Soros Giving $100 Million to Human Rights Watch

09/06/2010 - 20:00

(JTA) -- Billionaire philanthropist George Soros will give Human Rights Watch $100 million to expand its work throughout the world.

The gift, announced Tuesday, is the largest ever by Soros and the largest received by Human Rights Watch, The New York Times reported.

Soros, 80, told the Times that the gift is the first of a series of large gifts that he plans to make.

Soros this year has donated some $700 million to several causes. He earned $3.3 billion from his hedge fund in 2009, the Times reported.

Connecting Over Kosher Food

09/06/2010 - 20:00

Once upon a time, Jewish home cooks planning a holiday meal swapped recipes over the kitchen table, scribbled down Grandma’s secret ingredients on index cards, or simply paged through cherished (and often food-stained) cookbooks.

Today, they’re more likely to check the Internet. And thanks to Tamar Genger, a new site,, enables kosher cooks not only to share recipes, but to plan menus and read about kosher restaurants around the world.

Joy of Kosher Web site is a new resource for kosher cooks seeking inspiration.

Ecumenical Group Back In Business

09/06/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

A few months ago Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbi, began discussing with some other leaders of religious organizations the idea of “reconfiguring” a Commission of Religious Leaders (CORL) that had stopped operating four years ago.

Rabbi Potasnik and his friends picked a good time. Although interest in the ecumenical CORL predated the acrimony over the planned Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero, the increasingly heated comments by politicians and journalists have given the religious leaders discussion a new urgency.

Imam Shamsi Ali, left, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, center, and Rabbi Joseph Potasnik.

D.C. Interfaith Summit Denounces Anti-Muslim Bigotry

09/06/2010 - 20:00

(JTA) -- An interfaith summit of Jewish, Christian and  Muslim leaders denounced anti-Muslim bigotry.

In a statement released by the group, which represented the majority of the country’s Jews, Muslims and Christians, participants announced that they came together Tuesday in Washington, D.C., “to denounce categorically the derision, misinformation and outright bigotry being directed against America’s Muslim community.”

U.S. Television, Film Artists Join West Bank Boycott

09/06/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- More than 150 American television and film artists have signed a letter in support of an Israeli artists' boycott of performing in the West Bank.

The letter, signed by American actors, writers and directors, was drafted and organized by the Jewish Voice for Peace organization.

Praising the "brave decision" by Israeli theater professionals not to perform in Ariel, the letter says "we salute our Israeli counterparts for their courageous decision."

Immigration to Israel Jumps in 5770

09/05/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Immigration to Israel rose by 18 percent in the Jewish year 5770, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Figures released Monday by the agency showed that 17,880 immigrants arrived in Israel in 5770. Some 15,180 new immigrants had come to the Jewish state the previous year.

About 7,430 new immigrants in 5770 came from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, a rise of 16 percent from the 6,340 of last year.

Avigdor Lieberman Calls Peace 'Unattainable Goal'

09/04/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians is "an unattainable goal," Israel's foreign minister said.

Avigdor Lieberman called instead for a long-term interim agreement on Sunday during a Yisrael Beiteinu party event to welcome Rosh Hashanah.

Abbas, Netanyahu to Meet Every Two Weeks

09/02/2010 - 20:00

 WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israeli and Palestinian leaders will meet every two weeks to advance peace talks.

George Mitchell, the senior U.S. envoy to the region, said the sides agreed to meet in the region Sept. 14-15, the first concrete outcome of renewed talks launched Thursday in Washington.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met first with Mitchell and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before moving into face-to-face talks.

EU Commissioner Apologizes for ‘Irrational Jews’ Remark

09/02/2010 - 20:00

(JTA) -- The European Union's trade chief apologized for saying that rational discussion about Israel was impossible with Jews and that the Jewish lobby is the most influential in Washington.

Karel De Gucht, a former Belgian foreign minister who is now the E.U.'s Trade Commissioner, had been asked in a radio interview on Thursday for his opinion on renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks launched in Washington.

Settlers Respond to Hebron Terror Attack by Building Again

09/01/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A settlers' umbrella group unilaterally ended the West Bank construction moratorium in response to the terrorist attack near Hebron.

Hundreds of settlers gathered at sites throughout the West Bank to begin construction on several structures whose building was delayed by the freeze on building in the West Bank, which began in late November 2009 and is to end Sept. 26.

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