty of Jews who crumple whenever the sky blackens, but most Americans aren't buying it.

I'm not buying it, either.

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.

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.

Obama Says Gaza Situation ‘Unsustainable,’ Pledges $400 Million

06/10/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama said the situation in the Gaza Strip was "unsustainable" and that he would budget an additional $400 million to improve conditions there and in the West Bank.

Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting here Wednesday discussed the aftermath of Israel's deadly raid last week on a Turkish-flagged ship ferrying aid and activists to Gaza Strip in order to break Israel's blockade of the strip.

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