Inside FEGS’ Financial Free Fall

Bankruptcy documents show vast majority of programs losing money, CFO revolving door, ballooning administrative costs.

Staff Writer

By the time executives of FEGS Health and Human Services system became aware last November of the massive financial crisis they were facing, a “top down analysis” by a new management team and restructuring consultants revealed that 74 percent of its more than 350 programs were losing money.

In court filing, FEGS’ CEO, for the first time, details the agency’s financial slide.  Michael Datikash/JW

Nurturing Poetry In A Prose World

Nadav Lapid’s ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ serves up some tough lessons about Israeli culture.

Special To The Jewish Week

Nadav Lapid’s first feature film, “Policeman,” was a startling, terse essay in futility, pitting a group of obsessive anti-terrorist cops against a no-less committed and equally out-of-control radical cell in a showdown that underlined the absurdity of empty, self-aggrandizing gestures. His new film, “The Kindergarten Teacher,” playing in this year’s New Directors/New Films series opening this week, would at first glance seem to be as utterly unlike that debut as could be possibly imagined.

Nira (Sarit Larry), who plays an Israeli kindergarten teacher. Courtesy of New Directors/New Films

As Iran Deadline Looms, Obama Faces Skepticism In Congress

GOP sweep in midterm elections increases the pressure in House and Senate for sanctions.


Washington — With the Nov. 24 deadline for an Iran deal looming, there’s no guarantee that the Obama administration will achieve its long-sought goal of an agreement over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Secretary of State John Kerry, right, in Oman for negotiations about Iran’s nuclear future. JTA

Bibi Reportedly Pulls Backing For Conversion Bill


 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly has withdrawn his support for a bill that would allow local rabbis to oversee conversions.

Israeli "Make-A-Thon" Generates Products For People With Disabilities

Some 70 talented innovators in their 20s and 30s from around the world ran a very different kind of marathon in Israel, as they competed to invent prototypes of tools for people with disabilities using cutting-edge digital and 3D-printing technology.

Working on a new product. Courtesy of Shusterman Connection Points

Out From Under

For thousands of years Jewish-Iranian women have been forced to hide behind chadors, look down at their feet and not speak unless spoken to.  During ancient Persia and even later day Iran, they lived with two strikes against them: Jewish and female.  They were and still are viewed and treated by Muslims as second class citizens.  Even today, in Iran, a woman, cannot become a judge, regardless of her education, degrees and professional qualifications.  The reason given: “A woman can never be just.”

Rita Jahan Farouz. Photo courtesy American Sephardi Federation

Pursuing Peace In The Classroom

Israeli center promotes conflict resolution as a core Jewish value.

Special To The Jewish Week

Jerusalem — Here’s one you may not have heard.

Two Jews are stuck on a desert island, only this time, instead of each building his own synagogue plus another that neither of them is willing to attend, each builds one for himself but invites his friend to join him in a constructive conversation to learn more about the opportunities to collaborate. 

Carolyn Gerecht plans to return to Pittsburgh to work as a community professional. Credit: Sidney Slivko

Community Breaks Silence On Bush-Era Tax Cuts

Spurred by new social-justice group, rabbis nationwide urge increase for wealthy Americans.

Staff Writer

As President Barack Obama and Congress tackle the financial crisis and the politically explosive issue of tax reform, the American Jewish community has remained quiet — until now.

Nearly 240 rabbis have signed a letter in support of the president’s proposal to allow tax cuts to expire at the end of the year for those making above $250,000 annually. The letter was written by Bend the Arc Jewish Action, which bills itself as the largest Jewish social justice organization devoted to domestic policy issues.

Bend the Arc’s letter backs President Obama’s tax policy over that of the Republican House Speaker John Boehner, left. getty

High Alert At The Olympics And Maccabi Games

With concerns about Iranian attacks on Israeli team targets, and ‘soft’ heightened security planned.

Staff Writer

The suicide bombing of a tour bus in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis and the bus driver last week, coupled with the arrest July 7 of a Lebanese man suspected of planning attacks on Israeli tourists in Cyprus, have heightened security concerns at the London Olympics and at the JCC Maccabi Games in the United States.

On eve of Summer Games, British police stand guard at London’s Olympic Park. Getty Images

The Kibbutz At 100

Documentary looks at ups and downs of Israel’s noble experiment in collective living; ‘Dolphin Boy’ considers a very different kind of experiment.

Special to the Jewish Week

For many Jews in the diaspora, the ideal of the kibbutz has always spoken loudly about what the State of Israel was supposed to be. Some of the avatars of modern Zionism would have agreed. After all, they were among the pioneers who created the first kibbutz, just over a century ago, at Degania.

“Inventing Our Life,” top, looks at the changes in Israel’s first kibbutz.
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