It was one widow calling to console another. An ocean separated them, but history had linked them.
After the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin in 1995, Coretta Scott King, widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., wrote a letter to Rabinís widow, Leah, in which she expressed her condolences and pointed out that both of their husbands had fought for peace and had been killed by their own people: King by an American and Rabin by an Israeli.
Tony Kushner, one of the screenplay writers for Steven Spielberg's "Munich," explained this week why he portrayed Mossad agents as having regrets and doubts about tracking down and killing the Palestinians who planned the murder of 11 Olympic Israeli athletes in 1972.
"I've never killed anyone, but my instincts as a person and a playwright ... suggest that people in general don't kill without feeling torn up about it," he wrote last Sunday in the Los Angeles Times.
It was an opinion from Israel's top judge that American Conservative Jews would have preferred to read in a judicial ruling. But it was enough to put a smile on their faces.
"The lack of civil marriage in Israel is a major violation of human rights," Supreme Court president Aharon Barak told more than 30 members of United Synagogue's Project Reconnect, an organization of former United Synagogue Youth members, during a group visit to Israel last week.
As many as 1,000 Iranian Jews will soon be able to leave their homeland for Austria, the first step in a two-step process for gaining admission to the United States as refugees.
Until now, these Jews were unable to apply for Austrian visas because they did not have friends or relatives outside of Iran who could put up the requisite $2,100 security deposit needed for those wishing to wait in Vienna while their refugee applications are reviewed. The money is required to assure Austria that the applicants do not become wards of the state.
Israel needs your money but save the tzedaka, says the board chairman of a new Israeli mutual fund that will invest exclusively in Israeli companies.
"Israel does not need charity, only investments," said Shlomo Eplboim of the Blue and White Fund (the colors of the Israeli flag), set to debut Dec. 31.
‘I smuggled weapons to Palestine, before Israel was born, thus breaking U.S. arms-embargo laws,” writes Rabbi Herbert Friedman on the first page of his 1999 memoir, “Roots Of The Future”; “led convoys of refugees across hostile European borders to freedom; ‘liberated’ crates of medieval religious documents from U.S. Army custody in Germany and transferred to a professor in Jerusalem; and committed similar, illegal or borderline-illegal acts long forgotten.”
For two decades Miriam and Yona Baumel have suffered while they held onto the belief that their son was alive. Zachary Baumel, a member of an Israeli tank crew, disappeared during a 1982 battle against the Syrian army in Lebanon.
Last week that belief was reinforced when the Baumels received information from a "top-notch" source that Zachary indeed was alive and transferred from Damascus to Lebanon.
"He said it was recent information," Yona Baumel said of the source, adding that the transfer was believed to have been made within the last three weeks.
Brandeis University is developing a center for Middle Eastern studies that will include Israel and the history of Zionism as a legitimate part of the region, something the schoolís president said has never before been done.
Another Jewish hero was lost two weeks ago, this one on the ground, only a few miles from Ground Zero, where his uncle perished on Sept. 11.
Just a few days before Col. Ilan Ramon was killed in the Shuttle Columbia disaster, Saul and Sue Zucker of North Massapequa, L.I., who lost a son, Andrew, on 9-11, learned that their 20-year-old firefighter grandson was killed while driving to school in Brookville, L.I.
Did Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati buckle under to a gay basher this week or take constructive action in response to his diatribe?
That was the question being asked after the institution canceled classes Tuesday afternoon at almost the same time the protester, the Rev. Fred Phelps, announced plans to picket the campus to protest the Reform movementís recognition of same-sex civil marriages.