Although charities have reportedly spent two-thirds of the record $3.27 billion in disaster relief money raised for the victims of Hurricane Katrina last August, the United Jewish Communities still has more than half of the $28.5 million it raised and plans to spend it for human needs during the next two years, the organization said this week.
When a real estate management company in Lakewood, N.J., had several 500-page leases from previous landlords to review, its bookkeeper began calling local attorneys and asking them to examine the leases and prepare five-page abstracts.
"I found that attorneys were booked and that it would take them a long time to do it," the bookkeeper, Rina Yakubovsky, recalled. "And they wanted to charge an arm and a leg."
Despite strong protests by leading Republican members of Congress, the U.S. Air Force was expected to issue revised religious guidelines this week that continue to bar Christian chaplains from praying in Jesus' name during official government ceremonies and place restraints on Evangelical chaplains, The Jewish Week has learned.
Only a week after Hamas' stunning landslide victory in the Palestinian legislative election, cracks began to emerge in the international community's initial threat to halt nearly $1 billion in Palestinian aid unless Hamas stopped its use of violence and recognized Israel's right to exist.
The aid is critical because the Palestinian Authority ran out of money last month to pay its 137,000 civil servants.
It was one widow calling to console another. An ocean separated them, but history had linked them.
After the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin in 1995, Coretta Scott King, widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., wrote a letter to Rabinís widow, Leah, in which she expressed her condolences and pointed out that both of their husbands had fought for peace and had been killed by their own people: King by an American and Rabin by an Israeli.
In outlining their party's platform on future Palestinian relations, the leaders of Israel's three main political parties offered few differences this week as they resumed their campaigning following a three-week hiatus caused by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's crippling stroke.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer's selection of Harlem state Sen. David Paterson to be his running mate (the first such Jewish-black Democratic ticket since Paterson's father, Basil, ran for lieutenant governor on a ticket headed by Arthur Goldberg 36 years ago) was seen by Jewish leaders as a move that might help the state's neediest.
Tony Kushner, one of the screenplay writers for Steven Spielberg's "Munich," explained this week why he portrayed Mossad agents as having regrets and doubts about tracking down and killing the Palestinians who planned the murder of 11 Olympic Israeli athletes in 1972.
"I've never killed anyone, but my instincts as a person and a playwright ... suggest that people in general don't kill without feeling torn up about it," he wrote last Sunday in the Los Angeles Times.
A day after the arson fire at a Hauppauge, L.I., synagogue last week, a congregant at the neighboring Dix Hills Jewish Center rushed up to the rabbi to ask about security for the High Holy Days.
"He said security was being beefed up and that there was nothing to be worried about," the congregant, Elaine Greenwald, said later of her conversation with Rabbi Howard Buechler. "I trust that when the rabbi tells me that, we're doing all we can."