The Hebrew Free Loan Society, which was formed in 1892 to assist indigent Jewish immigrants here, marked a milestone recently — it has provided more than $220 million in interest-free loans, on a nonsectarian basis, to more than 865,000 borrowers. In the last fiscal year, the total was almost $11.5 million, to over 1,430 borrowers. The default rate, even during the current recession, remains below 1 percent. Executive Director Shana Novick, a former Park Avenue attorney and resident counsel at the Ford Foundation who joined HFLS in 1995, talks about the Society’s work.
Knesset Member David Rotem says law
would apply only to Israeli conversions;
Reform and Conservative leaders not satisfied.
The author of Israel’s controversial conversion bill has for the first time suggested a change in the bill in the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise that any bill dealing with conversion “must ensure the unity of the Jewish people in its entirety.”
The dispute now raging over how American Jewry should fund overseas Jewish needs will have at least one important outcome: it will put a serious discussion about Jewish identity on the front burner of the organized American Jewish community (“Jewish Agency, JDC, Stake Claims In Funding Fight,” May 7). Such a discussion is long overdue.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may have declared the age of mass aliyah over, but aliyah from North America has ticked up in the last few years. And among those making the move this summer is a who’s who of Modern Orthodoxy.
Prominent rabbis and educators from the New York area, including Ari Berman, spiritual leader of The Jewish Center, a leading congregation on the Upper West Side, were feted last week by the Jewish Agency for Israel in its annual Olim Farewell ball.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (JTA) -- It’s a cool spring night, and Kathy Manning and Randall Kaplan are battling their way out of the west lawn of the sprawling bay-side mansion of Jane Goldman and Benjamin Lewis.
Manning, the chairwoman of the Jewish Federations of North America, and Kaplan, the chairman of the board of governors of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, have just spent a few hours schmoozing with 80 donors, a handful of boards of trustees and several members of Hillel’s board trying to make the case for their organizations.
Legislation would end the Orthodox hegemony over conversions in Israel, but liberal leaders worry about Law of Return provision.
The Israeli lawmaker who authored the proposed controversial conversion bill flew to New York this week to convince Reform and Conservative Jewish leaders to support it, promising to withdraw the bill if they do not.
“I want them to say we read the bill, we don’t love it but we accept it,” the Israeli Knesset member, David Rotem, told The Jewish Week.
A debate on who should get unclaimed Swiss bank funds.
Special To The Jewish Week
Even when it comes to restitution for the living, somebody has to speak for the dead. The dead cannot make monetary claims, yet they have the right to assert moral ones - on all of us.
Throughout these recent restitution initiatives, there has been a lot of acrimony about money, but very little focus on dignity, which is a hallmark of social justice. The precedent that the Swiss bank case creates, the impression it leaves, the memory it honors, in many respects is as important as the money it distributes.
MOSCOW (JTA) – As the capital of Kyrgyzstan erupted in violence Wednesday, members of the Central Asian nation’s small Jewish community held their breath and sat tight.
The ORT school in the capital, Bishkek, shuttered its doors, sending students home just as they were returning from their Passover break. With public transportation suspended and the city in disarray, only three people made it to morning services at the local synagogue. Meanwhile, Jewish community leaders exchanged frantic phone calls, updating each other about the situation on the street.