Israel

One Small Step For Israel…

A group of Israelis headed by Daniel Saat are determined to land a spacecraft on the moon by the end of next year.

01/28/2014
Assistant Managing Editor/Online Editor
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Why are a group of Israelis spending $36 million on a bid to win a $30 million prize from Google? There’s more at stake than cash and bragging rights, says Daniel Saat, director of business development for SpaceIL, which hopes to land an Israeli spacecraft on the moon by the end of next year to win Google’s Lunar XPrize. The nonprofit, heavily supported by Israeli universities and foundations, is also hoping for an “Apollo effect,” encouraging more students to pursue scientific careers, as did America’s lunar landings. Saat, 31, a Rochester native and NYU alum now living in Israel, spoke to The Jewish Week about aiming for the stars.

Daniel Saat: A moon landing by an Israeli spacecraft will put Israel in “a very exclusive club of superpower nations.”

An Open Letter To My Role Model, Rabbi Avi Weiss

01/27/2014
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Dear Rabbi Weiss,

While I was relieved to learn that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has revoked its claims against you, I have been deeply saddened by the entire episode. But I have not been surprised. In their book, “Leadership on the Line,” Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky define leadership as an act that involves “disappointing your own people at a rate they can absorb.” In order to make progress around issues that touch on people’s beliefs and values, it is often necessary to touch on very sensitive issues, challenging people’s understanding of what is true and right.

Rabbi Avi Weiss prays at a vigil for victims of a train derailment in December, 2013. Getty Images

De Blasio: Israel Support Part of Mayor's Job

01/27/2014
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Bill de Blasio, New York’s newly installed mayor, said defending Israel was part of his job.

“Part of my job description is to be a defender of Israel,” de Blasio said at a private New York event of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee first reported Friday by the Capital New York news website.

De Blasio: No greater ally on earth than Israel. Michael Datikash

AJC Taking On The Chief Rabbinate

Plan is to form broad coalitions here and in Israel to limit clout of the rabbis’ monopoly.

01/22/2014
Editor And Publisher
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As dissatisfaction with the Israeli Chief Rabbinate intensifies, the American Jewish Committee is heading up an unprecedented effort to form a broad coalition, here and in Israel, to limit, if not end, the rabbis’ authority.

Israel's Chief Rabbinate, meeting in 1959. Wikimedia Commons

Silent Lessons: Hiking With Israel's Association Of The Deaf

In LOTEM, we guide groups of people with special needs in nature and after a year, I can say wholeheartedly that I have gained experience working with a wide range of populations. 

Tali Nahir

Members Of Congress Blast Academic Boycott Of Israel

01/20/2014
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A bipartisan slate of 134 U.S. Congress members wrote a letter to the American Studies Association protesting its decision last month to boycott Israeli universities.

Ariel Sharon, A Close Friend I Never Met

01/16/2014
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I never met Ariel Sharon personally, but I feel like I have lost a close
friend.

In August 2004, Israeli Prime Minister Sharon had stated his intention to
evacuate the Gaza Strip. The decision elicited strong reactions from across
the Israeli and American Jewish political spectrums.

Ariel Sharon: A Personal Remembrance

01/16/2014
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Ariel Sharon is now buried in the land he loved, next to his beloved wife Lily, on a hilltop overlooking the verdant fields of Havat Ha-shikmim, the ranch he retreated to as often as possible each week for the peace and quiet that eluded him in public life.  Having served as the American ambassador to Israel during almost all of Sharon’s tenure as prime minister, I had the privilege of being named to the U.S. delegation to his funeral, headed by Vice President Biden.  It was a day for remembrance and, to some degree, closure for the millions of Israelis who mourned Sharon’s passing.

Ariel Sharon, Warrior Statesman

01/11/2014
Staff Writer
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Morton Klein, the longtime president of the Zionist Organization of America, tells of a banquet sponsored by a major Jewish organization that he attended several years ago. In a room filled with crowded tables of Jewish dignitaries from this country and Israel, he spotted a lone figure.

Sharon chatting with former Prime Minister David Ben Gurion during a tour of Israeli army installations in 1971. Photo via JTA

Pope To Visit Israel In May

01/08/2014
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Pope Francis will visit Israel in May as well as Jordan and the West Bank.

The pontiff made the formal announcement of his long-anticipated trip from his Vatican window before a crowd who had gathered in St. Peter’s Square on a rainy Sunday.

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