Politics

U.S.-Israel Tensions Now Hitting Pulpits

N.Y. area rabbis, some feeling ‘forced,’ wading into rocky political waters; anxiety seen in pews.

04/20/2010
Staff Writer

As the strain in U.S.-Israel relations continues, some area rabbis who generally don’t mix religion and politics on the pulpit are setting aside those constraints.

“People were asking me and my hand was sort of forced,” said Rabbi Perry Rank, spiritual leader of the Midway Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in Syosset, L.I. “My sense is that Mr. [Barack] Obama has unnerved the American Jewish community and people are looking for a perspective on the issue.

Rabbis Andrew Bachman and Perry Rank: Taking to pulpit, with differing views of Obama’s policies.

Not Just Clowning Around

In innovative chesed program, teens become experts
in dispensing the best medicine (laughter).

04/20/2010
Staff Writer

It’s weeks after Purim, but a group of students from Magen David Yeshiva in Brooklyn are pulling colorful wigs out of their bags, smudging white paint on their faces and drawing bright red circles and stars on their cheeks. They’re prepping with excitement for a visit to CareOne at Teaneck, a nursing and rehabilitation center located in Bergen County, N.J.

But first, they must learn the art of balloon animals — and the importance of bikur cholim (visiting the sick).

Mitzvah clowns, here with senior citizens, learn Jewish values through bikur cholim work.

New Scandal Dooms Chances Of Olmert Comeback

Bribe allegations in Holyland development may be hard to overcome.

04/20/2010
JTA

Jerusalem — Whether or not he is found guilty of taking bribes in the Jerusalem Holyland corruption scandal, Ehud Olmert’s political career is almost certainly over.

At best, the former prime minister and ex-mayor of Jerusalem can expect many months, if not years, of litigation that will further tarnish his already tainted reputation and leave him unelectable. At worst, he faces a long prison term.

Olmert: Suspected of having taken $1 million in bribes.

State Dept. Summons Syria Envoy On Arms transfers

04/20/2010

 (JTA) – The Obama administration “condemned in the strongest terms” Syria’s alleged transfer of arms to Hezbollah and suggested that Syria’s actions would affect renewed bilateral relations.

The administration summoned Syria’s top envoy to discuss the transfers, a sign that it has evidence contradicting Syria’s persistent denials.

Cracks In Bipartisan Israel Support

04/20/2010

American Jews, and Israel, have long taken pride in the fact that support for the Jewish state is a bipartisan issue among political leaders in this country. Whether a Democrat or Republican was in the White House for the last three decades, Israel was viewed as a strong ally in every sense of the word.

But there are cracks in the façade of late, perhaps inevitable in an age of increasing partisanship in Washington, yet troubling nonetheless and in need of attention.

Adrift On Iran

04/20/2010

Last weekend’s New York Times report on a secret memo by Defense Secretary Robert Gates warning that the Obama administration needs a better long-term strategy for dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat reflects some disturbing realities.

U.S. And Israel Seen On Collision Course

At Teaneck synagogue, Jerusalem Post diplomatic correspondent says political honeymoon at an end;
sees administration push for quick resolution.

04/20/2010
Editor and Publisher

Israel’s 16-year honeymoon with the White House (under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) is over, and the tension between Jerusalem and the Obama administration is “dramatic and considerable,” according to the senior diplomatic correspondent for The Jerusalem Post.

Herb Keinon, a native of Denver who has lived in and covered Israel for 27 years, spoke of “conceptual gaps on two major planes” between the allies in a talk Sunday evening at Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, N.J.

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Moves on Goldstone Bar Mitzvah Spark Brouhaha

04/20/2010
JTA

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (JTA) -- Talk about shul politics.

In the interest of avoiding a disruption of his grandson’s bar mitzvah, Judge Richard Goldstone, author of the Goldstone report on the 2009 Gaza war, told JTA last week that he would not attend the family simcha next month at a Johannesburg synagogue.

But in case Goldstone has any second thoughts, a leading South African Jewish group announced it is ready to protest should he show up.

Mumps Spreads To New Communities

02/19/2010
Staff Writer

A mumps outbreak in the Orthodox community, which began last summer, has spread beyond Williamsburg and Borough Park to include scattered incidents in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and Far Rockaway, Queens, city Health Department officials say.
 

Far Rockaway pediatrician Dr. Hylton Lightman told The Jewish Week that he has seen about 20 mumps patients, most of them men between 17 and 23, as well as four or five girls and two mothers.
 

Among his patients is a staff member at the Bnot Shulamith Elementary School in Woodmere, L.I.
 

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