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When Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s new president, appeared before the country’s premier Jewish umbrella group in late August, the audience before him was concerned about the tack his government might be taking not just toward Israel, but also toward South African Jews who support it.
Many of the young people who pass through the Jewish Enrichment Center in Lower Manhattan view it with great affection. It is often the first time they have come in contact with a Judaism that is engaging and accessible. The rabbis responsible for the center’s educational and religious programs are charismatic and approachable people who, participants say, have had a large impact on their lives.
An Israeli academic’s call for an international boycott of Israel has set off threats of donations being withheld from his university and sparked a fierce debate over academic freedom.
Many a riot has erupted on the first Friday of Ramadan, and as usual, Jerusalem’s Old City was on a knife-edge this year. But there, weaving through a crowd of police officers, was a familiar, furry blue Muppet with a pink nose and his young tour guide.
When Rep. Barney Frank was asked by a woman at a health care town hall meeting, “Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy?” the Massachusetts Democrat had a ready reply. “On what planet do you spend most of your time?” he shot back at the questioner, who was toting one of the now-infamous Obama-as-Hitler posters. Frank explained that he would not discuss the issue with her, since it would be like “trying to argue with a dining room table.”