Israel Correspondent

Israeli-U.S. Conservatives Still Split On Gays

Departure of two openly gay rabbinical students and three straight friends
from Machon Schechter highlights lingering differences.

05/11/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — When, in 2007, the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary decided to admit openly gay students for the first time, the decision presented these students with a dilemma: where to study during their mandatory third year in Israel.

Traditionally, JTS rabbinical students have spent their Israel year at Machon Schechter, the Israeli Masorti movement’s rabbinical seminary, which does not ordain openly gay students.

This worried Ian Chesir-Teran and Aaron Weininger, JTS’ first two openly gay JTS students.

Chesir-Teran, a 39-year-old father of three from East Meadow, L.I., above

Childhood Obesity Hits Israel

In the land of the Mediterranean diet, visions of America.

Israel Correspondent
05/05/2010

 Jerusalem — Israel is a Mediterranean country, but over the years its diet has
become less about fruits, vegetables and olive oil, and more about fast food — which has fueled a childhood obesity problem similar to the one seen in America.

 

 

Israeli children are becoming overweight, thanks in part to the fast food available at places like Jerusalem’s Malha Mall food c

Israel Vs. Anat Kam

A young journalist faces life in prison for leaking classified military documents to Haaretz. Does she deserve it?

04/13/2010
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — Israel’s confirmation last week that former soldier-journalist Anat Kam leaked about 2,000 top secret documents to the Haaretz reporter Ori Blau touched off a debate over press freedoms in the Jewish state.

But instead of uniting journalists against the government and the security services, the controversy has sparked infighting among the Israeli media that has muddied the waters regarding who is at fault.

Did Haaretz do enough to protect Kam, above? That was one question raised by the thorny case.

Saudi Arabian Cleric Wants To Broadcast From Israel

Israeli officials in bind about planned visit by sheik with popular TV show.

04/07/2010
Israel Correspondent

 Jerusalem — The Israeli government will have a tough choice to make if a Saudi cleric with a popular TV show makes good on his promise to broadcast from Jerusalem.  

On Sunday Sheik Mohammed al-Areefi, a Muslim cleric who hosts a program with many young viewers, announced that he would be in Jerusalem next week, a claim that caught Israeli officials, and at least some Muslim officials, completely off-guard. 

Sheik Mohammed el-Areefi

When A Kosher Conversion Isn’t Enough

Local haredi rabbis seen as marriage impediment in latest “who is a Jew” dust-up.

03/31/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — In November 2009, exactly three months before the day they were planning to get married, Maxim and Alina Surdikov went to the marriage registry in the coastal town of Ashkelon, their hometown, just as the laws requires.

The registrar pleasantly told them that before the young couple could open a file (known as a “teek”), they would have to receive permission from the town’s rabbi, Haim Blau.

The reason: Alina Surdikov, 24, who immigrated to Israel from Siberia 15 years ago, is a convert.

Maxim and Alina Surdikov petitioning High Court after Ashkelon rabbi refused to grant marriage license.

When A Kosher Conversion Isn't Enough

Local haredi rabbis seen as marriage impediment in latest "who is a Jew" dust-up.

03/29/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem - In November 2009, exactly three months before the day they were planning to get married, Maxim and Alina Surdikov went to the marriage registry in the coastal town of Ashkelon, their hometown, just as the laws requires.

The registrar pleasantly told them that before the young couple could open a file (known as a "teek"), they would have to receive permission from the town's rabbi, Haim Blau.

The reason: Alina Surdikov, 24, who immigrated to Israel from Siberia 15 years ago, is a convert.

For Bibi, The Political Tightrope Grows More Taut

Reports that Obama hoping prime minister
will have to include Livni in more centrist coalition.

03/18/2010
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — Can Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — a master tightrope walker — balance between the demands of an angry U.S. administration and the insistent right flank of his governing coalition?
 
Can he advance down the path of negotiations with the U.S. and Palestinians while continuing to hold fast to a coalition dominated by hardliners who are opposed to territorial concessions?
 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Burned By The Freeze

With West Bank settlement projects on hold, many families and developers are feeling the pinch.

03/11/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — With five kids and monthly rent topping $1,200, it didn’t take long for Ronen Mizrachi to calculate how much more he would get for his money if he moved his family out of Jerusalem.

So two years ago, Mizrachi, a lawyer, and his wife, an optometrist, purchased a piece of land in Har Gilo, a small, tranquil Jewish settlement-cum-village about five miles south of Jerusalem.

An artists’ rendering of the new building planned by Lev Binyamin.

Rumblings Beneath The Cave Of The Patriarchs

Hebron-related protests subside, but the controversy has not blown over.

03/05/2010
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — The weeklong Palestinian protests over Israel’s decision to designate two shrines in the West Bank as heritage sites subsided this week, but the controversy has not blown over. 

If the government goes through with a plan to renovate religious sites like the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, there is a risk of an even worse upsurge in violence, claimed the leader of a prominent Palestinian clan in the city.

An Israeli border policeman, center, arrests two Palestinian men Sunday. Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images

Rumblings Beneath The Cave Of The Patriarchs

Hebron-related protests subside, but the controversy has not blown over.

03/02/2010
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — The weeklong Palestinian protests over Israel’s decision to designate two shrines in the West Bank as heritage sites subsided this week, but the controversy has not blown over.  

 If the government goes through with a plan to renovate religious sites like the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, there is a risk of an even worse upsurge in violence, claimed the leader of a prominent Palestinian clan in the city.

An Israeli border policeman, center, arrests two Palestinian men Sunday.  Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images
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