National

JCC, Synagogues In Holy War In Boca

Bitter turf battle as JCC offers Rosh HaShanah services for first time; move is ‘usurpation,’ cries a rabbi.

09/01/2010
Staff Writer

Boca Raton, Fla. — Since moving here five years ago, Laura Reiss and her husband have not found a synagogue they are comfortable enough to join.

But when the High Holy Days begin Wednesday night, they and their three young daughters plan to attend a two-hour program featuring selected prayers at the Levis Jewish Community Center here — accompanied by their mothers, who have not been to synagogue services in more than 20 years. Reiss’ sister, who is intermarried, is also coming and bringing her family.

Hebrew Charters On Sharp Growth Curve

As schools open, Miami’s central Jewish education agency now eyeing partnership with Ben-Gamla.

09/01/2010
Associate Editor

 When New Jersey’s Hatikvah International Academy Charter School opens on Tuesday, it will join five other Hebrew charter schools operating in the United States, two of them brand new.

Launched only three years ago with the opening of the first of three “Ben Gamla” elementary schools in South Florida — and with planning under way for almost 30 more Hebrew charter schools throughout the country — the national Hebrew charter school movement is moving at a rapid clip.

Students chat with teachers at an orientation for Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, a Hebrew charter middle school in CA.

‘An Equal-Opportunity Recession’

As economy continues to falter, middle-class families forced to turn to Jewish food banks.

08/31/2010
JTA

San Francisco — Robert M., 58, worked for a news organization in the San Francisco Bay area until September 2008, when he lost his job in layoffs that eliminated 15 percent of the company’s workforce nationwide.

Robert had eight months of savings. They ran out in six months.

After 14 months of unemployment, in December 2009 Robert turned to San Francisco’s Jewish Family and Children’s Services for help with rent, utilities and, hardest of all, food.

New York’s Met Council on Jewish Poverty delivered Rosh HaShanah food packages throughout the five boroughs last September.

Actress Von Teese Sues Ex-landlord for Anti-Semitism

08/31/2010

(JTA) -- Burlesque dancer and actress Dita Von Teese in a lawsuit accused her former landlord of an anti-Semitic tirade.

Von Teese, 37, alleged in a suit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court that when her managers tried to have her $5,000 security deposit returned, the former landlord "went on Mel Gibson-like anti-Semitic tangents, personally attacking Plaintiff's Jewish managers and business managers," TMZ reported.

Gibson, a film actor and director, let loose an anti-Semitic tirade after being pulled over in 2006 for drunk driving.

Jews Still Like Obama, But Approval Dips

08/30/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Nearly two-thirds of Jews still approve of President Obama's performance, but his approval numbers have dipped.

A Gallup Poll released last Friday of religious groups in the United States found that Muslims gave Obama the highest job approval rating, while Mormons gave him the lowest. Jews and those affiliated with other non-Christian religions gave Obama above-average ratings, as did those with no religious affiliation.

In Response to Vague Israeli-Palestinian Talks, Jewish Groups Deliver Vague Message

08/24/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Two weeks before their launch, the promised renewal of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks has already engendered a first: a joint statement of welcome by mainstream U.S. Jewish and Palestinian groups.

Hagee Drops Support for Im Tirtzu

08/23/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- John Hagee Ministries will discontinue funding for an Israeli right-wing group that has depicted the New Israel Fund and its affiliates as anti-Israel.

The decision to end funding for Im Tirtzu was revealed in an email by Lee Wunsch, the president of the Houston Jewish Federation, and obtained over the weekend by Richard Silverstein, a blogger who has campaigned against funding the group.

Pelosi Calls For Transparency From Both Sides in Mosque Dispute

08/18/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Nancy Pelosi agreed with an ADL call for transparency in the funding of the mosque and interfaith center near Ground Zero, but said its opponents should also make their funding transparent.

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives weighed in Wednesday on the controversy, and echoed statements from President Obama that freedom of religion is paramount, but that the decision about the planned mosque is a local matter.

HIAS to Congress: Extend Refugee Benefits

08/13/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society urged Congress not to cut off funding for Supplemental Security Income, which helps elderly and disabled refugees and other immigrants pay for food and shelter.

SSI funding will run out Sept. 30. HIAS urged Congress to extend funding because many refugees who are Jewish and from the former Soviet Union and Iran rely on the money for food and other necessities.

Feds Arrest Lakewood Man Accused Of Bilking Orthodox Investors

08/12/2010

A Lakewood, N.J., man accused in lawsuits of bilking Orthodox investors in New York, Florida London and elsewhere out of nearly $300 million through phony real estate deals was arrested Thursday morning by federal agents.

Eliyahu Weinstein, who was accused of running a Ponzi scheme, and some of his associates had been hit days earlier with a $34 million civil judgment by a federal judge in Pennsylvania.

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