National

Abraham Fund Wins Major State Department Grant for Arab-Israeli Coexistence Programs

10/12/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- An Israeli coexistence group was awarded a three-year grant of nearly $1 million from the U.S. State Department.

The Abraham Fund Initiatives, which aims to advance Jewish-Arab coexistence and equality in Israel, announced Tuesday that it had received the grant to advance peace and reconciliation through bilingual and bicultural education as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation Program.

Jewish Officials Prepare for Possible GOP Congressional Wins

10/12/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Across the United States, Jewish community professionals are honing their skills of suasion, preparing to deal with a new crop of lawmakers who are unfamiliar with Jewish organizational priorities -- and who are likely to be unenthusiastic once they’re in the know.

This season of anti-incumbent sentiment, much of it swelling from the political right, presents the likelihood of a Republican takeover of at least one house of Congress. The GOP needs 39 seats to win in the House of Representatives; pollsters are predicting gains of 17 to 80 seats.

Hikind Physically Confronts Anti-Semitic Group

10/11/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

Assemblyman Dov Hikind broke through police barriers and physically confronted a small group of protesters carrying anti-Semitic signs in Brooklyn Monday.
 
The five protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas drew an angry reaction from several hundred Orthodox Jews as they gathered in a small pen of police barricades outside Chabad of Kensington on Ocean Parkway in Midwood.
 

With Emanuel and Axelrod Gone, Will the Jews Have Access to Obama?

10/11/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- They were two Jewish aides who had offices within shouting distance of the Oval Office.

But the resignation last week of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff and the imminent departure of David Axelrod, the president’s senior adviser, is raising the question of what the disappearance of the president’s top two Jewish aides will mean for the Jewish community.

Top Jewish Democrats and leaders of Jewish organizations say there will be an absence -- of optics, not substance.

Protesters Disrupt JNF Conference

10/11/2010

NEW YORK (JTA) -- More than a dozen anti-Israel protesters disrupted a presentation at the Jewish National Fund's conference in Atlanta.

Ken Stein, the director of the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel of Emory University in Atlanta, was speaking on presenting the Jewish and Zionist side of Israel's history at a plenary session at the Intercontinental Hotel when about 15 people entered the room shouting, according to a member of the audience.

Bob Dylan's Childhood Shul for Sale

10/10/2010

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- The synagogue where Bob Dylan celebrated his bar mitzvah is for sale.

The former home of Agudath Achim Synagogue in Hibbing, Minn., where the former Bobby Zimmerman became a man in 1963, has belonged to Eric and Brenda Shafer-Pellinen since 2001. Their hopes to turn the building into a bed-and-breakfast failed to materialize.

The building is listed on Craigslist for $119,000. Shafer-Pellinen told the Duluth News Tribune that she is also reaching out to Dylan fans via websites such as expectingrain.com and dylanradio.com.

Ohio GOP Candidate Was Nazi Reenactor

10/10/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- An Ohio Republican running for the U.S. Congress belonged to a group that staged full-dress reenactments of Nazi SS maneuvers.

Rich Iott, a Toledo-area Tea Party-backed candidate who is challenging incumbent Democrat Marcy Kaptur, belonged to "Wiking" from 2003-2007, The Atlantic reported on Friday night.

Iott, a businessman, told the magazine that the group did not subscribe to Nazism.

Jewish Internet Company Employee Arrested for Selling Secrets

10/07/2010

(JTA) -- A Jewish employee of a Boston-area internet company was arrested on suspicion of selling confidential information to a foreign company.

Elliot Doxer, 42, was employed in Akamai Technologies Inc. finance department. He was charged Wednesday with wire fraud for providing confidential business information including contract details, employee information and customer lists to an undercover FBI agent that he believed was a foreign government agent.

The country is identified in the indictment as Country X.

Westboro Church Case Poses Dilemma for Jewish Groups

10/06/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish defense organizations long -- and proudly -- have upheld a delicate principle in defending the First Amendment: Hate the speech, defend the speaker.

But a Supreme Court case whose arguments were scheduled for Wednesday have put that precept to the test: A Maryland family is suing the Westboro Baptist Church for picketing the funeral of its scion, Matthew Snyder, a soldier killed in a noncombat accident in Iraq.

For First Time, Supreme Court Opens With Three Jews

10/06/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- For the first time in history, a U.S. Supreme Court convened this week with three Jewish justices.

And Jewish defense organizations had their eyes on … Arizona.

Two of the three cases on the docket this session attracting special attention from Jewish groups come from the Grand Canyon State. One addresses tax credits for religious schools; another looks at whether state immigration laws outweigh the U.S. government. The third case, out of Maryland, deals with free speech protections.

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