Best-selling Japanese author Haruki Murakami is following in the footsteps of Simone de Beauvoir, Milan Kundera and Arthur Miller by accepting the most prestigious literary prize given to foreigners in Israel.
The most significant impending meeting between Jewish leaders and Pope Benedict XVI is being called off due to the Catholic Church’s recent decision to reconcile with four renegade ultra-conservative Catholics, including one who has a history of denying the Holocaust.
For Jews involved in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and ‘60s, Barack Obama’s inauguration is not just a historical watershed; it is a personal vindication of one of the central experiences in their lives.
Jewish communal activists are preparing to push a domestic agenda in the new Obama administration that seeks funding for health care and energy independence, support for toughened hate crimes legislation and stem-cell research, and some sort of compromise on government-funded faith-based initiatives.
During past presidential transitions, when pardons were in the air, many Orthodox Jewish activists set their sights on securing a pardon for Jonathan Pollard, imprisoned since 1987 on charges of spying for Israel. This year, though, members of the Orthodox community had another jailed cause célèbre to focus on: Sholom Rubashkin.