News

‘Beautiful Words Written Beautifully’

Irene Hizme, an Auschwitz survivor who suffers from multiple sclerosis crafts, hand-lettered cards to benefit aging Holocaust victims.
06/14/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

In the basement of her Oceanside, L.I., home, next to a window and a hand-lettered “Patience” poster, Irene Hizme sits at a drawing board, creating works of intricate calligraphy and flower-filled branches.

A Czechoslovakia-born Holocaust survivor in her “early 70s” and retired biochemist/computer programmer, she spends much of her free time these days making thank-you notes and birthday cards. She does many of her works as a volunteer for The Blue Card, an organization that offers financial assistance to aging Holocaust survivors.

“I’ve had a good life,” says Irene Hizme, who survived the Holocaust and now copes with multiple sclerosis.

Reid-McConnell letter: Consider Turkish Charity for Terror List

06/14/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Leaders of both parties in the U.S. Senate are urging President Obama to consider placing the Turkish charity involved in the Gaza flotilla incident on the terrorism list.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), its minority leader, circulated a letter last Friday among their colleagues that would press Obama to investigate the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation.

Israel Approves Gaza Flotilla Inquiry Panel

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's Cabinet unanimously approved a commission of inquiry into the interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine passengers dead.

Two foreign observers were named to the commission.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during Monday's meeting to approve the independent public commission that its establishment "will make it clear to the entire world that the State of Israel acts according to the law, transparently, and with full responsibility."

Mossad Agent Reportedly Arrested in Poland

06/12/2010 - 20:00

BERLIN (JTA) -- An alleged Mossad spy wanted in Germany in connection with the assassination of a Hamas official in Dubai was arrested in Poland.

The arrest earlier this month of Uri Brodsky, and his possible extradition to Germany, could lead to a diplomatic row between Germany and Israel, according to reports. The arrest was made public Saturday.

Reform Leader Yoffie To Retire In 2012

Rabbi Eric Yoffie outlines ambitious program for next two years
06/09/2010 - 20:00
Editor and Publisher

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, one of the most outspoken and often controversial leaders in American Jewry, announced Thursday that he plans to retire as president of the Union for Reform Judaism in two years, when he will be 65 — but not before he tackles some major challenges facing the nation’s largest synagogue movement.

He told a URJ board meeting Thursday afternoon that he plans to spend his remaining time in office focusing on rebuilding the Reform youth movement, which he said has declined to “dangerously low levels,” and to promote teen engagement.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie

Hitchens On Jewishness, Israel And Zionism

06/09/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

People seem to love author and cultural critic Christopher Hitchens for precisely the reason other people seem to hate him: he has an opinion, and a strong one, about almost everything. His new memoir, “Hitch-22,” is chock full of them, too. And when he appeared at at the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday night, in a chat with his close friend Salman Rushdie, that fact was not glossed over.

Jewish Leaders Press Abbas on Direct Talks, Incitement

06/09/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish leaders pressed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the issues of incitement and direct talks.

Abbas met for dinner Wednesday evening with an array of the national Jewish leadership under the auspices of the Center for Middle East Peace. The meeting came after he met with President Obama at the White House.

The major topic of the evening was Abbas' reluctance to advance from proximity talks, brokered by the United States, to direct talks with Israel. Both the Obama and Netanyahu administrations favor direct talks.

Obama Says Gaza Situation ‘Unsustainable,’ Pledges $400 Million

06/09/2010 - 20:00
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama said the situation in the Gaza Strip was "unsustainable" and that he would budget an additional $400 million to improve conditions there and in the West Bank.

Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting here Wednesday discussed the aftermath of Israel's deadly raid last week on a Turkish-flagged ship ferrying aid and activists to Gaza Strip in order to break Israel's blockade of the strip.

1,000 Turn Out For Pro-Israel Rally Here

06/08/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

A light rain fell as hundreds of New Yorkers rallied across the street from the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan Wednesday to voice their support for the embattled Jewish state in the wake of the Gaza flotilla deaths.

“This is a consensus rally,” said Rabbi Avi Weiss, the founder of AMCHA-The Coalition for Jewish Concerns. “Israel is facing an existential threat. It’s important for everyone to express solidarity with Israel.”

Orthodox Union Leaders Meet With White House Staff, Senators

06/08/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Leaders of the Orthodox Union met with top administration officials and with U.S. senators.

Members of synagogues and organizations affiliated with the umbrella body met Wednesday with top National Security Council staff and discussed the U.S.-Israel relationship, the peace process and Iran sanctions, as well as education and energy policy.

The Orthodox Union has been among the sharpest critics of Obama administration pressure on Israel to freeze building in eastern Jerusalem.

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