U.S.: Direct Israeli-Palestinian Talks 'Very Close'

08/19/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians are "very, very close," a U.S. State Department spokesman said, and Hillary Rodham Clinton is in constant telephone contact with the leaders.

Pelosi Calls For Transparency From Both Sides in Mosque Dispute

08/17/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Nancy Pelosi agreed with an ADL call for transparency in the funding of the mosque and interfaith center near Ground Zero, but said its opponents should also make their funding transparent.

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives weighed in Wednesday on the controversy, and echoed statements from President Obama that freedom of religion is paramount, but that the decision about the planned mosque is a local matter.

Sweden’s ‘Complicated’ Jewish Community

08/17/2010 - 20:00

 Paideia (Greek for “education”) was founded in 2000 amid controversy in the Swedish Jewish community, where some resentment still lingers despite the success of the program.

Primary funding came through a major grant from the Swedish government out of a sense of moral guilt for its supply of goods, including iron ore, to the Nazis during World War II, though its official position was one of neutrality.

Additional funding came from the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation.

Stockholm’s Great Synagogue: Built in 1870 to resemble an antique Assyrian temple.

Unorthodox Rabbis Growing Two L.I. Synagogues

Openness, outreach keys for AJR grads leading Conservative congregations.
08/17/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

 One is a kind of rabbinic Dr. Phil, taking the unorthodox step of asking those saying Kaddish to rise from the pews — as if in a grief support group — and to talk about their deceased mother or aunt or lifelong friend.

The other, like a jazz player improvising a new ritual on the fly, will switch from Hebrew to English to chant particularly meaningful sections of the Torah and Haftorah — and then offer a “short overview” of the significance of that section.

Rabbis Irwin Huberman, left, and Paul Hoffman: Orthodox backgrounds, flexible philosophies.

Even The Hummus Is Haute

Israeli chefs here are pushing past the old cuisine boundaries. Fried olives with organic labneh, anyone?
08/17/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

 Einat Admony’s new Nolita restaurant could pass for any of the stylish new spots that dominate the downtown dining scene: there is the rustic-chic wood ceiling, the exposed glass kitchen, the linen-less tables surrounded by well-appointed book shelves. Then there’s the clientele: trendy women in Grecian-strap sandals and funky summer dresses; guys with plaid shirts, skinny jeans and thick plastic-frame glasses.

Einat Admony at her new Nolita restaurant, Balaboosta. Michael Datikash

Heightened Talk Of Israel Strike On Iran

Next week? Next spring? Concern over whether U.S. would use force.
08/17/2010 - 20:00

Israel must launch a military attack against Iran within days, according to one expert — months, according to others — if it is to prevent Iran from going nuclear.

Former Ambassador John Bolton: Israel should hit quickly.  Getty Images

Media Watch: The Guns Of August

Media burns with talk of an Israel-Iran war.
08/16/2010 - 20:00
Associate Editor

In 1938, Vladimir Jabotinsky, who advocated an “iron wall” of Zionist self-defense, warned European Jews that they “were living on the edge of the volcano,” but those Jews were essentially helpless. Now Jabotinsky’s spiritual grandchild, Prime Minister Netanyahu, whose father worked for Jabotinsky, says, “It’s 1938 and Iran is Germany.” The difference this time, says Netanyahu, is Israel isn’t helpless.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Orthodox Mental Health Needs Not Being Met: Study

As stigma against treatment lessens, population remains largely underserved.
08/16/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

 A just-published survey of more than 100 Orthodox mental health professionals revealed that despite significant improvements in the past 25 years, the psychological needs of today’s Orthodox Jewish community are still far from being met.


American Muslim Leaders Visit Concentration Camps

08/16/2010 - 20:00

(JTA) — Eight Muslim American leaders who visited concentration camps and met with Holocaust survivors signed a statement condemning Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.

The trip earlier this month, intended to teach the participants about the Holocaust, featured visits to Dachau and Auschwitz.

'New' Polish Jews Visit Israel

08/16/2010 - 20:00

(JTA)—A group of 22 young Poles who recently discovered they have Jewish roots is visiting Israel.

The group arrived Aug. 15 for a three-week educational seminar in Jerusalem run by Shavei Israel, a nonprofit that works with “lost” Jewish communities around the world.

Most of the participants were raised Catholic and are in their 20s. They come from various cities in Poland.

The group will study Hebrew and learn about Jewish culture and religion, as well as the history of Israel.

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