‘Bruno’: An Equal-Opportunity Offender

In the department of “legal actions highly unlikely to succeed,” an ex-member of the Palestinian Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade is suing Sacha Baron Cohen and Universal Pictures in U.S. Federal Court for $110 million, alleging libel and slander. Playing the flamingly gay Austrian celebra-whore title character in this summer’s movie “Bruno,” Baron Cohen mocked Ayman Abu Aita and referred to him as Al-Aqsa’s leader. Somehow, we think that Abu Aita is unlikely to find an American jury that will think this has ruined his life, as he alleges.

Spielberg’s Israeli Reality Show

What do you get when you combine the minds of “ER” creator Steven Spielberg and Phil Rosenthal, the executive producer of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” then throw in a dash of Israel? A new reality series that thrusts a group of American doctors into a bustling Israeli hospital.

Yochanan Muffs, Scholar of Bible, Law and Languages, Is Dead

Yochanan Muffs, a scholar of Bible, law and Semitic languages whose books illuminated the legal and social meaning of emotions such as love and joy in the lives of Jews in antiquity, succumbed to Parkinson’s disease on December 6.

Uncertain Territory: Conservative Judaism’s Pioneering Gay Rabbinical Students Tread Carefully In Israel

This month marks three years since the Conservative movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards opened the gates for gay rabbis. Six of the committee’s 25 members voted for the landmark responsum, or religious position paper, advocating the move—the minimum number required under the movement’s rules to allow individual Conservative institutions to adopt the gay ordination position as their own.

Few Charities Go Public With Policies for Reform

One year after the arrest of Bernard Madoff sent shockwaves through the world of Jewish philanthropy, only a handful of charities and foundations that had invested in Madoff’s funds have publicly outlined reforms of their investment processes. Many others have yet to identify measures taken to change these practices, while still others say they have little intention of doing anything differently at all.

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