Jerusalem — For a single day in mid-March, the parking lot at Hebrew Union College, the Reform movement’s Jerusalem campus, was packed with boxes, not cars, as more than a hundred young volunteers participated in the mitzvah of kamcha depascha, providing food for the needy on Passover.
In 1999, before the intifada deepened Israeli and Palestinian mutual distrust, Israeli artists Bosmat Alon and Tirtza Even visited the West Bank to shoot a video critical of Israeli policies to curtail Palestinian life.
Introduced by Israeli leftist activists to former political prisoners and ordinary families, Alon and Even spent months in the contested outskirts of Hebron and the cramped streets of the Deheishe camp near Bethlehem.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is preparing to return to Ethiopia, just four months after it virtually shut down its operations in the African nation at the request of the Israeli government. Reports of death, illness and impoverished conditions among the thousands of Ethiopians who have flooded into the capital city of Addis Ababa and Gondar City prompted the move by the relief agency.
I keep getting emails and reading blogs about the infamous “Ellison letter” - the congressional letter to President Obama urging him to press Israel to lift the Gaza blockade (many of the writers put the word “blockade” in quotation marks, as if it bears no connection to reality).
Right-wing Im Tirtzu accuses New Israel Fund —and its president — of bearing responsibility for Goldstone; NIF decries campaign to repress ‘dissent and honesty.’
Charges that the New Israel Fund supports Israeli civil rights groups that played a key role in providing information highly critical of Israel’s role in the Gaza war last year have sparked a spirited, and nasty, debate over the proper role for civil and human rights groups in a democratic state.
Now that the love-fest is over and President Bush has “left the building,” so to speak, Israelis are left to ponder life after him. The conference on tomorrow organized by Shimon Peres afforded the Israeli government the chance to say thank you to the man who has been, in his gut, arguably the most sympathetically inclined towards Israel’s precarious security position of any American president in recent memory.
Monday, February 23rd, 2009
Few things illuminate just how useless Israel can sometimes be better than its film industry. This year, “Waltzing With Bashir” was Israel’s entry for Academy Award’s Oscar for best foreign language film.
It lost. Good.
The film focused on the killings at Sabra & Shatilla during the first Lebanon war. That’s when, in Menachem Begin’s words, “goyim kill goyim, and they come to blame the Jews.”
Professor Benjamin Ish-Shalom is head of the Joint Conversion Institute, a network of study centers aimed at helping immigrants, including the estimated 300,000 people from the former Soviet Union, convert to Judaism. The Institute, which represents Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews, was established by the Israeli government and the Jewish agency following the Ne’eman Commission’s recommendations in April 1998.
Rabbi Joseph Brodie had been planning a family vacation in Ireland for this summer. But while visiting Israel this month with the Jewish Theological Seminary, he decided to switch plans and bring the family to Israel.
Rabbi Brodie, vice president of student affairs at the Conservative seminary, escorted 102 students on a four-day mission in which they received Ministry of Tourism training to become "tourism ambassadors."
Working as a bouncer at an East Side bar with a predominantly black and Latino clientele, Michael Isaacs was surprised one night this fall to notice a predominantly Jewish crowd entering the club.
To show his "solidarity," Isaacs (a burly, chain-smoking Long Island native who recently completed a two-year stint as a combat medic in the U.S. Army) took out his chai pendant, the Jewish symbol of life.
Within minutes, a stranger with an Israeli accent approached Isaacs, 26, asking him if he was Jewish and if he wanted to go to Israel for free.