Hate crimes against Jews continued across the nation this week even as political leaders from New York’s City Hall to the White House were promising stepped-up protection and renewed attempts to push tougher anti-hate and gun control laws.
The moves come in response to the shootings at a Los Angeles-area Jewish community center in which five people were wounded, including a 5-year-old boy and two 6-year-olds.
As Israel’s fourth prime minister in four years begins to stitch together a new parliamentary coalition, some American Jewish leaders are cautiously optimistic that Ehud Barak will fulfill campaign promises and usher in a new era of religious pluralism in the Jewish state.
Reform and Conservative leaders are threatening to hit Israeli politicians where it hurts — in the pocketbook — for supporting a new two-pronged legislative attack aimed at blocking non-Orthodox efforts to gain equality in Israel.
In this sudden escalation of Israel’s religious pluralism war, non-Orthodox leaders this week angrily denounced the Israeli Orthodox coalition’s aggressive political maneuvers to try and prevent Reform and Conservative representatives from taking their seats on local religious councils.
Into the fray comes the Reform movement. On Sunday, members of the Conservative movement were verbally accosted by some ultra-Orthodox teenagers while praying in a mixed-gender service at the Western Wall on Shavuot morning. There was pushing and shoving as well, according to eyewitness accounts.
The script goes like this: Washington objects to Israeli settlement construction; there are some angry words on both sides, and then an apparent coming together around some vaguely defined, transparent face-saving compromise. Both sides insist there's no crisis in the relationship.
Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
Haven’t we seen this movie before?
The script goes like this: Washington objects to Israeli settlement construction; there are some angry words on both sides, and then an apparent coming together around some vaguely defined, transparent face-saving compromise. Both sides insist there’s no crisis in the relationship.
On the eve of his first U.S. visit since becoming deputy prime minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, who calls for stripping Israeli Arabs of their citizenship, has received a provisional pass from much of the Jewish establishment — and a stamp of approval from one leader who denounced him just last May.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, told The Jewish Week this week, “I don’t see anything extremist since he became part of the government.”
Their backs were against the Wall, so to speak.
But a flood of faxes sent to Israeli legislators has staved off — at least temporarily — consideration of a new law that if passed, would ban women from conducting any religious ceremony in their section at the Western Wall.
The bill, submitted to the Knesset by members of the United Torah Judaism party, would prohibit women from opening a Torah scroll, blowing a shofar, or wearing a tallit or tefillin at Judaism’s holiest site. Violators would face seven years in prison.
Time doesn’t stand still every year on the 27th day of Nissan, but part of Israel does.
On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, at the annual time established by the Knesset in 1951 to memorialize the Jewish people’s collective losses at the hands of the Nazis, restaurants and entertainment venues are closed, Israeli television carries introspective programming and most Israelis stop whatever they are doing when air-raid sirens sound throughout the land.
Jerusalem: Negist Mengesha's first venture in Israeli politics ended poorly. She ran in the 1994 Knesset elections on the slate of a small women's party, none of whose candidates were elected.
Next week, Mengesha is a candidate again, No.15 on the slate of the Meretz party. If elected, she will become the first Ethiopian Jewish woman to serve in the Knesset.
"I am not only a symbol" of one immigrant group's progress in Israeli society, she says. "My intention is to win."