A man who likes extinct languages, Mel Gibson had a chance to practice his Latin this summer — he made several mea culpas.
Following his drunken, sexist, profane, anti-Semitic tirade in Malibu in July, the actor-director apologized to the police officers who arrested him. He apologized in a general public statement for saying “despicable” things. He apologized “specifically to everyone in the Jewish community,” to “those who have been hurt and offended by those words.”
Rabbi Seymour Fox, a prominent Jewish educator in the United States and Israel for a half-century, died of heart failure July 10 in his Jerusalem home, two weeks after announcing his plans to retire from administration and return to teaching. He was 77.
Known in Israel by his Hebrew name, Shlomo, he had served with the educational Mandel Foundation at the time of his death. A prolific author, he was known as an inspirational teacher and manager.
A new and more serious indictment — possibly including rape charges — may be filed as early as next week against Israel’s disgraced former president Moshe Katsav after his withdrawal Tuesday from a plea deal that would have kept him out of jail.
“I want to fight for my innocence,” Katsav told a three-judge panel in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. “I have been thinking about this for a long time, and it was finalized in my mind today.”
A major educational publisher has withdrawn from the market a new book about Israel containing a passage that a prominent Orthodox organization found offensive, and it has agreed to destroy remaining copies of the book.
Scholastic Library Publishing said it took that step after receiving a series of complaints from Agudath Israel of America about “Israel: Enchantment of the World,” a reference book published in 2006.
Holy ground or wholly bunk?
Israeli archaeologists excavated a burial tomb’s entrance, above, in the Jerusalem neighborhood of East Talpiot in 1980. Inside they discovered 10 limestone ossuaries, or small burial boxes, including one first-century box, inset. Filmmaker James Cameron, right, says the ossuary is where Jesus is buried.
Cameron is producer of “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” a documentary about the site that premieres next week on the Discovery Channel.
Rabbi Elimelech Schachter, a faculty member at the Yeshiva University rabbinical school for nearly 50 years, died Feb. 26 in Borough Park. He was 93.
Rabbi Schachter served as professor of rabbinics at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and taught at many divisions of YU, mentoring generations of rabbinical students. He was the author of “The Babylonian and Jerusalem Mishnah and wrote several rabbinic opinions and scholarly articles.
A largely behind-the-scenes campaign on behalf of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard has gone public in recent weeks, as a variety of Jewish organizations and former American political officials have urged the onetime naval intelligence analyst’s release from a life prison sentence.
Arecord pledge by a Jewish multi-billionaire has raised the ante for other Jewish philanthropists in the United States, but the exact affect on Jewish communal life of Sheldon Adelson’s gift won’t be determined for several years, according to experts.
Military service is in the Perl family’s blood.
Pvt. Otto Perl spent nearly a year in the Austrian army from 1937 to 1938. His father had been an officer in that same army in World War I, and two of his uncles had served in WWI.
Perl, a tailor, was 22 in early 1938 when he was discharged a few months before his homeland was annexed by Nazi Germany. A Jew, he was arrested and sent to the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps for a year. He survived the forced labor and beatings and frigid weather.