Jew(cy) Vs. Jew(cy)

Staff Writer
In this corner: a loose affiliation of young Jewish social activists working to transform Judaism "into a more loving, inclusive and radical culture." In this corner: a team of New York-based theater promoters and PR pros marketing merchandise and events to hip Jews and others aspiring to "kosher-style fabulosity" through a Web site called "" The stakes in this battle of attitude: legal rights to the name "Jewcy," a title both contenders claim.

Being Real

Staff Writer
Growing up was never easy for copper-skinned Rebecca Walker, the trophy baby of a new America. Born in 1969, the “Movement Child” of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and activist Alice Walker and civil rights lawyer Mel Leventhal, Walker spent the first two decades of her life failing to fit into a country that still assumes fixed racial categories.

Inside The Satmar School Scandal

Staff Writer
Peering out at the reporters and TV cameras clamoring around the entrance of his religious girls school in Brooklyn last week, Rabbi Hertz Frankel's mind raced as they demanded he comment on his crime. It was a serious crime, a federal felony involving no-show teachers, fund diversions, false job titles and clear breaches of the separation of church and state. It was one Frankel had quietly pleaded guilty to the previous week.

Police State On Israel’s Doorstep?

JTA Reporter and Staff Writer
Al-Burg, West Bank — From her hilltop village of Al-Burj, located southwest of Hebron, Majida Talahmeh closely followed Israeli and Palestinian negotiators last month as they put the finishing touches on the Wye River Memorandum in the United States. Like many Palestinians, Talahmeh, 27, worried about how a new agreement on security cooperation would affect the Palestinian people. Her family feels that it has already paid a heavy price for Israeli security demands.

Courier In Drug Case Surrenders In U.S.

Staff Writer
A Brooklyn native voluntarily returned to New York from Israel and pleaded guilty for his role in a drug-money laundering scandal involving members of the Bobover chasidic sect, two prominent Orthodox community leaders and a Colombian cartel. In the unusual scenario, Michael Halberstam agreed to a plea bargain last month with the office of the U.S. Attorney's Eastern District. His surrender contrasts with recent episodes (notably the Samuel Sheinbein murder case) in which the United States has attempted to extradite Americans from Israel.

Painful Memories

Staff Writer
Under a bright sun, Guilla Boukhobza walked up to a microphone in front of the Isaiah Wall near the United Nations and cleared her throat. For the first time, she was going to publicly talk about her family's perilous expulsion from her native Libya. It was not easy, Boukhobza confided, because even a generation later, a deep fear remains about discussing the heart-rending events that forced her parents and seven siblings to leave Tripoli one step ahead of anti-Jewish mobs.

Portrait Of An Accused Jewish Terrorist As A Young Man

American-born settler Jack Tytell is charged with multiple murders and hate crimes. A look into his upbringing in the U.S. reveals some surprises.
Special to the Jewish Week

His fellow students at Akiva Hebrew Day School, a Modern Orthodox yeshiva in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Mich., had Jack Tytell pegged.

He was “creepy,” one remembered, someone with “crazy eyes.” Another recalled Tytell walking through Akiva’s halls acting out imaginary combat scenes and jumping over tripwires that existed in his head only.

As their “Last Will and Testament” in the Akiva Class of ’90 yearbook, his classmates left him an “Uzi and a grenade ... and a Valium.” 


Was Pollard’s First Lawyer Incompetent?

Staff Writer
Jonathan Pollard’s new lawyers are claiming that his first attorney 15 years ago was incompetent, and that he should be granted a new federal hearing regarding his life sentence for spying against America on behalf of Israel. The new attorneys filed a 69-page motion in federal court in Washington, D.C., last week charging Pollard was deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to “effective counsel” and his Fifth Amendment right of due process because of a series of failures by high-powered Washington defense attorney Richard Hibey.

Brooklyn Businessman Gets 27 Months

Staff Writer

Rabbi Mahir Reiss, a respected Brooklyn businessman and Orthodox Jewish philanthropist credited with resolving international Jewish religious disputes, was sentenced to 27 months and fined $6.3 million for his role in an international money-laundering scheme involving a Colombian drug ring. In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein on Wednesday based his decision on whether the 48-year-old Reiss knew that the illegal money he was laundering involved drugs. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Dunst contended Reiss knew.

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