Solidarity: Andrea Rae Markowicz holds a Torah at a women?s service in Manhattan.

Oren Asks for Inquiry on Wall Arrest

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.

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If You Will It?: Steven Goldstein in his New Jersey office, with a print of Theodor Herzl on the wall.

Rabbinical Student Heads Up the Fight For Gay Marriage in New Jersey

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.

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Mosque Arson Victims Have Low Hopes

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.

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Advocates for Elderly Succeed in Pushing for Nursing Home Insurance

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.

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Toothsome: A Manticore, or man-eater, on the prowl.

Kosher Isn’t Just for Real Animals Anymore

For dungeon masters who have conquered real-world kashrut “The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals: The Evil Monkey Dialogues,” coming in early 2010 from Tachyon Publications, explores the possibilities of koshering fictional and fantastical creatures. Examining animals from a variety of world mythologies, married co-authors Ann and Jeff VanderMeer consider the unnatural history and edible properties of 34 potentially edible beasts (from the Abumi-Guchi to the Ziz).

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