National

L.A. Charter Tests Genre

No Hebrew requirement at Einstein Academy, but ‘network’ of schools may be poised for growth.
05/09/2011 - 20:00
Associate Editor

Santa Clarita, Calif. — “How do you say ‘cheerleader’ in Hebrew?”

The question comes in the middle of a beginning Hebrew class at Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts and Sciences, a new charter school in this affluent Los Angeles suburb in the canyons northeast of the San Fernando Valley.

A Hebrew class at Santa Clarita’s Albert Einstein Academy: But is it a Hebrew charter school? Photo by Braddon Mendelson

Searching Souls, Boosting Security

Mixed reaction among victims’ families; community alert calls for vigilance against sympathizers.
05/02/2011 - 20:00
Assistant Managing Editor

Chava Zelmanowitz had never held out much hope that the man who plotted the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans, including her brother-in-law, Abraham, would face justice.

“I thought this guy was hiding in some desolate terrain and they were never going to find him,” she said Tuesday. “I thought the president had it on the back burner. But he was tenacious and persevered.”

Visitors reflect at Ground Zero, where makeshift memorials still honor victims after the 9/11 attacks. getty images

Obama Emboldened, But Old Middle East Obstacles Remain

Foreign policy victory in bin Laden killing may not lead to new peace initiatives.
05/02/2011 - 20:00
Washington Correspondent

The death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at the hands of elite U.S. forces was a boost for a president with few foreign policy achievements to his credit. But it will do little to ease the foreign policy and political conundrums his administration faces in a changing Middle East, and in some cases may add new complications.

While the Palestinian Authority supported the U.S. action, Hamas quickly condemned the killing of a “holy warrior.”

Crowds gather in Times Square Sunday night as word spread that Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces. photos Getty images

Anti-Sharia Laws Stir Concerns that Halachah Could Be Next

04/30/2011 - 20:00
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- With conservative lawmakers across the United States trying to outlaw sharia, or Islamic religious law, Jewish organizations are concerned that halachah could be next.

If the state legislative initiatives targeting sharia are successful, they would gut a central tenet of American Jewish religious communal life: The ability under U.S. law to resolve differences according to halachah, or Jewish religious law.

Jewish Community Aiding Tornado Victims

04/28/2011 - 20:00

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- Jewish groups are mobilizing assistance in areas of the U.S. Southeast struck by devastating tornadoes this week.

Reform Rift Over Zionist Credentials of Incoming Chief Rick Jacobs

04/28/2011 - 20:00

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) – Ads questioning the Zionist credentials of the leader-designate of the Reform movement are a distortion, Reform leaders said.

The ad attacking Rabbi Richard Jacobs for not being sufficiently pro-Israel appeared in a number of Jewish newspapers this week. It was placed by a group of Reform Jews calling themselves Jews Against Divisive Leadership.

Give It A 'Rest,' Says Retiring Lieberman

Outgoing senator says his new book will give perspective on joys and limitations of Shabbat for public figures; in interview, reflects on mistakes, triumphs and current events.
04/27/2011 - 20:00
Assistant Managing Editor

Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who will not seek a fifth term in 2012, hasn't announced his future plans. But as a prolific author and prominent observant Jew, Lieberman says he wants to do "a little bit of missionary work," promoting Sabbath observance as a divine gift and lifting the mystique about what an observant Jew can and cannot do, especially while holding public responsibilities, within the confines of the day of rest.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)

Co-Author of Palestinian Statehood Plan Set to Take Key Role on Middle East

04/27/2011 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The White House reportedly is set to name Steve Simon, the co-author of a comprehensive outline for a Palestinian state, as a top Middle East official.

The Obama administration will tap Simon, a former top National Security Council official in the Clinton administration, to head the NSC's Middle East desk, according to Laura Rozen of The Envoy foreign policy blog on Yahoo.com. Simon would succeed Daniel Shapiro, who by default has become the top administration point man for pro-Israel groups and Israeli officials.

Fresh Fears Over Israel As Political Wedge Issue

Boehner’s invitation to Bibi causing ripples.
04/26/2011 - 20:00
Washington Correspondent

Facing growing international isolation and an accelerating Palestinian campaign for United Nations statehood recognition in September, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be about to try a gambit Israeli leaders have employed for decades: using friends in Congress to erect firewalls against presidential pressure on the Jewish state.

House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress seen carrying risks. getty images

Giving A Boost To Southern Jewish Life

Fellows providing resources to small communities that don’t have them.
04/26/2011 - 20:00
JTA

Jackson, Miss. — As Alli Goldman’s plane was making its descent on the blazing 97-degree Midland/Odessa airport in west Texas, the landscape dotted with oil derricks looked foreign to the Dallas native even though it was the same state.

But Goldman’s work schedule for the weekend was familiar: Leading Sabbath eve services with the small youth group at Temple Beth El Midland, running an Israel education program with the religious school and holding a meeting with the congregation’s education board to discuss how to utilize its new full-time rabbi.

Michelle Blumenthal, an educational fellow with the Institute for Southern Jewish Life, leads a Chanukah exercise for preschool
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