The five-member Temecula City Planning Commission voted unanimously to allow the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley to build a new mosque, rejecting the heated arguments of those opposed to the project. The decision came after a five-hour public hearing and impassioned speeches by 87 supporters and opponents, each of whom were allotted three minutes to address the panel. While speakers were nearly evenly divided between supporters and opponents, an observer told the Forward that about three quarters of those assembled in the packed hearing room at City Hall on December 1 were opposed to construction of the mosque.
It has always been safe to assume that the leaders of Arab nations within firing range of Iran view that country with suspicion and fear. It has been an open secret that Iran’s nuclear ambitions are perceived with as much dread in Riyadh and Bahrain as they are in Jerusalem. But who would have imagined that behind closed doors, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi would be saying, “Ahmadinejad is Hitler” — a line that could have been uttered by Benjamin Netanyahu himself?
Asked why his group decided to spend the first night of Hanukkah with a Syrian-born imam and his flock to support their bid to build a mosque in the rolling hills of the Temecula Valley in California’s Southwestern Riverside County, Eric Greene replied, “We remember when there were protests in this country against synagogues being built.”
Yehuda Semel has two wives — at least according to the laws of New York State. Semel, of Brooklyn, married his second wife in a religious ceremony over the summer. The wedding took place about two years after Semel and his first wife signed a get, or a bill of Jewish divorce. But since civil divorce proceedings are ongoing, Semel didn’t obtain a civil marriage license for his recent wedding.37
Seventy-five years ago this month, 5-year-old Rudy Boschwitz, tightly gripping his mother’s hand, gingerly stepped down the gangplank of the S.S. Majestic and onto the dock at New York City. It was the third night of Hanukkah. After two years of wandering from country to country, the future United States senator and his family had finally found a place they could call home.
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