News

Group Against Arab Home Demolitions Seeks Support Here

06/08/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
On the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War, a human rights organization founded 10 years ago by Israelis is raising its profile and seeking more support from Americans. But the organization’s name might be misleading. The Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is not just focused on preventing the Israeli army’s destruction of Palestinian property — a cause that gained international notice in 2003 when American activist Rachel Corrie was crushed by a bulldozer while protesting such actions on the West Bank.

How Mainstream Are American Muslims?

06/01/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
A comprehensive survey of U.S. Muslims released last week, apparently the first of its kind, offered a mostly mainstream picture of a community that has fallen under a microscope since 9/11.

Arabic Public School Sparks Debate

05/18/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
The announcement of a planned public school in Brooklyn focusing on Arab culture has taken the city’s education department into uncharted waters, fielding concerns over fundamentalism and the propriety of singling out cultures. Local Jewish groups either favor the creation of the Khalil Gibran International Academy — to open next year for 81 sixth to 12th grade students of all ethnic backgrounds — or have taken no position against it, even as some commentators sound alarms.

Hands-Off Approach

05/18/1997
Assistant Managing Editor
With the blessing of rabbinic authorities, the Orthodox Union’s youth group has launched a Web site promoting abstinence and warning of the impact of premarital sex on the body, mind and spirit. While declaring that they are “deeply disturbed” by teens “increasingly engaged in sexual experimentation,” officials of the National Council of Synagogue Youth insisted there was no particular catalyst within the organization’s membership.

Above And Beyond

05/11/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
The first time Jacob Dechter received his medals of honor for service during World War II, there wasn’t much fanfare. They came in the mail, he said, with nice letters, but there was no ceremony. The second time, last month, drew more attention as two employees of an Arizona electronics firm — surrounded by news cameras — returned them following a delivery mishap. In between lies a tale of an ex-Marine who got the wrong package, a hero who voluntarily risked his life on behalf of his adopted country, and the genealogist who brought them together.

Carter Challenging Baptists On Conversions, Says Rabbi

05/11/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
Wading into the delicate fray over the alliance between Jews and pro-Israel Evangelicals, former President Jimmy Carter last week reportedly said it was a mistake for Jews to accept such ties, and that he was working to convince Southern Baptists to change the way they look at Judaism and the Middle East. Christian Zionists can be better friends of Israel by challenging its government’s policies, while accepting Judaism as a legitimate path to God, Carter told a group organized by Rabbi Michael Lerner in California last week, according to the rabbi.

700 Shuls Hosting Shabbat Across America

05/04/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
(JTA) – More than 700 synagogues will take part in Shabbat Across America on Friday. Created by the National Jewish Outreach Program, the evening involves a beginner’s service and traditional Shabbat meal, with all the rituals explained. It has attracted more than a half-million people in the past decade.

Lawsuit Over Shul Turned Mosque Ends

05/04/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
A state judge has thrown out the claim by a group of plaintiffs that the Mapleton Park Jewish Center in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, was sold to a mosque without the knowledge of members. “The documents submitted in support of the sale indicate that the sale was duly authorized,” wrote Judge Mark Partnow in granting a motion to dismiss the case against the Ahmadiya Movement in Islam and several other defendants.

Home Found For Louise Wise Records

12/10/2004
Staff Writer
Story Includes Video: 
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Nearly 10 months after ceasing its operations, an adoption agency with Jewish communal origins has reached an agreement with a similar organization to house and manage documents from some 80 years of services.

The decision between the defunct Louise Wise Services and Spence-Chapin means that thousands of people whose lives were affected by adoptions will continue to have limited access to birth records and other material that might aid them with reunion efforts or health crises.

Religious Right Attacks Spitzer

05/04/2007
Assistant Managing Editor
A powerful Christian right group says it pressured Gov. Eliot Spitzer into proclaiming a day of prayer and reflection in the state on Monday — just four days before the event. According to the Web site of Focus on the Family, which has a National Day of Prayer Task Force, Spitzer’s office did not initially return phone calls from the organization regarding the proclamation.
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