U.S. Seeking Ways to Assist in Fire

12/02/2010 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration is seeking avenues to assist Israel in combating raging forest fires in its north.

"I want to begin by offering our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all of those who've died as a result of the terrible forest fire in northern Israel," President Obama said Thursday evening, launching the annual White House Chanukah party. "As rescuers and firefighters continue in their work, the United States is acting to help our Israeli friends respond to the disaster."

Violence Reduces Zimbabwe Jewish Community

Some Jews decide to stay, some make new homes in South Africa
12/01/2010 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Johannesburg — During his latest visit to a small Jewish community north of South Africa, Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft dealt with his usual duties as spiritual leader to half a continent: carrying medical supplies, arranging worship services, comforting elderly Jews.

But he didn’t have to help plan for an evacuation.

Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft

Perlman Conducts Navy Band at Menorah Lighting on Washington's Mall

12/01/2010 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Yitzhak Perlman conducted the U.S. Navy Band at the lighting of the menorah on the National Mall.

Several thousand people packed the seats on the Ellipse in front of the White House in near-freezing temperatures Wednesday evening for the event run by American Friends of Lubavitch, a tradition of three decades.

Perlman, a pre-eminent violin virtuosi, performed two traditional Chanukah melodies with a pianist and then conducted the Navy band in "Oseh Shalom" and "God Bless America."

Fire That Kills 40 Brings New Tragedy to Israel

12/01/2010 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- In a country always on guard to prevent the next tragedy born of terrorism or war, an out-of-control forest fire was the culprit in a tragic bus incident that left some 40 people dead in northern Israel.

The bus, carrying police cadets from Israel’s prison service, became stuck Thursday morning among burning trees that fell on the road, trapping dozens inside who were on their way to evacuate prisoners from the path of the blaze. Most of the bus passengers were killed. Footage of the burned-out shell of the bus was broadcast throughout Israel.

40 dead as northern Israel burns

At least 40 people have been killed in a massive brush fire in northern Israel.
12/01/2010 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- At least 40 people have been killed in a massive brush fire in northern Israel.

The fire, which broke out Thursday morning in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa, has destroyed thousands of acres of natural forest. Winds and dry conditions helped to send the fire out of control.

Berman, Ros-Lehtinen Press Obama on Iran Sanctions Enforcement

11/30/2010 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The top Republican and Democrat House foreign policy members called on the Obama administration to more closely scrutinize nations that do not comply with Iran sanctions.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the outgoing chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, convened a hearing Wednesday on imposing tougher sanctions on Iran.

House Urges Care for Elderly Holocaust Survivors

11/30/2010 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution urging care for elderly Holocaust survivors.

Amar Calls on Netanyahu to Quash Military Conversion Bill

11/30/2010 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar said he will no longer be responsible for any state conversions if the Knesset passes a bill requiring recognition of all military conversions.

In a letter sent to Benjamin Netanyahu, Amar called the prime minister to prevent the passage of the bill, the Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

Amar has charged a committee to look into legal and halachic issues surrounding the military conversions. He asked Netanyahu to allow the committee to conclude its work before allowing the legislation to go forward.

Police Reviewing Shabbat Jaywalk Stop

Midwood rabbi says he was told to write his name or go to jail; pol calls for cops’ suspension.
11/30/2010 - 19:00
Assistant Managing Editor

The NYPD is probing an incident last week involving an Orthodox jaywalker and a Brooklyn street cop he claims made him violate Shabbat.

If the allegation that the cop threatened to lock up Rabbi Shalom Emert unless he wrote down his name is true, the officer did not follow his training and showed unprofessional conduct, says an expert on police procedure.

Councilman David Greenfield says there was “no reason to force this observant Jew to transgress the Sabbath,” and suggests cops

WikiLeaks Reveals Secrets, Backroom Dealmaking—and Cluelessness

11/30/2010 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A careful reading of the WikiLeaks trove of State Department cables -- which is laying bare some 250,000 secret dispatches detailing private conversations, assessments and dealmaking of U.S. diplomats -- reveals a notable if perhaps surprising pattern: how often they get things wrong.

Again and again the cables show diplomats, lawmakers and heads of state predicting outcomes that never come to pass.

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