(JTA) — Two more flotillas will attempt to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza, organizers said.
The new convoys, organized by the Free Gaza movement and the Turkish pro-Palestinian organization IHH, will leave in the spring and have been dubbed Freedom Flotilla 2, according to reports. The groups also organized the May 31 flotilla that was intercepted by Israeli naval commandos, with the ensuing violence leading to the deaths of nine Turkish activists.
(JTA) — The Jewish Federations of North America is launching a $5.5 million fundraising campaign for Ethiopian immigration to Israel.
The campaign comes at the behest of the Israeli government, which agreed last November to bring up to 7,846 additional Ethiopians to Israel. Like Israel’s commitment, the federation’s campaign comes with an eye toward concluding mass Ethiopian aliyah; it’s called “Completing the Journey.”
Israeli diners can soon have a ball at the country’s 160 McDonald’s restaurants. In fact they can have three for 10 shekels, as the franchise begins offering “McFalafel” alongside the Big Mac and other offerings.
Starting this week, the fried-chickpea sandwich will appear at all of the company’s restaurants in Israel, with a side of tahina and chopped vegetables, according to YNet.
(JTA) — The national board of Hadassah: The Women’s Zionist Organization of America has nominated its former treasurer to take over the organization’s lay leadership.
The board on Sunday officially selected Marcie Natan, currently national chairperson of Hadassah College in Jerusalem, to become president in July. Natan, of Lancaster, Pa., must be approved officially at Hadassah’s annual meeting. She would succeed Nancy Falchuk, who has served as president since 2007.
(JTA) — The PLO office in Washington raised a flag for the first time since the Obama administration granted the delegation, which does not have embassy status, permission to raise the flag last July.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, condemned the flag raising.
Recognizing the different health and emotional issues survivors face, Conference on Material Claims Against Germany has published an online journal to help aging survivors’ caregivers deal with their unique challenges.
The first issue, which can be found at kavod.claimscon.org, includes articles on alleviating the isolation of survivors in certain American communities, and working with those in remote area. It also examines successful programs for survivors in two communities.
(JTA) — Iranian authorities have downgraded the status of the tomb of Esther and Mordechai, while an official state news agency has publicized the Purim story as a Jewish massacre of Iranians.
Officials recently removed the sign that identified the mausoleum of the biblical figures in the central Iranian city of Hamadan as an official pilgrimage site. The removal of the sign signifies that its status has been downgraded, according to reports.
(JTA) — The benefactor of a controversial Jewish development in eastern Jerusalem is a major donor to U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the new head of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee.
Irving Moskowitz, a retired casino magnate, and his wife, Cherna, gave the maximum $4,800 each to Ros-Lehtinen's campaign in the most recent election cycle, Politico reported this week.
Cherna Moskowitz additionally donated $5,000 to NACPAC, a pro-Israel political action committee that contributed $10,000 to Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) in the cycle.
As New York State begins training food safety inspectors to replace kosher law enforcement staff, reaction in the Jewish community is mixed.
Some are skeptical that the 85 inspectors, who are in charge of checking sanitary conditions at bakeries, warehouses, slaughterhouses and other facilities will be able to effectively police compliance with the state’s laws regarding disclosure of kosher certification standards.