Israel News

Jewish Agency To Probe MASA Screening After Eilat Shooting By New Yorker


The Jewish Agency is opening an inquiry into its Oranim program after an American participant gunned down a hotel employee in Eilat.

The Jerusalem Post identified the shooter as William Hershkoviz, 23, of Poughkeepsie, NY. The victim was Armando Abed, a 33-year-old sous-chef from Mi'ilya in the Western Galilee.

Hershkovitz reportedly was fired from his job at the Leonardo Club Hotel after arriving there in late August on a program arranged by the Jewish Agency's MASA program.

New Year, New Flag

Conservative/Masorti movement puts a pluralistic spin on the Simchat Torah flag.

Staff Writer

When Rabbi Tzvi Graetz was a little boy in the Israel of the 1970s, he would visit the shuk, or market, with his father every High Holiday season to buy flags to wave during Simchat Torah, which celebrates the end of one year of Torah readings and the beginning of a new one.

The Masorti Movement's updated Simchat Torah flag shows women dancing with the scrolls. Photo courtesy Masorti Olami

A Cook’s Entrée Into Israeli Life

Special To The Jewish Week

Who would have thought a chef and cookbook author would ever find herself without even one frying pan in her possession?

That’s exactly what Jamie Geller, author of the “Quick and Kosher” cookbook series and editor of the Joy of Kosher magazine and website, has had to deal with for the past two weeks, since she made aliyah from Monsey, N.Y., to Ramat Beit Shemesh with her husband and five children.

Kosher gourmet Jamie Geller, arriving with her family in Israel, has her eye on the Israeli food scene. Sasson Tiram

Reinventing The Chief Rabbinate

A violation of human rights is currently enshrined in Israeli law.

Special To The Jewish Week
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The recent elections for the Chief Rabbinate of Israel demonstrated the depths to which this institution has declined. Among the ultra-Orthodox and Religious Zionist public, the elections were colored by political maneuvers and ugly infighting, while most secular Israelis were completely disengaged from the election process of a bureaucracy that they regard as largely irrelevant to their day-to-day lives.

Ayelet Libson

Fast-Growing Israeli Arabic News Site Aims To Educate, Uplift

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NAZARETH, Israel — After Israel’s 2006 war with the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah devastated the country’s northern region, most Israelis focused on rebuilding their towns and creating better defense infrastructure.

Ghada Zoabi ifounder of the Arabic Israeli news website Bokra. Courtesy of

Hardline Rabbi Named Shas Spiritual Leader

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Shalom Cohen, a hardline rabbi known for his overt hostility toward modern Orthodox and secular Israeli Jews, was appointed spiritual leader of the Orthodox, Sephardi Shas Party.

Cohen, leader of the Porat Yosef religious seminary, was named president of the Shas Council of Torah Sages on Thursday at a ceremony in Bnei Brak neat Tel Aviv, Army Radio reported. He replaced Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who died last year.

New Crackdown Against Settlers In Outpost Fueling Tensions

Unprecedented closing of West Bank yeshiva in Yitzhar follows attack on IDF.

Israel Correspondent
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Yitzhar, West Bank — Motorists headed to this West Bank settlement notorious as a hotbed for radicalism were greeted last Friday afternoon by a police checkpoint at the highway turnoff. Checking for ID, one officer explained that non-residents were being turned back.

Hillel Malachi stands alongside a mobile home demolished by the army in the Yitzhar outpost of Shaked Farm. Joshua Mitnick/JW

Mounting A Challenge To The Status Quo

Is The Temple Institute head tilting at spiritual windmills in bid to have Jews pray at controversial holy site?

Israel Correspondent
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Jerusalem — “Warning.” The Hebrew sign at the entrance to the tourist bridge rising from the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem’s Old City issues a stern reminder that Temple Mount complex — the holiest patch of real estate in Jewish tradition — is off limits to Jews under many interpretations of halachic Jewish law.

Rabbi Chaim Richman is a regular visitor to the Temple Mount.  Joshua Mitnick/JW

Lapid: Freeze Settlements In Bid For Peace

Vows to bolt coalition if negotiations collapse.


Tel Aviv — Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said he supports freezing settlement growth to help jump-start peace negotiations and vowed that his centrist Yesh Atid party would leave Israel’s governing coalition if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were responsible for the collapse of the peace process.

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