Briefs

Alan Gross Appeals For Release To See Sick Mother

03/20/2012

 Alan Gross, the American-Jewish aid worker who has been imprisoned in Cuba since 2009, has pled with Cuban President Raul Castro for a two-week U.S. visit to see his sick mother.

Gross’ mother has terminal lung cancer and “her final wish is to be able to see her son once more before her battle with cancer is lost,” wrote Peter J. Kahn, U.S. counsel to Gross, in a letter to the Cuban president. Gross’s daughter also has cancer and Gross himself, 62, is reportedly suffering from several health issues in the Cuban prison.

Torah Giant Rabbi Chaim Scheinberg Succumbs At 101

03/20/2012
Staff Writer

Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, a Polish-born Torah scholar who grew up in New York City and eventually moved to Israel, where he established one of the country’s leading yeshivot, died in Jerusalem March 20 after a brief illness. He was 101.

He was taken to the hospital late last week, and members of the Orthodox community immediately organized around-the-clock prayer and Psalms vigils on his behalf.

Obama Presses Abbas On Direct Talks

03/20/2012

President Obama told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that direct discussions with Israel were an “important contribution to the cause of peace.”

“The two leaders agreed on the necessity of the two-state solution, and President Obama noted that Jordan’s efforts to foster direct discussions between Israel and the Palestinians are an important contribution to the cause of peace,” a White House statement said Monday.

Oracle’s Ellison Remains Top Jewish Billionaire On Forbes List

03/13/2012

Oracle founder Larry Ellison is top ranked among Jewish individuals appearing on the Forbes magazine’s annual list of world billionaires, coming in at sixth with $36 billion.

Ellison held the same ranking last year but with $28 billion.

Casino and hotel magnate Sheldon Adelson, with $24.9 billion, moved up to No. 14 from 78. Adelson and his family have donated at least $20 million to a Super PAC supporting GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich. Adelson also is a major giver to Birthright Israel.

Bamba Baby Out As Israel’s Olympic Mascot

03/13/2012

 Israel’s Olympic Committee reversed its decision to use a commercial symbol as its official Games mascot.

The committee had selected the Bamba baby, a cartoon toddler with a red tuft of hair and a blue diaper, as Israel’s official mascot in this summer’s Olympics in London. Bamba is made by the Osem company, which paid the committee $40,000 to use the character.

Stop Deportation Of Sudanese Migrants, Israeli Artists Urge

03/13/2012

 Israeli artists and academics have called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to prevent the deportation of refugees who came from South Sudan.

The 400 writers, authors and musicians sent a petition to the prime minister Tuesday asking him to stop the deportation, saying it would expose the refugees, many of them children, “to a raging war, hunger and disease.”

Egypt’s Parliament: Remove Israeli Envoy, Stop Gas Exports

03/13/2012

The Egyptian parliament voted unanimously on a statement calling for the deportation of Israel’s ambassador and stopping gas exports to Israel.

The People's Assembly passed the resolution Monday night stating that the halting of gas exports is in protest against attacks by Israel on Gaza.

The measure also called for the withdrawal of the Egyptian ambassador from Tel Aviv, according to Al Masry Al Youm (the Egypt Independent) daily newspaper and a renewal of the Arab boycott against Israel.

Peres Meets With Silicon Valley Execs

03/06/2012

Israeli President Shimon Peres launched a Facebook page during a visit with company founder Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook headquarters in California. Peres also is slated this week to tour the headquarters of Google as the guest of co-founder Sergey Brin.

FBI, Police Probing Anti-Semitic Messages At Fla. Restaurant

03/06/2012

An investigation has been opened into anti-Semitic messages left at a new kosher restaurant in South Florida.

The FBI and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office are conducting an investigation into a series of hate messages left at the Mozart Cafe in Deerfield Beach since its opening more than four months ago, WSVN-TV reported.

French PM Calls For End To Ritual Slaughter

03/06/2012

PARIS — French Prime Minister Francois Fillon advised Muslims and Jews to forego ritual slaughter practices he deems un-modern, sparking controversy.

“I think religions should think about maintaining traditions that no longer have much in common with the state of science and technology, health issues today,” Fillon said Monday on French Europe 1 radio, in reference to halal and kosher practices.

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