Burnt By Inadequate Resources

With a 16-year-old among the fallen, Israel’s fire commissioner and the JNF seek dramatic increase in firefighting funds.
12/06/2010 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Elad Riven, 16, of Haifa joined a volunteer Israeli scout group last year composed of teenagers who work with the region’s professional firefighting service. When he saw the wildfires from his high school window last Thursday, he left school and raced to help.

“He called his mother from school and said, ‘Pack my fire bag, I’m going to go,’” said Russell Robinson, CEO of the Jewish National Fund.

Elad Riven, who joined a volunteer firefighting service last year, died fighting the Carmel Forest blaze.

Chanukah Recap: Viral Videos for 5771

12/06/2010 - 19:00

Chanukah 5771 has brought a bumper crop of music videos destined to become holiday classics. These viral videos became breakout hits by using comedy and quirkiness combined with genuine talent to communicate universal messages. Here is a roundup of 5771 hits along with JInsider’s “Chanukah Classic of All Time.” (All videos can be viewed at

“Candlelight” by Maccabeats

Premise: A hip-hop twist on the Chanukah story and traditions.

“Miracle” by Matisyahu

Salita Plays Jewish Card In The Ring

12/06/2010 - 19:00

A year ago, as a professional boxer on the rise, Dmitriy Salita sought to make modern Jewish history. Fighting for the World Boxing Association’s light-welterweight title, he would have become one of the first Jewish boxing champions since the sport’s Golden Age in the first half of the 20th century. He lost that bout, in barely over a minute, to England’s Amir Khan, three weeks after rabbinical student Yuri Foreman took the WBA’s light-middleweight belt.

Jewish pugilists: Dmitriy Salita, left, will box Dec. 16 on a card he has promoted. Israel’s Eilon Kedem will fight that night,

Hogwarts’ Kosher Chef

12/06/2010 - 19:00

Guests invited to Dinah Bucholz’s Shabbat table should be wary of accepting the offer. After all, they might be surprised at what appears on the table — bangers and mash, steak and kidney pie or Yorkshire pudding.

Kippers, anyone? Dinah Bucholz has developed recipes — kosher ones — for the food eaten by Harry Potter and friends.

The 10,000 Menorahs

After an anti-Semitic incident, a message of hope from Montana.
12/06/2010 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It was a quiet night during Chanukah 1994, in the peaceful town of Billings, Mont., when a brick crashed through 6-year-old Isaac Schnitzer’s window. At that moment, Tammie Schnitzer became an activist.

“I am just a mother,” insisted the woman who refused to accept the hatred that confronted her family, just because they were Jewish.

Innovators Step Up To The Plate in Wake of Israel Fire

ROI recruits alumni to help with fire relief fund.
12/06/2010 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Much ink has been spilled about the younger generation of Jews, a generation (older people tend to gripe) that is marked by entitlement.

This moniker has oft been applied to members of the ROI Community, an international group of 550 young Jewish leaders whom philanthropist Lynn Schusterman has treated to an all-expenses paid trip to Israel, including lodging at a nice hotel, sumptuous food and lavish entertainment (in recent years, participants were asked to pay a nominal fee of a few hundred dollars).

ROI members and staff. Young leaders being asked, for the first time, to give back.

Bracing For Anti-Zionism 101

College fair encourages students to prepare for diverse, often disturbing, attitudes about Israel.
12/06/2010 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

As if applying to college weren’t stressful enough — ask any high school senior currently working on applications — for many Jewish high school students there’s still another factor to consider in their decision.

Is their top college choice pro-Israel, neutral or actively hostile? What should a student do when a professor’s bias against Israel in a Middle East history class creates a chilling atmosphere for Jewish students? How should a Jewish student respond when campus newspapers and student government organizations attack Israel?

The recent workshop at Solomon Schechter of Westchester’s Hartsdale campus drew about 250 people.

Focus Turns To Blame After Tragic Wildfire

Political and practical repercussions in wake of deadly blaze.
12/06/2010 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — Even before representatives from almost two dozen nations succeeded in helping Israel put out the flames of its largest and deadliest wildfire early this week, the public was demanding accountability for the tragedy.

The massive wildfire, which claimed 42 lives and destroyed much of the majestic Carmel Forest near Haifa in the north, shone a glaring spotlight on the country’s woefully inadequate fire-fighting resources.

The fire, which ravaged 12,500 acres of forest, claimed 42 lives. Getty Images

Rabbis For Human Rights Host Cordoba House Founder

At Manhattan conference, activist rabbis say too few Jews spoke up on behalf of the embattled Muslim cultural center.
12/06/2010 - 19:00
Staff Writer

The Jewish community’s role in this year’s controversy over a planned Islamic center in Lower Manhattan was alternately praised and condemned at a meeting of activist rabbis here this week.

One of the initiators of the Cordoba House thanked the Jewish community for its support, while a prominent New York rabbi argued that the Jewish community had not done enough.

“We could not have done this without your support,” Park51’s Daisy Khan told a Rabbi for Human Rights conference here this week.

U.S. Drops Settlement Freeze Effort

12/06/2010 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration abandoned efforts to get Israel to freeze its settlements.

"After consulting with the parties, we have determined that a moratorium extension will not at this time provide the best basis for resuming negotiations," a number of media quoted a senior administration official as saying on Tuesday.

The Palestinians left direct talks in late September, just weeks after they restarted, demanding that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extend a partial settlement freeze past its ten-month deadline.

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