A key proponent of the successful campaign for stricter conversions in Israel and around the world has resigned from a senior post, and has not denied rumors of a conversion scandal of his own.
Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren blamed his own government for giving him an “incomplete” report recently that led to his giving Jewish leaders an inaccurate account of a Conservative woman’s detention at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.
Steven Goldstein jokes that his office in suburban New Jersey is “like the Jewish Museum of Montclair.” A sage-looking rabbi peers down from a lithograph on one wall, and a print of Theodor Herzl hangs from another. There are a Hebrew movie poster and a mezuza.
The recent arson attack on a Palestinian mosque brought international attention, and solidarity from unusual quarters, to this quiet West Bank farming community. But now that rabbinic visitors have dried up, and Israeli politicians are done condemning the incident, villagers fear that the crime will go unsolved, much like the crimes they say preceded the December 11 attack.
Jewish advocates for the elderly breathed a sigh of relief as both the Senate and the House of Representatives included a provision for creating a voluntary long-term care health insurance program in their respective versions of health care reform legislation.