Short Takes

Israel Evens Aid Package For Immigrants

Staff Writer
New immigrants from the United States, Canada and Great Britain will receive the same financial aid package as those from other countries under a proposal that won the support this week of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The cabinet must approve the plan before it takes effect Dec. 1. “It means that there are no more rich Jewish communities and communities in distress,” said Yuli Edelstein, deputy absorption minister and a proponent of the change.

Israel Takes Bite Out Of Debt

Staff Writer
Although by many measures the Israeli economy is humming along, it is still saddled with about $100 billion in long-term debt. This week, the government sought to take a bite out of it, The Jewish Week has learned. It has mailed letters to 144,000 owners of Israel Bonds offering to redeem specific bonds early. It has also suspended the sale of bonds that mature in more than five years and sharply limited the sale of bonds that defer interest until maturity.

Kosher App-etizing

Staff Writer

 Want to add a little spice to your great-grandmother’s century-old noodle kugel?

There’s an app for that.

The new “Cookshelf” kosher cookbook application.

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.

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

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?

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

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

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’

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

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.
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