When Sara J. was a senior in high school and active participant in the National Conference of Synagogue Youth in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s, the culminating Shabbaton of the year was an all-night session for more than 100 teens. She recalled that during the awards ceremony, an emotional high point, an adviser of the Orthodox Union-sponsored group “praised me for defying my parents by choosing to study at a yeshiva in Israel for a year rather than start college at home.”“Defiance of parents,” Sara, who asked that her name not be used, said recently.
Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer on the hot seat in Mideast peace talks. He may not be in the driver’s seat, but it is clear after his five-day visit to the U.S. that the Israeli prime minister’s stock has gone up in Washington of late.
Israeli officials assert that the Clinton administration is more sympathetic to Netanyahu’s insistence that the Palestinians must live up to their prior commitments on security before Israel agrees to a second redeployment in the West Bank.
Heading into the home stretch of his three-year presidency of UJA-Federation of New York, James Tisch remains committed to increasing donors and dollars by simplifying the goal of the complex organization.“We help Jews in need — in New York, Israel and around the world,” he asserted during an interview at his office at the Loews Corp., where he is president and CEO. He has tried to keep the charity focused, rejecting proposals that it make a priority of religious or political initiatives such as revitalizing synagogues or supporting tuition vouchers for day schools.
For the first time, New York State has bought State of Israel Bonds directly from the Israeli government. The state recently purchased $5 million in Bonds from the Development Corporation for Israel.
State Comptroller H. Carl McCall said the action was prompted in part by his trip to Israel in April for a celebration of the nation’s 50th anniversary.
“Seeing what was happening with the economy and what they were doing with the money was reassuring,” said McCall.
The second time, it turns out, was the charm for Eliot Spitzer. After finishing last in a four-way primary for attorney general four years ago, the Manhattan millionaire lawyer handily defeated his three opponents in the Democratic primary for the same seat Tuesday and immediately set his sights on unseating incumbent Republican Dennis Vacco.
Palestinian President Yasir Arafat is planning to use the debates in the 53rd session of the General Assembly that begin here Monday as a platform from which to reaffirm his intention to declare a Palestinian state next year, according to a Palestinian official at the United Nations.
Although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is slated to address the General Assembly next Thursday — four days ahead of Arafat — Israeli officials expect him to warn that such a move would “destabilize the whole Middle East.”
Despite signing an agreement Monday allowing an international commission to determine its liability in Holocaust-era life insurance policies, the major Italian insurance company Assicurazioni Generali insists it will pay no more than $100 million.
A company spokesman, Dan Leonard, told The Jewish Week that Generali was still committed to honoring a $100 million settlement it reached last month with lawyers for survivors and their heirs who hold unpaid policies.
Saying the case of Jonathan Pollard is “like a bone in the throat” of relations between Israel and the United States, an Israeli cabinet member asked Capitol Hill lawmakers not to criticize President Bill Clinton should he order the convicted spy’s release after 13 years in prison.
“I met with senators and congressmen and everyone said the meetings went well,” said Yuli Edelstein, the minister of immigrant absorption.
Twenty-five years ago, Carole Solomon flew to Israel for a trip that would forever change her life. “We flew in at night and Lod Airport [now Ben-Gurion] was completely blacked out,” recalled Solomon, the new national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal. “We arrived immediately after the cease-fire [in the Yom Kippur War].”