The clouds gathered over the women’s Zionist group Hadassah began to part on December 9, when the organization announced that it had reached a tentative settlement allowing it to pay back about half the money it earned in Bernard Madoff’s multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme.
After more than a year of fine-tuning, the criteria for earning a Magen Tzedek, the “seal of justice” to be awarded to kosher food producers that meet a detailed set of ethical standards, are about to be tested by American food companies. The seal would be added to products that already merit a hekhsher, or symbol certifying that a food item is kosher, to show that the product not only meets Jewish dietary laws, but comports with Jewish moral values, as well.23
With the tragic passing of Richard Holbrooke, the world has lost a man who devoted his life to resolving intractable conflicts; our nation has lost the premier diplomat of his era in the midst of one of his most challenging assignments as special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan; and I have lost a dear friend and longtime colleague.21
A tug-of-war is taking place over the government’s attempt to impose a core curriculum in ultra-Orthodox elementary and high schools, and it’s not just about education. It cuts to the heart of a bitter conflict within Israeli society on the issue of authority.
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