Rabbi Joseph Brodie had been planning a family vacation in Ireland for this summer. But while visiting Israel this month with the Jewish Theological Seminary, he decided to switch plans and bring the family to Israel.
Rabbi Brodie, vice president of student affairs at the Conservative seminary, escorted 102 students on a four-day mission in which they received Ministry of Tourism training to become "tourism ambassadors."
The New Jersey state Senate last week took a step toward ousting embattled state poet laureate Amiri Baraka when it voted to eliminate the post. The vote was 21-0, with 19 abstentions. The measure now goes to the state Assembly, but it is not clear when or if that body will take action.
As a backup plan, senators are considering a resolution to censure Baraka, who caused an uproar last year when he read his 9-11 themed poem "Somebody Blew Up America" at a poetry festival.
Last Friday, The Jewish Week conducted an exclusive interview with Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, live via satellite from the space shuttle Columbia. Following are excerpts:
Jewish Week: Shalom, Ilan. How's it going up there?
Ramon: Shalom. Fine
So how you are getting along with the other astronauts up there?
Not so great.
No? Why not?
Lisa Goldstein nearly backed out of a trip to Israel that she had suggested taking with her friends. Reports of terrorist attacks increased in recent months, and she had second thoughts.
"I was afraid; I was very afraid," said Goldstein, 30, an Upper East Side resident. "I almost didn't go."
After she was appointed chair of that trip, the UJA-Federation Young Leadership Council's Solidarity Mission that spent three days in Israel earlier this month, she decided to go, expecting a nerve-wracking, depressing time.
He was no King David. But biblical King Joash has suddenly been thrust into the international limelight.
Joash, who ruled the Kingdom of Judah for about 40 years (835-793 BCE), is linked to a fascinating debate over the authenticity of a 2,800-year-old stone tablet that bears his name.
The black sandstone tablet would be the most spectacular (and virtually only) archaeological find linked to the First Temple: coming at a time when some Arab Muslim leaders claim the two Jerusalem Temples never existed on the Temple Mount.
Most American Jews on solidarity missions to Israel crisscross the country by bus, shuttling between cities and meetings with government officials. But come spring, there'll be an opportunity for the Israel supporter with more active and ecological leanings: a 314-mile bike trip from Tel Aviv to Eilat.
Cosponsored by the New York-based Hazon and Israel's Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, the ride, scheduled for April 27-May 2, is both a solidarity mission and an effort to raise awareness of Israel's environmental challenges.