Briefs

Peretz Dropped As Harvard Event Speaker

09/21/2010

(JTA) — Martin Peretz has been dropped as a speaker from a Harvard University event.

Peretz, the editor in chief of The New Republic and a former Harvard professor, had been scheduled to speak at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, scheduled for Sept. 25, according to the Harvard Crimson, the university’s student newspaper.

But the final schedule for the program does not list Peretz as a speaker. He is to be recognized, however, along with several other head tutors and directors of studies.

Groups Set Boycott Of Israeli Troupe In N.Y.

09/21/2010

(JTA) — Two New York-based groups have organized a boycott of performances by Israel’s national dance company.

Senate Letter Urges Obama To Keep Talks Going

09/21/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A letter is circulating among U.S. senators urging President Barack Obama to keep the Israelis and Palestinians at the negotiating table.

The letter, initiated by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), thanks Obama for restarting direct peace talks and notes the threat to their success from what it calls “enemies of peace” Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.

Heat Damages Israel’s Etrog Crop

09/21/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s unusually extreme summer heat has seriously damaged this year’s etrog crop, growers say.

Strong heat and winds caused many more of the fruit, one of the four species required for the Sukkot holiday starting Wednesday night, to fall off trees prematurely, a grower told Haaretz.

In addition, while in most years 10 percent of the harvest is designated of highest quality, this year only 1 percent received the designation, another grower told Haaretz.

Vandals Attack Seattle-Area Jewish High School

09/21/2010

(JTA) — A Jewish high school in Washington State was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti.

The epithets in orange, blue and gray paint on the Northwest Yeshiva High School on Mercer Island included swastikas and references to gas chambers, The Seattle Times reported. The attack occurred late on Sept. 16 and was discovered the following morning, on the eve of Yom Kippur.

Labor Zionist Spokesman Nahum Guttman Dies At 97

09/15/2010

Nahum Guttman, a longtime Zionist leader in the United States who worked with many leaders of both Israel and pre-statehood Palestine, died on Rosh HaShanah, Sept. 9, in his Upper West Side home after a long illness. He was 97.

Mr. Guttman grew up in Brooklyn and Minneapolis, and served as First National Secretary of Habonim, director of public relations for the National Committee for Labor Israel, and editor of The Jewish Frontier.

Kapparot Rite Is Foul, Rabbi Says

09/15/2010

(JTA) — A leading Israeli rabbi has come out against using a live animal for the kapparot ceremony.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, the chief rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Beit El and the head of the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva in Jerusalem, issued a religious ruling suggesting that it was better to give money to the poor rather than wave a live chicken over one's head and transfer one's sins to the animal in order to achieve atonement for sins in advance of Yom Kippur.

Google To Purchase A Second Israeli Start-up

09/15/2010

(JTA) — Google reportedly will acquire a second Israeli start-up company.

The Israeli business daily Globes reported Monday that Google is paying "several million dollars" to purchase Quiksee, also known as MentorWave Technologies. Other reports put the purchase price at $10 million, though neither Google nor Quiksee has responded to the reports.

Israel Reportedly OKs U.S.-Saudi Arms Deal

09/15/2010

(JTA) — Israel has privately signed off on a proposed arms deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia, a Washington columnist reported.
At $60 billion, the deal is the most expensive arms deal ever. It will be spread out over five to 10 years.

Syndicated columnist Douglas Bloomfield reported Tuesday that Israel has privately blessed the sale, citing U.S. congressional, Israeli and lobby sources.

Indian Nanny Granted Honorary Israeli Citizenship

09/15/2010

(JTA) —The Indian nanny who saved the young son of the Mumbai Chabad emissaries during a terrorist attack was granted honorary Israeli citizenship.
Sandra Samuel was honored Monday in a ceremony at the Interior Ministry presided over by Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who gave Samuel an Israeli identity card.

"I would give my life, heart and soul for Israel," Samuel said during the ceremony.

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