Briefs

Joplin Tornado Hits Town’s Small Jewish Community

05/24/2011

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, Chabad.org 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 Chabad.org.

Chasidic Dissident Burned By Attacker In New Square

05/24/2011

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

05/17/2011

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

05/17/2011

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

05/17/2011

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

05/17/2011

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

05/10/2011

(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.

Calm Prevails At Start Of San Diego University's ‘Palestine Week’

05/10/2011

(JTA) — A week of pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel events began calmly at the University of California, San Diego, despite fears of a repeat of last year’s hostilities.

“We learned a lot from last year, and there isn’t the anxiety,” Keri Copans, the Hillel director on the San Diego campus, said Tuesday.

This marks the first year that pro-Israel students have responded to Justice in Palestine Week, an annual event run by the Muslim Student Association at San Diego, by staging pro-Israel events of their own.

Court To Rule On Release Of Mondrowitz Records

05/10/2011

New York’s Court of Appeals will decide whether Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes must release records in an alleged sex-abuse case that a lawyer believes will show political favoritism by Hynes.

The New York Law Journal reported that the state’s top court will consider reversing a lower court’s ruling regarding Rabbi Abraham Mondrowitz, who fled to Israel in 1986 amid allegations that he abused patients in his psychotherapy practice.

Shelve Goldstone Report, Congress Members Urge UN Chief

05/04/2011

 (JTA) — A bipartisan slate of U.S. lawmakers urged U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to shelve the Goldstone report.

Twenty-two members of the House of Representatives signed on to a letter calling on Ban to override the U.N. Human Rights Council, which said it was standing by the report it commissioned.

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