Short Takes

Banking On Help For Sderot

Smoke rising from the site of a rocket attack in Sderot, where Bank Hapoalim officials held their annual meeting last week.

01/25/2008
Editor & Publisher
n a show of solidarity, the board of directors of Bank Hapoalim held its annual meeting in Sderot last Thursday, while rockets fell around them. “We are trying to help in any way we can,” explained Ofra Preus, a spokeswoman for the bank. “We want to show that we are a global bank with a soul in Israel.” Bank Hapoalim, one of Israel’s two largest banks, has more than 250 branches in Israel, including one in Sderot, which the board of directors visited, as well as branches in more than 20 other countries.

Kurtzer Comes Home

10/07/2005
Editor & Publisher
Dan Kurtzer, back in the country after serving the last four years as U.S. ambassador to Israel — and the previous three and a half years as ambassador to Egypt — will soon be named to an academic position “related to the Mideast” at an Ivy League university.The formal announcement is due in several weeks, Kurtzer told The Jewish Week.

Whose Conservative Movement?

03/31/2006
Staff Writers
While an emerging grassroots network of Conservative Jews met in Manhattan on Sunday to reinvigorate their movement with new leadership, a senior Conservative legal scholar warned that ordaining gay rabbis could lead to an onslaught of other potentially schismatic issues being brought to the law committee.

The Grape White Way

05/11/2001
Staff Writer
You no longer have to drink only red wine to benefit from its medicinal qualities. Now Israeli scientists have found a way to give white wine the same properties. Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa published a study in 1995 in which they found that red wine contains flavonoids, a natural chemical that counteracts cholesterol oxidation, a major contributor to blocked arteries. The flavonoids, found in the skin of grapes, seep into the wine over several weeks when left in contact with the juices of the squeezed grapes.

11th-Hour Conversion Reprieve

10/31/2007
Staff Writer
Israel’s chief rabbinate blinked. Or, the Reform and Conservative movements got cold feet and backed off. Those opposing scenarios were put forth this week as the reason the leaders of the two non-Orthodox streams decided to hold off for three months legal action that would give their movements formal recognition in Israel. Instead, they said they would remain at the bargaining table until Jan. 31 to reach agreement on a compromise to the controversial Knesset bill that would codify the status quo, allowing only Orthodox rabbis to officiate at conversions in Israel.

‘It’s Not The Money’

12/04/2007
Staff Writer
Riga, Latvia — This gray city with a distinctive European flair just a few miles from the Baltic Sea had never seen anything like it. Reporters from all over the world descended on this capital city of 2.4 million last week to record the first distribution of money from the Swiss humanitarian fund to needy Holocaust victims. But it wasn’t the money the survivors were primarily interested in, it was the international attention focused on their plight, according to survivor Jane Borovska.

Butchers Back In Court

03/12/2008
Staff Writer
They won a landmark federal court ruling eight years ago, reversing New York State’s century-old kosher laws, which had favored Orthodox standards of kashrut. But it wasn’t enough to keep the state out of the kitchen, so to speak. The government is allegedly continuing to inspect kosher establishments to ensure that only kosher products are sold.

‘You’ve Got Sermons’

04/13/2007
Staff Writer
With tens of millions of people watching YouTube daily, a Long Beach, L.I., rabbi has decided to use it to post mini-sermons to his congregants and others. “People are sick and tired of reading rabbis’ articles,” said Rabbi Eli Goodman, spiritual leader of the Bachurei Chemed Congregation, an Orthodox synagogue also known as the Bach Jewish Center. “Snail mail is outdated; we’re trying to focus on e-mails. And we have a Web site, bachyouth.com.

‘Hate Rally’ At Carnegie-Mellon

02/25/2005
Staff Writer
The leader of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, the “largest organized anti-Semitic black militant group in America,” according to the Anti-Defamation League, led what a Jewish attendee called a “hate rally” last week at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. “It was the most terrifying thing I ever experienced,” said Noa Zilbering, 25, a Jewish faculty member, of the Feb. 17 speech by Malik Shabazz. “It was a hate rally; he was supposed to talk about [black empowerment in] education.”

Moscow’s New Claim To Fame?

02/18/2005
Staff Writer
Moscow has now become the “world center for Holocaust denial” despite the fact that more than half of the estimated 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis were from the former Soviet Union, according to Ilya Alexandrovich Altman, founder and president of the Russian Holocaust Foundation.
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