Speaking before several dozen people munching on babaganoush and taboule and chatting away in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish and English, the Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury invoked the hallowed name of Al-Andalus.
"And if we do not find it, we can build it in our hearts," he said at the reception for a literary event last week in the Soho studio of Iraqi-born sculptor Oded Halahmy.
An influential ultra-Orthodox rabbi who supervises conversions has stepped down abruptly from the organization he has led for about five years.
Rabbi Leib Tropper resigned this week as head of Eternal Jewish Family, the Monsey-based conversion group he founded. In an official EJF press release issued late Monday, two days after Rabbi Tropper’s resignation took effect, the rabbi cited a desire to pursue “a variety of other interests.
Israel Project focus group with Harvard, MIT students seen as ‘horrifying’ by organizers. But a political scientist offers a more nuanced reading of Jewish students’ responses.
The Israel Project, a Washington-based Israel advocacy group, put 15 unsuspecting Jewish students from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a small room with 20 non-Jewish classmates and prompted them to candidly discuss Israel, Palestinians and Iran.
Should anyone be surprised that the tone was strongly critical of Israeli policy and the pro-Israel lobby here, and that many of the Jewish participants did not rush to Israel’s defense?
A politically aware teenager in Queens in the 1960s, Gary Krupp shared the prevailing opinion of Pope Pius XII, the controversial leader of the Roman Catholic Church during World War II. “I grew up hating him,” Krupp says. Today, he is one of the pope’s most vocal defenders in the Jewish community.
Just outside the city of Shiraz, in Iran’s stark and arid south, lies the gravesite of Cyrus the Great, founder of the first empire in human history to declare religious tolerance for all its peoples. Cyrus, acclaimed in the Bible for allowing the Jews exiled by Babylonia to return to their homeland and rebuild their Temple in 538 BCE, lies in an unadorned and simple stone tomb, a reflection, historians say, of the man’s humble character.
Chai L’Yisrael, the cheaper of the two at $180 round trip from New York, is offering flights tied to the May 17 election for prime minister and parliament, the Knesset. The latter will decide the fate of the Orthodox religious parties.
Kesher’s round-trip flights are for an expected June 1 runoff between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the right-wing Likud Party and Ehud Barak of the left-leaning One Israel Party. Kesher’s fares are $449 from New York and $649 from Los Angeles.
Nearly a half-million dollars raised in America for Israeli children by Likud fund-raisers cannot be properly accounted for, a joint investigation by The Jewish Week and the Israeli daily paper Haaretz has found.
The joint probe, which included scrutiny of Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign financing, has found that some of the money in question — about $47,000 — was instead channeled directly to the Likud Party and other Israeli political causes.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Academy Award-winning producer of Holocaust-related documentaries, has called for a letter-writing campaign to block sainthood for Pope Pius XII, saying it would desecrate the memory of the Shoah because of his silence during World War II.
"Such a nomination demeans the meaning of sainthood for countless others who are truly deserving of such a tribute," he declared during his State of World Jewry address last week at the 92nd Street Y.
The faith may be different but the politics are the same.
That's the bottom line when Evangelical Christian leader Rev. Jerry Falwell cohosts a huge prayer meeting to support Israel with Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert next month at Falwell's church in Lynchburg, Va.
The event, called the "Jerusalem Prayer Summit," is designed to show support for Israel and raise money for terrorism victims in Jerusalem, according to press reports.
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.