News

Pols: Keep Flotilla Crew Out Of U.S.

06/16/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Just steps from the site of last month’s attempted Times Square bombing, a group of lawmakers gathered Monday to express concern that three people they called terrorists may be planning to come to the United States.

The three were aboard one of the six Gaza-bound aid boats that were forcibly stopped last month by Israeli soldiers. A clash between activists on one of the ships and IDF troops led to the deaths of nine activists, with several soldiers wounded.

Israel’s Conversion Bill May Change

Knesset Member David Rotem says law would apply only to Israeli conversions; Reform and Conservative leaders not satisfied.
06/15/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

 The author of Israel’s controversial conversion bill has for the first time suggested a change in the bill in the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise that any bill dealing with conversion “must ensure the unity of the Jewish people in its entirety.”

‘PunkJews’ Get Their 15 Minutes

New documentary in progress grows out of hipster chasid ‘Chulent’ scene.
06/15/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

They are the ultimate crossover artists, moving freely between the worlds of Orthodox religious observance and edgy secular artistic expression, albeit with a strong Jewish twist.

Some are chasidic outcasts, having left the fold of Satmar or Lubavitch. Others live at the fringes of the chasidic world, improvising a freewheeling sense of spirituality as they ply their trade as rap singers, hard rockers, clothing designers and visual artists.

Evan Kleinman and Saul Sudin during shooting of “PunkJews.” courtesy of Evan Kleinman

NYPD Cops Working The Interfaith Beat

Shomrim, Muslim Society officers in emerging relationship, despite obstacles.
06/15/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When it comes to “Kumbaya” moments, as some critics have dubbed Jewish-Muslim dialogue, “Police officers are pretty much a harder sell [than other people],” says Det. Lawrence Wein, president of the New York Police Department’s Shomrim Society. “They are a bit more cynical than peace activists.”

Det. Ahmed Nasser, left, was detained in Israel for over two hours when he arrived with fellow NYPD members.Doug Chandler

An Obligation To The Dead

06/15/2010 - 20:00

 The oldest Jewish cemetery in the United States would probably be an official historical landmark site today, but no one knows where it’s located.

Shortly after the original group of 23 Jews from Brazil arrived in then-New Amsterdam in 1654, they founded Congregation Shearith Israel then successfully petitioned city authorities to establish a Jewish burial ground on “a little hook of land,” most likely on the sparsely developed island of Manhattan.

Rabbi Hayyim Angel. Michael Datikash

Facebook Page Spurs Russian Giving

06/15/2010 - 20:00

 Memo to fundraisers for major Jewish organizations; if you want to raise significant funds among young, upwardly mobile Russian Jews, you had better get hip to the potential of using social networking sites. 

In A First, Religious Gifts Decline Slightly

Giving USA report finds 3.6 percent drop in all giving, but health and human services donations bump up.
06/15/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Last year, for the first time in the more than 50 years the Giving USA Foundation has been tracking philanthropy, donations to religious institutions declined. 

While the drop in giving was minimal (less than 1 percent), it represents a shift in priorities among American donors from religion and education to health and human services, sectors that increased nearly 4 percent and 2 percent last year, respectively. 

Individuals accounted for 75 percent of all charitable giving in 2009, according to Giving USA.

U.S. and Israel Agree on Key Issues—For Now

06/14/2010 - 20:00
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The relationship between the Obama administration, the Netanyahu government and the pro-Israel community is ensconced on all fronts in “agree, for now” mode.

On isolating Iran, everyone agrees -- and is pleased -- that the new set of U.N. sanctions will make it easier for the United States to enhance its own unilateral sanctions.

Differences are looming, however, on whether the U.S. sanctions should carve out exemptions for countries that helped push through the U.N. sanctions.

Black Hebrew Members Fight To Keep Congregation Open

06/14/2010 - 20:00

Harlem’s small and mostly African-American congregation with a very large name – The Commandment Keepers Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth – has been ensnarled in court in recent years, after nine members sold their shul building, a sale opposed by a faction of the dwindling congregation.

Yahoo Maps Reunite Jerusalem

06/14/2010 - 20:00

Jerusalem has been reunited without gunfire, 43 years after the Six Day War -- this time, by Yahoo!

Angering the international Jewish community, the Internet search giant recently enacted its own two-state solution by dividing Jerusalem into “East” and “West” on its Weather iPhone app.

But the holy city became one again this weekend, after pressures from the Israeli government and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, according to Rabbi Meyer H. May, executive director of the Center.

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