Israel News

‘Our Battles Have Caught On’

01/30/1998
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — What do Israelis make of the crisis over conversions that has bitterly divided American Jews? While many are still unaware of the Reform and Conservative movements and what they stand for, there are indications that the issue, which has simmered for about a year, is finally making an impact here.

The media this week devoted more attention than ever to the issue. The mass-circulation dailies, which rarely referred to the conversion crisis, have been brimming with articles on the so-called “conversion bill crisis” for several months now.

Calm Before The Storm?

02/20/1998
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — As Israelis lined up at hardware stores this week to buy plastic sheeting and rolls of adhesive tape to seal rooms against possible chemical or biological agents, Liora Abramson was taking things in stride — for now.

“We’re feeling really, really calm. If it weren’t for the news reports on TV, I wouldn’t know that a war might be looming,” said Abramson, 21, whose family moved from Borough Park, Brooklyn, to Tel Aviv eight years ago.

Labor Unrest

11/08/2002
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — Give up on Oslo and Arafat. That’s what political pundits are saying the Labor Party, the dominant left-of-center force in Israel since its founding in the late 1960s, must do to maintain its political viability after leaving Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s coalition government.

‘Rabbi Is The Highest Title For Teacher’

01/16/2008
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — In a bold educational initiative called at once “problematic” and “a blessing,” the Shalom Hartman Institute will offer a joint rabbinical program that will train Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Orthodox rabbinical students — men and women — in the same classroom.

Rally Roundup

01/09/2008
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — President George W. Bush’s three-day visit to Israel has spurred a rush of grass-roots activism by Israelis who want the American and Israeli governments to hear their message.

Unfortunately for the protesters, the government’s decision to hermetically seal much of Jerusalem from Wednesday through Friday, coupled with its reluctance to grant permits for anything requiring even a modest police presence — meant that most events had to be held prior to Bush’s arrival.

Jewish Agency To Soon Launch ‘Flex Aliyah’

01/02/2008
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — Determined to continue to play a central role in aliyah at a time when the number of immigrants coming to the country is declining dramatically and as private immigration organizations like Nefesh B’Nefesh are expanding their activities and boasting their successes, the Jewish Agency for Israel will soon unveil a “flex aliyah” program for potential olim who do not necessarily want to live in Israel full time.

Start Worrying; Details To Follow

01/02/2008

We don’t wish to alarm you, but...

So said the IDF Home Front Command last week, when it announced its new campaign to prepare the Israel public for any eventuality.

As part of the campaign, a “guidebook” — available in six languages, including English — will be delivered to every household in Israel.

Har Homa: The New Front Line?

12/26/2007
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — The terrace of Moshe Matitya’s spacious apartment in the Har Homa neighborhood in the eastern part of Jerusalem affords the computer programmer sweeping views of Bethlehem to the south and the rolling Judean Hills to the east and west.

These days, the view, which was a selling point when Matitya moved his family to this controversial neighborhood from the German Colony almost three years ago, is making him nervous. And it’s making him feel as if he may now be on the front line of a new conflict with the Palestinians and the Americans.

Israel Education Gets Failing Grades

11/20/2007
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — Tens of thousands of Israelis took the streets of Tel Aviv on Saturday night to show solidarity with striking secondary school teaches and to demand sweeping reforms in the educational system. The strike has gone on for more than a month.

Speaker after speaker lamented the sorry state of the nation’s schools and facilities and called for more classroom hours and smaller classes.

Haredi Hooligans

11/15/2007
Israel Correspondent

Beit Shemesh — The haredi neighborhood of Ramat Beit Shemesh “Bet” has clean, wide streets and neat white residential buildings that house large families devoted to Torah study. Wherever you go, it seems, mothers in long-sleeved, below-the-knee dresses and dark headscarves push single or double strollers, their children well fed and smiling.

Despite the outward appearances of calm, Bet, the most religious section of Beit Shemesh, a thriving municipality between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, has been dealing with a war that shows no signs of abating.

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