Birthright israel is receiving high marks for its success in bringing thousands of Jewish young adults to Israel on free 10-day trips. But is it receiving sufficient funding?
It seems that one of birthright's three primary partners, the United Jewish Communities, is having fund-raising problems that could have an adverse effect on the 2-year-old program, sources tell The Jewish Week.
The battle over lawyers' fees in the $1.25 billion Swiss bank settlement with Holocaust survivors and their heirs has taken yet another turn: a Florida lawyer is petitioning the court for $3.6 million, a figure a fellow lawyer in the case calls "shocking."
Israel doesn't have many friends in Europe so it doesn't exactly come as a shock that Jorg Haider, former head of Austria's governing far-right Freedom Party, said he thinks "it's a good idea" that Iraq sends $25,000 to the families of Palestinian terrorists who blow themselves up to kill Israelis.
Talk about hitting a sour note.
The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra's eight-city American concert tour that was slated to begin Aug. 20 has been canceled, but the reason why remains unclear.
Some reports quoted orchestra officials in Israel as saying that no security firm could be found to protect the orchestra and its patrons for fear of a terrorist attack. Other reports attributed the cancellation to the orchestra's inability to find an insurance company willing to provide coverage because of what was called "terrorist problems."
At 83, Essie Shor of the Bronx has her first book coming out in a few weeks, timed to coincide with the release of the major Hollywood film, “Defiance,” which opens a limited engagement here Dec. 31 and wider release two weeks later. Both her book and the movie address the story of the Bielski brothers, Jewish partisans who helped save hundreds of Jews in the forests of Nazi-occupied Belarus.
A book memorializing the 21 primarily Russian teenage girls killed by a suicide bomber outside a Tel Aviv disco a year ago isn't finished yet, says the mother of one of the victims, "because there are a lot more [terrorist attacks] happening."
Each time there has been another terrorist attack, says Riina Rudin, "we relive [Simona's death] all over again."
Simona, 17, was killed in the June 1, 2001 attack, which also injured 120. Rudin says the book should be widely read to convince the world to stamp out terrorism.
The law secretary of Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Martin Schoenfeld may be in hot water for dating the secretary of a plaintiff's lawyer who had a case pending before the judge. Nathan Lewin, a defense attorney for the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, said the court's Jan. 23 ruling against his client in several pre-trial decisions is "suspect" because of that relationship, of which he was not informed until late last month.
Did an overly cautious pilot take security concerns to new heights? Or did a fuming Israeli official fly off the handle when the pilotís concerns were not addressed quickly enough?
What is clear is that the official, Alon Pinkas, Israel's consul general in New York, and his wife did not fly home from San Francisco last week on National Airlines, as originally scheduled. Although Pinkas refused through a spokesman to discuss the incident Monday, he told Israel-based reporters Sunday that the pilot would not allow him on the plane.
Impressed with the outpouring of letters of support to New Yorkers following the 9-11 attacks, a local rabbinical student studying in Israel has organized a similar effort for Israelis. In three months it has triggered 13,000 cards of support.
"I won't give up if you don't give up," said a handwritten card from a youngster named Moshe.
"Dear Israel," wrote 8-year-old Jared from New York, "I watch the news every day. I pray for Israel when I walk from my house to my school and sometimes I cry. I wish I could come to help, but I'm only a kid."
A large New York public relations company that represents Agriprocessors, the embattled giant kosher slaughterhouse, could use some positive p.r. of its own this week.
5W Public Relations, which also represents Pastor John Hagee and several right-wing Israeli groups, gained unwanted notoriety for itself with its admission that it posted fraudulent messages on the Internet to promote Agriprocessors.