Eric Greenberg is a staff writer. Michele Chabin is an Israel correspondent.
Jewish institutions and synagogues in New York City were being warned to boost their security in light of last week’s U.S. attacks on suspected terrorist sites in the Sudan and Afghanistan, while Israeli officials in Jerusalem are viewing the current crisis as part of a continuum of preparedness.
In the past few days, Zalman Shoval’s popularity has soared with colleagues and strangers he bumps into around his Washington office.
“There isn’t a single person in the [U.S.] State Department that hasn’t tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘thank you,’ ” related Shoval, Israel’s incoming ambassador to the United States. “It reminds me of the good old days of Israel’s restraint in the  Gulf war.”
It seemed to be a typical Tuesday morning for Mordechai “Larry” Etengoff, a 42-year-old Brooklyn locksmith supply salesman. His wife of 16 years, Sandy, watched him leave their squat, gray, single-family stucco house in the multiethnic Kensington section to drop off their youngest of five children at the babysitter.
He stopped at the local Independence Savings Bank near their Avenue C home to make a deposit. He returned home to move his blue Ford Taurus for alternate side-of-the-street parking.
Sen. Charles Schumer, after joking that he was “glad to be off jury duty” in the impeachment proceedings in Washington, called for an end to the trial but said President Clinton should be censured even if he is acquitted.
Appearing Monday at a breakfast forum sponsored by The Jewish Week, Schumer recommended the “stern and severe” joint censure resolution crafted by House Democrats that would have to be adopted by the House and Senate — and signed by the president.
Several major national Orthodox rabbinical groups this week repudiated the work of a New York City rabbinical court that has gained popularity with women by “freeing” chained wives, or agunot, stuck in bad marriages.
Strongly worded statements were issued separately on Tuesday by both the rigidly Orthodox Agudath Israel of America and the increasingly right-wing National Council of Young Israel, asserting that the rabbinical court was operating outside the bounds of halacha, or Jewish law.
Israel’s standing in the United Nations continues to deteriorate as the Palestinian voice grows stronger. The overwhelming vote by the UN General Assembly Tuesday (124 to 4) upgrading the Palestinian’s status gives Palestinian representatives the power for the first time to raise issues regarding the peace process before the 185-member international body.
The other day, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant group in America, declared that wives should “submit themselves graciously to their husband’s leadership.”
Try selling that to Jewish women.
“My husband tells me that all the time — ‘can’t you be a little more submissive’ ” — chuckled political consultant Suri Kasirer when asked about the newest development in American gender politics.
Striking out at a controversial new religious divorce court that says it has freed more than 150 women from recalcitrant husbands, a group of 31 mainstream Orthodox rabbis has denounced the bet din as illegitimate.
The American Jewish Committee is grappling with internal labor unrest that threatens to mar its showcase annual meeting in Washington, D.C., next week featuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
About 75 AJCommittee senior staff professionals nationwide staged a one-day May Day work stoppage to show their frustration with stalled contract negotiations since the last three-year pact expired in December.
Gov. George Pataki’s top Jewish liaison has been grilled by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn investigating whether the state gave special treatment to two Israeli drug dealers. The dealers were granted leniency after requests from a leading Pataki fund-raiser, Rabbi Leon Perlmutter, a prominent member of the Satmar chasidic community.
Jeff Wiesenfeld, Pataki’s executive assistant who deals with Jewish affairs, appeared before the grand jury in Brooklyn several weeks ago, sources said.