Director

Ed Koch's 5 Top Current Movies

Okay, everybody knows Ed Koch is a former New York mayor and a major player in Jewish politics. In 2008 he campaigned aggressively for Democratic nominee Barack Obama; these days he's giving President Obama heartburn by leading the charge against his current Middle East policies.

But Ed Koch is also a film buff and a keen-eyed critic, as recipients of his movie review emails know.

Mr. Koch was kind enough to share his top movie picks of the past 12 months with the Jewish Week:

Israel High

New program for 10th-12th graders offers a cost-effective alternative to American yeshiva day schools.

04/01/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

 Surrounded by close friends and enriched by challenging classes, Rebecca Hess feels content at her yeshiva high school in Philadelphia. 

Her parents boast about the high quality of their daughter’s academic education. They couldn’t have asked for anything more in their child’s schooling, they said.

But a recent discovery made them question if they could do better.

 Girls in Bnei Akiva’s Ulpanat Segula in Kiryat Motzkin.

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.

Israel High

New program for 10th-12th graders offers a cost-effective alternative to American yeshiva day schools; tri-state recruitment to begin.

03/29/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Surrounded by close friends and enriched by challenging classes, Rebecca Hess feels content at her yeshiva high school in Philadelphia.

Her parents boast about the high quality of their daughter's academic education. They couldn't have asked for anything more in their child's schooling, the y said.

But a recent discovery made them question if they could do better.

Girls in Bnei Akiva's Ulpanat Segula in Kiryat Motzkin

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.

Cabin Fever

Summer camp world gears up to put a Jewish child in every bunk. But how big is too big?

03/29/2010
Associate Editor

Gone are the days when summer camp was the scruffy younger sibling of the Jewish communal world.

Today, while many Jewish institutions, like day schools and synagogues, are recession-battered and scaling back, the Jewish camp movement is relatively flush and poised to expand.

Some camp leaders wonder if there is a tug of war between quantity and quality.

From Yemen To Monsey, A Freedom Journey

Yemenites here marking first Passover in America, but the adjustment isn't easy.

03/29/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

 This is the first Passover when Temia and her daughters won't be grinding wheat by hand and baking matzah in special wood-burning ovens, as they did in Yemen. Instead, they'll be tasting their first matzahs sold in a box, celebrating the holiday in their new homes in upstate Rockland County.

Yemeni men learning English

March On Washington Seen If U.S.-Israeli Crisis Continues

ADL's Foxman suggests event as Israeli government digs in over Obama demands.

03/29/2010

Tel Aviv - American Jews should consider a march on Washington unless the "crisis" in the U.S.-Israel relationship is resolved soon, according to Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

He observed that there is a "debate in the American Jewish community" about the best way to achieve Arab-Israeli peace and that such a march in the nation's capital would demonstrate where the American Jewish community lines up on this issue.

Obama administration policies are creating anxiety among Jewish leaders.

Our Tweeter in Washington

Much has already been made of the social media posting habits of William Daroff. Whether on Twitter or Facebook, the well-connected director of the Washington Office of The Jewish Federations of North America (and its VP for Public Policy) isn't afraid to go public with his whereabouts, upcoming speaking engagements, or even his drinking buddies.

William Daroff
PHOTO BY ADAM KREDO

Health Care Vote Could Mean Tough Campaign for Some Jewish Dems

03/28/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A window was shattered by a pellet gun in an apparent vandalism attack at her Tucson district office. Sarah Palin has put her on the list of Democratic lawmakers she is targeting this fall. Arizona Tea Party activists are pledging to help defeat her bid for re-election.

All this because Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) voted for health care reform.

Giffords is one of a few Jewish Democrats political observers say could have a difficult re-election campaign because of her vote for the controversial Democratic-backed health care bill.

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