In a major move to strengthen waning Israeli-diaspora relations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans for the first time to include a separate line in next year’s budget to help foster Jewish education overseas.
Netanyahu revealed his intentions in a June 23 meeting with leaders of the Jewish Agency, Trade Minister Natan Sharansky and Charles Goodman, former president of the Council of Jewish Federations, according to his diaspora affairs adviser, Bobby Brown.
Calling it a “real victory for the community,” the chief operating officer of UJA-Federation of New York announced that the 1998 annual campaign that ended June 30 had raised $123 million, a record $6 million more than the previous year.
“The record campaign, while certainly helped by a strong economy, also reflects a renewed commitment to the importance of the annual campaign and to federated giving,” said the official, John Ruskay. The $123 million figure represents a gain of 5 percent over last year.
by Michele Chabin |
Jerusalem — Suddenly, it’s hip to be square in the Holy Land. Since the beginning of the year in Old Katamon, a historic, tree-lined neighborhood here, at least two dozen singles in their 30s and 40s have announced their engagements.
Although there is nothing unusual about Israelis getting hitched (by the age of 40 more than 90 percent have been married at least once), many, perhaps most of the above-mentioned brides and grooms met their soulmates through a professional or amateur matchmaker.
Into the fray comes the Reform movement. On Sunday, members of the Conservative movement were verbally accosted by some ultra-Orthodox teenagers while praying in a mixed-gender service at the Western Wall on Shavuot morning. There was pushing and shoving as well, according to eyewitness accounts.
by Michele Chabin |
Jerusalem — Shimon, a student at the ultra-Orthodox Tiferet Israel yeshiva, says he is not prepared to serve in the military, even if a new bill calling on the draft of yeshiva students is passed in the Knesset.
“I won’t go into the army, even if there is a law,” says the army-age yeshiva bocher, who studies at the school from early in the morning until late at night.