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Organizing on Iran, the Snowmageddon and More

03/14/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

As the snow melts away and the trees state to blossom, Jewish students nationwide are defining themselves through action. They’re doing Jewish things -- great Jewish things. You can read more about these inspiring stories below by clicking here.  Here’s a run-down of the biggest stories in Jewish student life.

Standing for Israel, One Campus at a Time

Biden's Israel speech: not a game changer

 So did Vice President Joe Biden accomplish his top goal during this week's Israel visit – reassuring a skeptical Israeli public about the Obama administration's intentions while also reassuring the Palestinians that the administration is still determined to play a role in bringing the two sides back together for serious peace talks?

The Palestinian With A Plan For Statehood

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s determination to build transparent institutions on the West Bank has won many admirers. Can he succeed?

03/11/2010
JTA

Jerusalem — Pundits and politicians have taken recently to comparing Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion.

No less a figure than President Shimon Peres, one of Ben-Gurion’s foremost disciples, is the latest Israeli leader to offer the accolade.

The reason is simple: Like Ben-Gurion, Fayyad is building institutions of statehood.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad says he is attempting to point his people toward statehood. JTA

Israel’s ‘Macho’ Move

East Jerusalem housing announcement seen marring Biden visit amid ‘proximity’ talk launch.

03/11/2010
Staff Writer

The Israeli approval Tuesday of another 1,600 new housing units in east Jerusalem — coming just hours after Vice President Joe Biden announced in Jerusalem the launching of new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks — stunned the White House but should not have been surprising, according to Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen.

Anti-Semitism Envoy Wants To Bring Non-Jews Into Fight

Rosenthal says strategy will add ‘power’ to battle against bias.

03/11/2010
JTA

Washington — President Obama’s special envoy on anti-Semitism wants to recruit non-Jews to make her case.
Hannah Rosenthal outlined her goals in her new role during a recent address in Dallas to the annual plenum of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the public policy umbrella she once led as president.

To combat anti-Semitism, the Jewish people need more non-Jews on their side, said Rosenthal, who spoke at a panel on anti-Semitism alongside Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director.

Hannah Rosenthal: Cites role of quiet diplomacy in combating bias

Amid Furor, Weiss Retreats From ‘Rabba’ Title

Deal with RCA means only one ‘rabba’ will exist; Orthodox feminists ‘saddened’ over development.

03/11/2010
JTA

On the eve of a conference marking the expansion of leadership roles for women within Orthodoxy, the trend’s most prominent rabbinic proponent has, amid intense criticism, backtracked from his near-ordination of female rabbis.

Rabbi Avi Weiss, left, and Sara Hurwitz.

Making Choices

03/11/2010

 Regarding “Chabad’s Presence Making Big Waves In Oceanside” (Feb. 12), as a former president of a Conservative shul and longtime trustee, I have seen and been saddened by the decline of the Jewish presence in my community, North Bellmore (not far from Oceanside and also competing with Chabad.) The disinterest in and inability to financially support local synagogues, I believe, is based in economics, a lack of knowledge of Judaism and a spiritual disconnect from God in both a communal and personal way.

Communications activist silenced in Cuban jail cell

03/11/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Alan Gross has been about communications all his life: The call-mom-everyday son, the family newsbreaker, the message guy for Jewish groups, the get-out-the-vote enthusiast for candidate Barack Obama, the technology contractor who helped the U.S. government bring the world's remotest populations into the 21st century.

Now, however, Gross, 60, of Potomac, Md., has been languishing for three months in a Cuban high-security prison and his rare conversations are monitored by Cuban officials.

AIPAC calls for swift action to block U.S. companies supporting Iran

Unusual appeal to Congress follows New York Times report

03/11/2010

NEW YORK (JTA) -- The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is calling on the U.S. Congress to take several immediate steps in response to a New York Times report revealing that the federal government has awarded more than $107 billion in grants, contracts and other benefits to foreign and multinational U.S. companies conducting business in Iran.

Can We Afford To Make Others A Priority?

JTS professor’s article touches off generational debate over parochial vs. universal interests.

03/10/2010
Editor And Publisher

A leading observer of the American Jewish scene says it is “madness” that Jewish communal institutions seem more focused these days on helping non-Jews than Jews.

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