In what is being hailed as a dramatic shift in approach at the Jewish Agency, the organization that some Israeli Arabs have viewed as out to steal their land has agreed to support the New York-based Abraham Fund Initiatives in its efforts to teach conversational Arabic and culture to elementary school children in northern Israel.
When floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina started rising in Biloxi, Miss., in 2005, a custodian at nearby Keesler Air Force Base raced to the local Jewish chaplain and told him about Jewish objects that he believed were kept in a storage closet on the base.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak jumped into the lead for Labor Party leader after announcing his candidacy this week, but political observers said it was still a wide open race and that incumbent Amir Peretz should not be counted out.
Bloggers are having a field day with a survey e-mailed last week to rabbis, cantors, educators and lay leaders of the Conservative movement to learn their views on same-sex marriage and whether active gays should be ordained as clergy.
The planned opening of the International Red Cross archive in Germany to Holocaust survivors and their families has prompted them to request that an Italian insurance giant lift a Jan. 15 settlement deadline.
On that date the survivors may either accept their insurance settlement for Holocaust-era claims against Assicurazioni Generali or opt out of the offer.
The archive contains more than 50 million Nazi files and is scheduled to be open to families and researchers after a formal ratification process by the 11 nations that control it.
Gourmet Glatt Emporium in Cedarhurst, whose owners were forced to sell their store in a kosher dispute that prompted a boycott orchestrated by local rabbis, reopened Tuesday morning under new ownership. But the new deal didn’t stop some residents from voicing bitter feelings about the perceived strong-arm tactics and lack of transparency by the local rabbinic board that handles kosher supervision.
A series of arrests in a suspected fraud and bribery scandal at the highest levels of Israel’s tax system shocked the public this week, with some analysts saying it could be more damaging to the country’s stability than terrorist attacks. The arrests Tuesday of 22 current and former tax officials — including Tax Authority Director Jackie Matza and his predecessor, Eitan Rub — followed a nearly yearlong probe into allegations that businessmen had for years influenced decisions in the Tax Authority.
In the event of a future terrorist attack aimed at a Jewish institution anywhere in the world, a communications network being established on Long Island would contact each of the 225 Jewish institutions here — including synagogues and day schools — to alert their leadership and provide whatever guidance is necessary.
In a week that saw the most violence in Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel’s intensified efforts to destroy the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure was met with a series of devastating suicide bombings and shootings that left more than 30 Israelis dead. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s response was to dig in his heels.
If you thought Rabbi Joseph Lookstein was a revolutionary in the creation of the 20th century day school, his eponymous Web site aims to change the Jewish 21st century school as much as the talkies changed the movies.
Bar Ilan Universityís Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora (www.lookstein.biu.ac.il), named for its late chancellor who also founded New Yorkís Ramaz School, has taken upon itself to become an Internet-based international clearing house of new educational ideas, facilitating interaction among principals, teachers and parents.