Israel’s Joseph Cedar Takes Screenplay Prize At Cannes


Israeli director Joseph Cedar won the best screenplay award at the Cannes International Film Festival for his movie “Footnote.”

Cedar, whose film “Beaufort” was nominated for an Oscar in 2007, had left Cannes on Sunday and was called back to receive his prize. He did not return in time to personally accept the award.

“Footnote” centers on a father and son who are rival talmudic scholars, and opens June 2 throughout Israel. The film will be distributed in the United States by Sony.

Non-Denominational Rabbi Program Gets $50 Million


A non-denominational rabbinical training school in Los Angeles, part of a unique partnership with Christian and Muslim partners announced earlier this year, will expand its educational offerings with the help of a multi-million dollar grant.

Financing Approved For Huge Desalination Plant In Israel


Israel’s Finance Ministry has approved funding for the construction of one of the largest water desalination plants in the world.

The plant, which is being constructed in Sorek in central Israel, is scheduled to be completed in 2013 at a cost of $400 million. It will desalinate about 150 cubic meters of water per year, or about 20 percent of the water used for household use in Israel, and is expected to be the second largest water desalination plant in the world.

Joplin Tornado Hits Town’s Small Jewish Community


At least two Jewish brothers are among the missing in the wake of a deadly tornado that tore through Joplin, Mo. Other members of the small Jewish community there are in need of basic supplies, reported late Monday.

Rabbi Yehuda Weg, the Tulsa-based director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Oklahoma, drove to Joplin Monday night with a list of Jewish community members in need or missing and a car full of supplies, joining volunteers from the American Red Cross and local disaster agencies, according to

Chasidic Dissident Burned By Attacker In New Square


A member of a dissident congregation in the chasidic village of New Square, N.Y., suffered severe burns after confronting a suspected arsonist outside his home.

The Journal News reported that Aaron Rottenberg, 43, suffered third-degree burns on 50 percent of his body after he confronted a man carrying a rag soaked in flammable liquid outside his home early Sunday morning. During the confrontation, Rottenberg’s clothes caught on fire.

Ramapo police later arrested Shaul Spitzer, 18, on assault and attempted arson charges. Spitzer had burns on his hands and arms.

Mosque Bombers Planned To Blame Right Wing


An Arab-Israeli crime mob planned to bomb a mosque in Jaffa and pass it off as an attack by right-wing settlers, Tel Aviv Police discovered.At least eight people have been under arrest for the last month in the case, from which a gag order was lifted Tuesday, according to reports.Indictments against the suspects, including several members of one Jaffa family, are expected to be made in Tel Aviv District Court later this week.

D.C. Synagogue Makes History With Eco-Certification


Ohev Sholom-The National Synagogue in Washington, has become the first U.S. synagogue to earn Energy Star certification from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The certification, bestowed Monday, means the capital’s oldest Orthodox congregation, which has 300 family members, has met strict environmental standards, including energy conservation, recycling and alternative power sources.

The modifications made by Ohev Sholom, founded in 1958, are calculated to save the congregation tens of thousands of dollars in bills, the Washington Jewish Week reported.

California Synagogue Saved From Auction Block


The world’s first LEED-certified synagogue was saved from the auction block this week.

Congregation Beth David in San Luis Obispo, Calif., reached an 11th-hour agreement this week in proceedings with Mission Community Bank, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

The synagogue had been slated for foreclosure Tuesday after defaulting on a $3.3 million bank loan late last year. The bank forgave $1 million of the loan, but the congregation could only raise $2.1 million of the remaining amount, leaving it $200,000 short by the deadline.

Coming To Wiesenfeld’s Defense On Kushner Honor


New York – Amid a number of calls for Jeffrey Weisenfeld to step down as trustee of the City University of New York after opposing an honorary degree for Tony Kushner, a grass-roots group of academics has come to his defense and criticized the CUNY executive board for choosing, in the end, to honor the playwright.

Obama: 'Legitimate Aspirations' Will Lead To Peace


(JTA) — The achievement of the Palestinians’ “legitimate aspirations” will make the Middle East more peaceful and prosperous, President Obama said in his message for Israel's Independence Day.

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