Briefs

Anxiety Over Legislators’ Funding As Budget Wraps

06/30/2010

The apparent demise of member item funding for hundreds of state legislators in this year’s overdue budget process is causing anxiety for neighborhood social programs that rely on the grants.

Gov. David Paterson vetoed the grants as part of his showdown with the Legislature over state spending as Albany grapples with a $9.2 billion deficit.

Lavrov Defends Russia’s Talks With Hamas

06/30/2010

 (JTA) — Russia’s foreign minister defended his country’s holding direct talks with Hamas in Gaza, while his Israeli counterpart said achieving peace would take time.

“Yes, we are holding talks with Hamas—because it was elected by a large Palestinian majority in free elections, according to all elements,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday in Jerusalem following a meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman.

Sen. Robert Byrd, Critic Of Israel Aid, Dies at 92

06/30/2010

(JTA) — Robert Byrd, the longest-serving U.S. senator who criticized Israel but refrained from using his considerable power to cut its funding, has died.

Obituaries for Byrd, 92, a West Virginia Democrat, focused on the bookends to his 51-year career: His membership for several years before his election in the racist Ku Klux Klan and his unsuccessful effort to filibuster the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and his opposition in the last decade to the Iraq war.

Judge In Israel’s Flotilla Inquiry Wants Wider Scope

06/30/2010

(JTA) — The judge who is leading an Israeli inquiry into its interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla has requested a wider scope for the investigation.

Jacob Turkel, a retired Israeli Supreme Court justice, has threatened to resign unless his independent committee is given the right to conduct a full judicial inquiry, according to Israeli reports Tuesday. He also has requested to add two members to the committee.

Jewish Week Wins Rockower Awards

06/22/2010

The Jewish Week garnered two first place awards and one second-place honor in the annual Simon Rockower Journalism contest sponsored by the American Jewish Press Association.

Editor and Publisher Gary Rosenblatt won top honors for his Between the Lines column, capturing the Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary. The three columns dealt with the day school crisis, saying Kaddish and the controversy surrounding New York Times’ columnist Roger Cohen’s writing on Iran.

Senators To Obama: Probe Flotilla Leaders

06/22/2010

The Obama administration should probe whether the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation —  whose activists engaged in a violent clash with Israeli soldiers aboard a Gaza flotilla ship on May 31 — is tied to terrorist groups, 80 U.S. Senators said in a letter to the president this week.

Black Hebrew Members Fight To Keep Congregation Open

06/15/2010

Harlem’s small and mostly African-American congregation with a very large name – The Commandment Keepers Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth – has been ensnarled in court in recent years, after nine members sold their shul building, a sale opposed by a faction of the dwindling congregation.

Yahoo Maps Reunite Jerusalem

06/15/2010

Jerusalem has been reunited without gunfire, 43 years after the Six Day War -- this time, by Yahoo!

Angering the international Jewish community, the Internet search giant recently enacted its own two-state solution by dividing Jerusalem into “East” and “West” on its Weather iPhone app.

But the holy city became one again this weekend, after pressures from the Israeli government and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, according to Rabbi Meyer H. May, executive director of the Center.

Mets’ Kosher Vendor Reportedly Sues To Open On Shabbat

06/15/2010

The Star-K kashrut certification company denied this week that it gave Kosher Sports, Inc., a company with concessions at seven sports stadiums in the eastern United States, permission to keep its trio of stands at the New York Mets’ ballpark open on Shabbat.

The New York Post reported that Kosher Sports, based in Englewood, N.J.,last week sued the Mets in Brooklyn’s Federal Court, claiming that the team has barred the firm from selling its products at Citi Field during Friday night and Saturday games while Star-K agreed to let them stay open.

Conservatives Offended By ‘Jews For Jesus’ Quip

06/15/2010

Ever since the past president of an Orthodox synagogue in Las Vegas said on his rabbi’s radio program two weeks ago that “Conservative Judaism has done a lot to turn people to Jews for Jesus because it has robed Judaism of its spiritual aspects,” Conservative Jews there have been exploring ways to appropriately respond.

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