Jerusalem — All they ever wanted was a child. For a decade the observant couple, who live on a moshav in the north, had been trying to have a baby, only to have their hopes dashed time after time. The wife, who could not conceive naturally, underwent numerous in-vitro fertilization treatments. Even when these proved successful, she suffered eight miscarriages due to an immunological disorder that caused her body to reject the fetuses.
Desperate, the couple went in search of a woman who could bear them a child.
Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series connected to the 90th anniversary of UJA-Federation of New York. The differences between the American Jewish community of the early 1900s and today’s American Jewry are vast and notable. Volumes have been written about the ethnic division that marked the earlier community, between the well-established, often wealthy German Jews, who began arriving in the 1840s and ‘50s, and the more than two million new arrivals from the shtetls of Eastern Europe, many of them mired in poverty and “Old World” ways.
An otherwise noncontentious national meeting of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs next week could see a fierce debate and politicking over a proposal to put the umbrella Jewish group in line behind efforts to impose divestment on Sudan because of the genocide in Darfur.
The Jewish community appears poised to join a growing movement of city and state legislatures, universities, religious organizations and other groups in calling for a targeted economic boycott of the Sudan.
The move, supporting divestment from companies with business ties to the Sudanese government, would come as the ethnic cleansing in Darfur, a region of the Sudan, enters its fourth year. The slaughter, considered a genocide by the U.S. government and much of the international community, has killed at least 400,000 civilians and displaced as many as 2.5 million.
Most of the 750 young adults who packed a cavernous room in Manhattan’s Puck Building last week wouldn’t have come near a UJA-Federation of New York event three or four years ago, one of the function’s organizers said. And half of those who came last week, he added, will never again be seen by federation leaders.
Each year for the last decade Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride Parade has marched through the streets of the Mediterranean-side city.
Last week, for the first time, it began at a new municipal center for Israel’s homosexual community.
With tensions mounting on American campuses over anti-Semitism and the Israel-Palestinian conflict, hundreds of college presidents have signed onto a landmark petition calling for "intimidation-free" campuses.
But the document itself has become the subject of controversy.
That's because the statement, released by the American Jewish Committee, specifically mentions only intimidation against Jewish students.
As a result, some university presidents have declined to sign.