In yet another attempt to privatize Israel's national airline, the government announced plans this week to sell a 49 percent share of El Al Airlines on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in May. The rest of the airline would be sold later.
Jerusalem (JTA): Palestinian security forces are taking steps to prevent rocket attacks into Israel, according to Israeli intelligence sources. Palestinian security forces arrested members of a cell in the Gaza Strip that was firing rockets at Israeli targets, and have disrupted the activities of other cells, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. According to the paper, the moves stem from concern that Israeli retaliatory raids would destroy what remains of the Palestinian Authority's security apparatus in Gaza.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has gained an important ally in her efforts on behalf of Israel's Magen David Adom. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), whose husband challenged Clintonís husband for president, signed onto Clintonís amendment to force the acceptance of MDA into the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Dole was formerly director of the American Red Cross. Her husband, Sen. Bob Dole, lost the 1996 presidential race to Bill Clinton.
Last Friday, The Jewish Week conducted an exclusive interview with Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, live via satellite from the space shuttle Columbia. Following are excerpts:
Jewish Week: Shalom, Ilan. How's it going up there?
Ramon: Shalom. Fine
So how you are getting along with the other astronauts up there?
Not so great.
No? Why not?
A man arrested for stealing from a synagogue last year was charged Tuesday with nine more counts of burglary in Brooklyn. Police said Marc Cukierwar, 31, dressed as an Orthodox Jew and stole hundreds of dollars from charity boxes at several synagogues in the Sheepshead Bay area. It is unclear if he is actually Jewish. Cukierwar was arrested Dec. 28 while trying to buy drugs, said State Sen. Carl Kruger of Sheepshead Bay.
After weeks of complaints from Russian-speaking residents at its senior housing complex, Brookdale Hospital has hired a full-time translator to aid them.
"We have been informed that a person has been hired as a HUD coordinator to work on housing benefits, and will also provide language assistance services for Russian-speaking residents," said Rose Cuison-Villazor of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.
When Asher Peskowitz heard an appeal for registration in the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry at his synagogue in Kew Gardens, Queens, he made a quick addition to his to-do list.
Problem was, with days to go until his wedding, the list was too long to find time for the registry, which matches potential donors with those in need of a marrow transplant.
His solution: "Since I couldn't come to them, I decided to bring them to me."
As U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Kurtzer has been involved in some major-league negotiations.
Now, he's set to negotiate with the major leagues. Kurtzer has been named commissioner of Israel's fledgling professional baseball organization, navigating obstacles between owners and players. A cinch, he says, compared to his diplomatic work.
"These are two friendly sides who are not at war with each other," said Kurtzer, a New Jersey resident and Yankee fan, now teaching Middle East policy at Princeton.
The state legislature and Gov. George Pataki are expected to continue haggling over the scope and nature of a child tax credit following Pataki's budget vetoes last week.
The governor, who favors a credit that would aid education spending, nixed a plan ironed out by the Assembly and Senate that would award $330 to the parents of every child in the state between ages 4 and 17.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver intends to override the veto.
Freed from a lawsuit that sought to undermine their authority, trustees of The Jewish Center of the Hamptons have voted to fire their rabbi against the wishes of a large segment of the congregation. But supporters of Rabbi David Gelfand, whose contract expires in June, say they will keep up the fight.