Conservative Judaism’s flagship educational institution, historically at the forefront of academic Jewish studies, has announced a new strategic plan that reduces the number of its doctoral programs and focuses more on engagement with the Jewish community.4
When the last rabbi left Governors Island, he took the Torah with him. The island, 172 green acres in the middle of New York Harbor, was being demobilized after centuries of military service, and the U.S. Coast Guard command that was its final armed occupant was being taken apart.
Arlen Specter did not show up to the May 18 meeting of Jewish Democratic lawmakers with President Obama at the White House. He was busy at his campaign headquarters following voter turnout and making last-minute phone calls. Specter probably wouldn’t have felt comfortable at the meeting, anyway. While Obama was speaking with members of the informal Jewish Democratic caucus, his political advisers were already busy distancing the president from Specter, the Jewish senator of Pennsylvania who crossed over to the Democratic Party a year earlier but failed to win its support.
It was a feather in the cap of pro-boycott activists, but for Israelis, a major setback. With battle lines drawn across concert halls and stadiums hosting rock bands, the decision by mega-star Elvis Costello to cancel his planned concerts in Israel is being viewed as a game changer.56
Some 400 protesters gathered recently outside a prison dating back to the British Mandate to offer solidarity with inmates who are being hailed by some as modern-era Sharanskys.
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