News

New Israel Fund: Grantees Must Not Actively Oppose Israel’s Jewish Character

09/15/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Groups that work to "deny the right of the Jewish people to sovereign self-determination within Israel" will not be eligible for New Israel Fund moneys.

In new guidelines issued to JTA on Thursday, the progressive pro-Israel olutfit, which has come under fire for funding groups that are sharply critical of Israel and that have promoted a binational state instead of a Jewish one, reiterated its well known principles upholding minority rights and promoting equal rights for all.

Tough-Talking Paladino Seen Solidifying Democrats’ Base

Buffalo millionaire, Republican gubernatorial nominee, not likely to put together winning coalition in state, experts say.
09/15/2010 - 20:00
Assistant Managing Editor

The upset victory of Buffalo developer and Tea Party activist Carl Paladino in Tuesday’s Republican primary for governor over Rick Lazio is likely to solidify the Democrats’ most crucial voting blocs — including Jews — and drive most independents into the Democrats’ camp as well in November’s election, observers say.

GOP nominee Carl Paladino

Rendell Cuts Off Israeli-American Security Firm

09/15/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell terminated a contract with an Israeli-American agency that tracked peaceful protests and reported them as potential terrorist threats.

Rendell said Tuesday that he was "deeply embarrassed" by revelations of a $125,000 contract with the Philadelphia-based Institute of Terrorism Research and Response.

The state's Office of Homeland Security contracted the institute to track threats, and then relayed its reports to a large number of law enforcement and private groups.

Israel Purchases @israel Twitter User Name

09/15/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel purchased the Twitter user name @israel from the owner of a pornographic website.

Israel reportedly purchased the user name earlier this month from Israel Melendez, who chose it in 2007, when the Twitter micro blogging Internet service was first getting started, the New York Times reported.

Melendez told the Times he does not use the name because every time he posted using it he got a flood of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments from Twitter users who thought the account belonged to the state of Israel.

Referendum Vote In Turkey Fuels Uneasiness In Israel

Will Erdogan's victory lead to further strain in relations following flotilla incident, or is it an opportunity?
09/14/2010 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

 Tel Aviv - A resounding victory at the polls Sunday for Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's referendum to remake the country's constitution and weaken the secular forces in government has spurred Israeli uneasiness about deteriorating ties with an important regional ally.

Though the referendum was about advancing civil liberties in Turkey and weakening the influence of the secular army, the wider-than-expected margin of victory was also seen as a broad approval of Erdogan's foreign policy shift toward Israel.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan

Israel Reportedly OKs U.S.-Saudi Arms Deal

09/14/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel has privately signed off on a proposed arms deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia, a Washington columnist reported.

At $60 billion, the deal is the most expensive arms deal ever. It will be spread out over five to 10 years.

Syndicated columnist Douglas Bloomfield reported Tuesday that Israel has privately blessed the sale, citing U.S. congressional, Israeli and lobby sources.

Rays Of Optimism On Peace Talks

Real test, analysts say, will come at UN General Assembly session opening.
09/14/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

There were rays of optimism following Israeli-Palestinian peace talks Tuesday in Egypt, but the real test may come here next week when world leaders gather for the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Mosque Conflict Seen Sharpening Jewish Divisions

Nascent effort to combat anti-Islam sentiment running into strong headwind.
09/14/2010 - 20:00
Washington Correspondent

The New York Islamic center controversy — and what some analysts say is the worst surge of nativism and bigotry since the Red Scare of the 1950s — is sharpening longstanding rifts in American Jewish life.

Sign of the times: Opponents of the planned Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero protest on 9/11. Getty Images

New Push For Unaffiliated Families

Kveller.com website to launch as federation study reveals little programming for uncommitted parents of Jewish children.
09/14/2010 - 20:00
Associate Editor

Strike up a conversation with an unaffiliated Jewish parent pushing a toddler on a swing in a Prospect Park playground or strapping an infant into a car seat outside a supermarket in Mount Kisco and chances are he or she will have heard of Music Together, Super Soccer Stars, Kidville, UrbanBaby.com, the Park Slope Parents listserv or another of the numerous secular (and often for-profit) resources out there for young families.

Will he or she even know of any Jewish programs, much less have participated in one? Probably not.

A federation task force aims to step up Jewish outreach to young families.

Day Schools Focusing On Combating Abuse

YU study finds strong interest in responding to problem; activists call for tough policies.
09/14/2010 - 20:00
Editor and Publisher

A new study, the first of its kind, on whether and how Jewish day schools around the country address issues of physical, psychological and sexual abuse, concludes that the problem is widespread but “is beginning to be dealt with effectively.”

Project CARE will produce a handbook by Rabbi Yona Reiss, dealing with halachic issues surrounding abuse.
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