Abbas Seen Wooing Terror Groups

Staff Writer
In his efforts to co-opt rather than fight terrorist groups, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has sought to get Hamas and Islamic Jihad to join the Palestine Liberation Organization, of which he is the leader. This week, he appeared on the verge of success — but at the expense of Israel.

A Pedestrian Success

Staff Writer
The rebbetzin’s idea had legs.
Six years ago Karen Hochberg, wife of Young Israel of Jamaica Estate’s Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg, wanted to raise some money for Israel. She decided to sponsor a five-kilometer Run for Israel in the Cunningham Park area of Queens on

WJC Conflict Seen As Intensifying

Staff Writer
Two months after apparently squelching an insurrection, the leadership of the World Jewish Congress is facing renewed calls in its ranks for an independent audit and increased accountability. Isi Leibler, a senior vice president of the organization whose public appeals for improved governance and transparency regarding WJC financial dealings prompted his dismissal in September, has refused to step down, and he seems to have found allies among the leadership of the Swiss branch of the WJC.

From Overseas, With Dreams

Staff Writer
Israel, which has won only six Olympic medals ever — its first gold, in sailing, came at Athens in 2004 — is sending 41 athletes to the Beijing Games, which open Aug. 8. Israel’s Olympic delegation attended a recent two-day seminar in Tel Aviv where members were briefed on everything from security to Chinese culture. Past Israeli Olympians discussed their experiences with this year’s athletes, most of them first-time Olympians.

Rabbis Question Report On Movements’ Harmony

Staff Writer
Are relations among the leaders of Judaism’s branches as bad as they’ve been portrayed? A recent, well-publicized report on hundreds of examples of rabbinic cooperation nationwide emphasized that the situation may be improving. But even some of the rabbis involved in cooperative efforts questioned the report’s positive spin.

Jewish Ethics On Facebook

Staff Writer
Imagine you have a needy relative who’s always hitting you up for money. The person’s a nudge, irresponsible, undependable and ungrateful. Should you keep loaning that person your money? That scenario has been a hot topic on the Internet for a month. It’s the first “moral dilemma” posed on “The Jewish Ethics Project,” a new Facebook group established by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.

Voodoo Dialogue

From Manbo Sallie to Gumbo Ya-Ya, Jews, shamans in mystical common ground.

Associate Editor

In Haiti, the Other World is this one. Everywhere in the night are the dead — the gede — and their spirits.

In the wreckage of the earthquake, in that heavily Christian-Voodoo nation surely some whispered Psalms, words born in Hebrew, now shared, a crying from “out of the depths.” It is an island punished by nature but not God forsaken. Many Haitians believe that even before the rescuers arrived, God was with the mourners on the mattresses in the dirt, and on the pieces of cardboard that pass for mattresses.

Sallie Ann Glassman, Jewish, is now a Voodoo priestess in New Orleans.

Feds, City Address Security Concerns

Special to The Jewish Week

 Responding to longstanding complaints by the Russian-speaking community of unsafe conditions, Rep.

Righteous Gentile Refusenik

Special to The Jewish Week

The gesture of recognition came very late in the day, but when a major American Jewish organization last week honored Yuri Fedorov — a non-Jewish human rights activist who served 15 years in Soviet prison camps for his contribution to the cause of freeing Soviet Jews — late certainly felt better than never. 

Russian Identity Rock

Special to The Jewish Week

 Call it dialectical rock — a new musical form with roots in the psyche of the Soviet past that gives voice to all the contradictions of the present-day Russian Jewish immigrant experience. 

Drozdy (Blackbirds), a musical group formed six months ago by five close friends in their early 50’s — most of whom have been part of the tight-knit Russian literary, artistic and counter-cultural scene since arriving here 30 years ago — have been winning raves since they cut their self-titled CD last month (many of the songs are available on YouTube). 

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