It is a comfort to know that on the eve of the XXX Olympiad, which starts Friday night in London, the 11 Israeli Olympic athletes and coaches murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Games will be recalled at memorial services here and around the world.
So much for Israel’s coalition government, which lasted all of two months.
Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz announced Tuesday that he was taking his party and its 28 Knesset seats out of the government over the failure to reach a compromise on the proposed draft law that would have done away with many of the existing exemptions for haredim and Arab Israelis.
Milton Gralla, a longtime former member of the board of directors of The Jewish Week who died last week at the age of 84, combined his love of journalism and the Jewish people to make a lasting contribution to both.
The Russian-speaking Jewish population of New York has come of age, not only making up about 20 percent of the overall Jewish community, but also becoming increasingly active in cultural, political and social ways that make its Jewish identity distinctive.
While others may measure Jewish commitment in religious terms, this tightly-knit community is known for its strong support of Israel, conservative politics, and drive for educational and economic success.
Yitzchak Shamir was a 1930s refugee, a 1940s revolutionary, a 1950s spy, and later a politician — and prime minister — who made no effort to be loved or to craft an image. Diminutive, barrel-chested, with a face like a clenched fist, he showed just how tough a shtetl Jew could be.
On that tragic morning last March when a teacher and three children were murdered at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, there was no security agent on duty at the school because the community could not afford full-time service, according to Pierre Besnainou, former president of the European Jewish Congress.
“We failed,” he told an audience at the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem last week, speaking of the French and world Jewish communities.
Say one thing about Charles Barron — he doesn’t pander.
In his decade in public office he has never sugarcoated his views on the Middle East, making it clear that in every possible scenario his sympathy and loyalty go to the Palestinians. While he often talks of “evenhandedness” in Middle East policy, his mindset often shows anything but, seeing malice in every Israeli and altruism in every Arab.
Communal planners will be mining the rich findings for years of the New York Jewish population study released this week by UJA-Federation of New York. But anyone who cares about sustaining and strengthening Jewish unity in the community will share a sense of urgency about the results, which show that if not for the dramatic growth and religious involvement of the Orthodox community, we would be seeing downward trends in numbers and virtually every index of Jewish engagement.