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New USCJ Chief Responds to Crisis With Cuts — and Candor

By Rebecca Dube and Gal Beckerman

United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism has instituted a broad restructuring that will include deep cuts in staff, a consolidation of its services and even a reduction in its board of directors from 180 to 75 members. The board approved the changes in a vote on September 13.Read More

United Synagogue Announces Major Restructuring


The umbrella organization for Conservative synagogues is restructuring, its new chief executive said.Read More

Israeli Gigs Increasingly Common for International Superstars

By Dina Kraft (JTA)

Madonna managed to sprinkle some of her fairy diva dust on Israel during her recent tour, calling the Jewish state the world’s “energy center,” wrapping herself in the flag on stage and even lighting Shabbat candles with Sara Netanayahu.Read More

Russia Denies Ship's Weapons Were Bound for Iran


Russia denied that a cargo ship reportedly seized by pirates was carrying weapons bound for Iran.Read More

'New' West Bank Settlement Permits Not So New

By Chaim Levinson (Haaretz)

At the West Bank city of Ariel’s adventure park, whose construction Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved, nothing special was going on yesterday. Children were trying out the climbing wall and the mayor was walking around, proud as a groom on his wedding day. The facility was actually only approved yesterday, but has been in existence for a year and a half before receiving construction permits. In fact, a demolition order was issued against it.Read More

On Iran Timetable, U.S. Jewish and Israeli Left Are Divided

By Ron Kampeas (JTA)

Israel’s highest-ranking female soldier, Brig. Gen. Yisraela Oron, was sounding all the right notes for her J Street hosts.Read More

U.S. 'Regrets' Netanyahu's Planned Approval of West Bank Construction

By Barak Ravid and Avi Issacharoff and Akiva Eldar (Haaretz)

The White House on Friday said it “regretted” reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned to approve of the construction of hundreds of new housing units in West Bank settlements.Read More

Report: Madonna Will Light Sabbath Candles With Netanyahu


Madonna is reportedly spending the Sabbath eve at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home.Read More

Olmert Faces Bleak Legacy — and Possible Prison Term


Not unusually for a head of state, Ehud Olmert hankered for a legacy, and the contours of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement may yet bear his mark.Read More

S. African President to Jewish Expats: Come Home

By Michael Belling (JTA)

South African President Jacob Zuma used a speech before his country’s main Jewish group to issue a call for expatriates to return home.Read More

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