The umbrella organization representing American Jewry is planning to issue a statement this week saying a majority of its members support the Gaza disengagement plan. But a draft circulated at midweek falls short of an outright endorsement by the Conference on Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, according to several members who have seen the statement.
As Israel this week waged its bloodiest army operation against Hamas in Gaza and lashed out at the United Nations for alleged complicity with the terrorists, the Sharon administration’s motive for the Gaza disengagement was called into question.
Dov Weissglass, Sharon’s senior adviser, told the Israeli daily Haaretz that “the significance of the disengagement is the freezing of the peace process. And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem.
Torahs from the Suffolk Jewish Center in Deer Park were marched and driven five miles to the Dix Hills Jewish Center under bright sunny skies Sunday as the two Long Island congregations celebrated their merger with singing, dancing and food.
As police and fire trucks led the way and a klezmer band played, Dr. Martin Feller, a founder of the Dix Hills Jewish Center, recalled a similar march 30 years ago when he and fellow congregants carried Torahs from their rented house to their then-new home at Vanderbilt Parkway and DeForest Road.
Jews are like canaries in coal mines, an early warning system, according to former New York Mayor Edward Koch, who will head the U.S. delegation to an international conference on anti-Semitism in Berlin next week.
The delegation will include Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Monitoring and quelling anti-Jewish acts is a way of safeguarding all minorities, said Koch.
Although the Palestinian Authority is planning new elections for early 2005, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom suggested Wednesday the vote will do nothing to promote the peace process, revealing for the first time that the current leadership rebuffed an offer to meet with him earlier this year.
Shalom, in a Jewish Week interview Wednesday, said that while visiting Spain a few months ago, then Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Martinos told him during dinner that Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath were coming to Madrid.
Tuvia Teldon, the Chabad rabbi who is opening the first new day school in Suffolk County in more than a dozen years, had hoped that changing the name of his school would have placated critics who believe it will be a divisive force in the community.
Now, on the eve of the first day of classes next Wednesday, the barbs are still flying but Rabbi Teldon — who removed the word “Community” from the school’s name after stinging criticism that his school, in fact, is Lubavitch — believes they’re unjustified.
United Jewish Communities and UJA-Federation of New York announced this week that they were launching Israel Emergency Campaigns to help Israelis during the fighting in Lebanon and Gaza. The UJC was expected to announce a $300 million campaign; UJA-Federation hopes to raise $60 million.
In the wake of the shooting spree at the Seattle Jewish federation last Friday that killed one and wounded five, New York City police officers have been posted at more than 100 locations, including prominent synagogues, community centers and the headquarters of UJA-Federation of New York.
“The New York City Police Department understands the threat level and has increased patrols in many Jewish neighborhoods,” said David Pollock, associate executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.
American Jews are opening their hearts and their wallets, responding in a big way to help Israelis who are in the line of fire from Hezbollah and Hamas rocket attacks.
To help protect volunteer paramedics and emergency medical technicians who respond to medical emergencies while more rockets are falling, a campaign has been launched to raise $350,000 to equip 250 of them with bulletproof vests and helmets.
After a harrowing vacation in Belize in February — during which they huddled in a room for three hours to escape gunmen who had taken over the hotel next door and robbed the guests — Lori and Larry Spiegel of Huntington, L.I., were looking forward to a relaxing trip to Israel next month to celebrate their son’s bar mitzvah. But the war in Israel has changed all that.