The throngs were still cheering the marching bands and flag-waving yeshiva children snaking up Fifth Avenue last Sunday at the Israel Day Parade. But at the ornate Essex Hotel on Central Park South, just blocks from the reviewing stand where he had hailed the crowd two hours earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed for just a moment uncharacteristically reticent.
Jerusalem: Sitting in a converted bomb shelter in the basement of the hotel at the Ramat Rachel Kibbutz here, about 40 American Jewish college students are sharing their anxiety.
Like a group therapy session, they talk about their frustration, fear and anger over the recent rising levels of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments on their campuses by pro-Palestinian activists, as violence continues unabated in the Middle East.
Efrat, Israel: Standing at an empty bus stop on Hebron Road under a bright hot sun, an American traveler leaving Jerusalem for the West Bank community of Efrat suddenly feels his senses turned up a notch.
Waiting for the 167 bus heading south, the traveler watches four Israeli soldiers at a makeshift military checkpoint stop taxis, passenger cars and commercial trucks, delaying the Friday "have to get home for Shabbat" rush hour traffic.
Jews For Racial and Economic Justice, the New York City social action group, had planned to hold its annual awards dinner, as usual, at the Upper West Side Congregation B'nai Jeshurun.
After all, the dovish group's major award is named for the progressive synagogue's beloved late Rabbi Marshall Meyer. And its current rabbi, Rolando Matalon, is on the JFREJ board of directors.
Some 15 years ago, while there were still high hopes for the Oslo peace process, I interviewed John Wallach, founder of Seeds for Peace.
His program bringing Arab and Jewish kids together for leadership training retreats and conflict resolution studies, a worthy and laudable undertaking, was a few years old at the time and Wallach was thrilled that a group of his alumni got to sit on the dais as Yitzchak Rabin and Yasir Arafat signed papers and shook hands, raising what would shortly turn out to be false hopes around the world.
Washington — They came from Memphis and they came from Midwood. They bused in from Bayside and they rode the rails from Richmond. There were Hoosiers and Bluegrass Staters and a soul or two from Alaska who took a long day’s journey into the Lower 48 wearing their love of the Jewish state — and their fears over its future — on their sleeves.
Eric J. Greenberg is a staff writer. James D. Besser is the Washington correspondent.
Washington — Since its opening in 1993, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum here has tried to position itself as a respected national institution, not an instrument of Jewish politics.
But this week it became ensnared in just what it hoped to avoid when its top lay and professional leaders spurned an administration request for an official welcome for Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat during his trip to Washington.
A newspaper ad by a Yeshiva University-linked Orthodox rabbinical group is denouncing the Wye agreement as a violation of Jewish law that threatens the lives of all Jews in Israel.
But the rabbinic group called Ichud Harabonim, or Union of Rabbis, is itself being criticized for using language some say evokes the violent rhetoric used against the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin — who was assassinated three years ago this week.
He’s got experience. He’s got money. But for a Brooklyn guy and Harvard graduate who is known to journalists as a media hound, Charles Schumer is working feverishly to raise his name recognition across New York State among loyal Democratic voters.
The nine-term congressman, you see, wants to be the Democratic candidate to run against Sen. Alfonse D’Amato next November.
When Palestinian Authority President Yasir Arafat sought an economic adviser for the proposed first joint industrial project with Israel, he turned to a 63-year-old Libyan Jewish businessman who has broken bread with Col. Moammar Khadafy.
And the businessman, Rafello Fellah, is betting his reputation and a small fortune that the proposed Karni Industrial Free Trade Zone on the border of Israel and Gaza will help foster a new era of peace between the two entities.