Short Takes

Fast Balls Keep Flying At Mel

Staff Writer
A few minutes of the Aug. 15 Red Sox-Tigers baseball game is making the rounds as a video file on the Internet. But it’s not the action on the field that is catching everyone’s attention as much as the commentary in the broadcast booth. Comedian Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke, co-stars of the TV drama “Rescue Me,” were serving as guest announcers on the New England Sports Network’s (NESN) telecast of the game when they learned that Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who had just made a difficult play, is Jewish.

Mama Mia! El Al Dropped For Alitalia

Staff Writer
Will they be playing “Aveinu Shalom Aleichem” in Italian? The Israeli government has decided to drop national airline El Al in favor of Italy’s Alitalia as its carrier of choice.

Birthright-Type Trips Planned For Teens In North

Staff Writer
In an effort to help war-weary young adults in northern Israel escape the constant rocket attacks by Hezbollah and learn something about their country, Taglit-birthright israel will begin providing free weeklong trips similar to the educational programs offered to diaspora Jewry.

A Room Up North

Staff Writer
Pay now, stay later. That was the message from Israel’s Ministry of Tourism this week as it sought to convince Americans to pay now for a reduced rate at a hotel, bed and breakfast or guesthouse run by a kibbutz in northern Israel. The push is on to book as many rooms as possible because virtually all of those facilities and their nearly 11,000 rooms have been closed for more than a month because of the rockets Hezbollah terrorists have been firing into northern Israel.

Orthodox Groups Hail Tax Plan For Schools

Staff Writer
Gov. George Pataki proposed Tuesday a $500 per student tax credit to be used for instructional purposes by families who live in school districts identified as "failing" by the federal government, a proposal hailed by both the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations and Agudath Israel of America. "This is an historic first step for New York State," said an Agudah statement.

The Bridge Has Not Held

Editor and Publisher
In the end, the bridge did nÕt stand a chance. It was built in haste, with too little support to withstand the pressure. So as hundreds of athletes at the Maccabiah Games on a summer night in Israel prepared to make their way into Ramat Gan Stadium, to the roar of 50,000 fans, the makeshift overpass they were crossing gave way, plunging dozens of participants into the Yarkon River.

Spielberg's Anti-Schindler?

Staff Writer
Even before its Dec. 23 release, Steven Spielberg's movie, "Munich," which Time magazine calls his "secret masterpiece," is creating angst among some Jewish leaders. "After 'Schindler's List,' he became the darling of the Jews," said one leader. "We're afraid that he is now trying to balance the act. He may be trying to show that although he is pro-Jewish, he is not pro-Israel. This may be his anti-'Schindler's List.'"

Avoiding A Jewish Meltdown

Editor and Publisher
One of the most poignant and overlooked aspects of the religious pluralism crisis between Israel and American Jewry is that the Ne’eman committee that was set up to find a compromise managed to achieve its goal.

Sharansky Slams Tribunals

Staff Writer
President George W. Bush, who has seemed at times like a PR agent for Natan Sharansky's 2004 book on democracy, is now finding himself under the former Soviet dissident's unblinking eye. Sharansky, a Knesset member, told The Jewish Week that if reports are true that the United States is holding al-Qaeda suspects in secret prisons in eight countries, it should consider closing those prisons. "I would say, bring the people here and interrogate them here," he said during a visit here. "Or if you [interrogate them] there, do it under your laws."

Taking Reform Jews Seriously

Editor and Publisher
Dallas — I wish the chief rabbinate of Israel had sent a representative or two last weekend to the Reform movement’s biennial convention here.
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