Hamas Rejects German Mediator's Offer On Shalit


Hamas has rejected a German-mediated offer to free Gilad Shalit that had been accept by the Israeli government.

Hamas political bureau deputy chief Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzouk in an interview with the Al Hayat newspaper called the offer "unjust" and said the German mediator “endorsed the unfair and unjust positions of the Zionist government,” according to reports.

Hamas will no longer negotiate with the German mediator, he added.

Change In Leadership At RCA

Staff Writer

Rabbi Basil Herring, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America since 2003, will leave that position to assume another, undefined position in the organization, the RCA announced this week. The RCA is the major rabbinical organization of Modern Orthodox Jewry in this country.

Texas Enacts Law Upholding Mezuzah Rights


Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill requiring homeowner associations to permit religious displays on residents' doors, including mezuzahs.

According to the law, the religious item must be under 25 inches and remain in the doorway.

The law, signed June 17, was introduced after a Conservative Jewish couple was ordered to remove a mezuzah from the door of their rental apartment and then fined when they refused. The couple sued to be allowed to keep the mezuzah up and lost, moving from the building when their lease was up.

Ramah Camper Dies On Rafting Trip


A camper at Camp Ramah Darom in Georgia was killed in an accident on a white-water rafting trip.

Eleventh-grader Andrew Silvershein, of Davie, Fla., died when his raft capsized Sunday on the first day of a trip on the Ocoee River in Tennessee.

Six other campers who had been with Silvershein on the raft made it back to shore safely. Silvershein remained trapped under a rock, under the water's surface, according to Southern Jewish Life Magazine. A paddle reportedly was used to free him, but CPR efforts failed.

Yale Announces New Anti-Semitism Program


Yale University’s decision this week to found a new academic program that studies anti-Semitism -- after it ended its support this month for a five-year-old project under intense criticism from the Jewish community and campus circles -- has received tentative approval.

Jews Lobby On Same-Sex Marriage Legislation


The Jewish community has lobbied on both sides of the debate over proposed amendments to the Domestic Relations Law by the state Legislature. The bill is only one Senate vote away from passage.

Representatives of Orthodox organizations reached out in recent weeks to members of the Senate and Assembly, urging them to vote against legalizing same-sex marriage, while non-Orthodox groups took a stand in favor.

Idaho Chabad Center Vandalized


The Chabad Jewish Center of Idaho in Boise was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.

A spray-painted message discovered on the building on June 11 read “Zionism = Racism.”

Boise Police Lt. Kent Lipple told the Idaho Statesman that the vandalism would be considered a hate crime since its message was specific to a particular religion.

The Boise community has supported the Chabad center with phone calls, e-mails and visits, Chabad emissary Rabbi Mendel Lifshitz told the Idaho Statesman. Volunteers have offered to repaint the building’s wall.

Richard Jacobs Takes Helm Of Reform Movement


Rabbi Richard Jacobs was unanimously elected president of the Union for Reform Judaism.

Jacobs, the senior rabbi at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, N.Y., was elected Sunday by the URJ board of trustees. He will assume the presidency in 2012, succeeding Rabbi Eric Yoffie. He was nominated earlier this year.

In Restructuring, United Synagogue Slashes Dues, Jobs


The Conservative movement’s congregational arm will reduce dues that member synagogues pay to the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, cut 15 staff jobs and restructure many of its other leadership positions as part of a Strategic Plan announced this week.

DHS Partners With Jewish Groups In Security Campaign


In its first partnership with a faith-based community, the Department of Homeland Security is working with Jewish organizations to expand awareness of suspicious behavior.

The “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign will distribute posters and customized announcements in synagogues, Jewish community centers and related agencies across the country.

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