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Ex-Soviet Republic Counts Many Critics, Few Friends

By Stephen Schwartz

The ex-Soviet republic of Uzbekistan is the largest and wealthiest of the core states of Central Asia, and it is home to 23 million citizens, 88% of whom are Muslim. Few Americans can find it — or its capital, Tashkent — on a map, a point that was highlighted in a popular American TV sitcom, “The George Lopez Show,” in which a teenagerRead More


Refugees Facing End of Federal Aid As Deadline for Citizenship Looms

By Nathaniel Popper

CHICAGO — As her husband Iosif explains their dire situation in broken English, 70-year-old Polina Kats sits on the couch in her small Chicago apartment, rubbing her hands while staring out the window with her brows furrowed anxiously.Since they arrived from Latvia as Jewish refugees almost seven years ago, the Katses have known that they neededRead More


Groups Say Ban on Gay Vows Breaches Religious Freedom

By Nacha Cattan

In an unusual move, a local prosecutor’s effort to stop ministers from performing same-sex marriages is drawing fire from Jewish civil rights agencies not only on grounds of privacy or gay rights, but also of religious freedom.Officials with the American Jewish Congress and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism charge that the districtRead More


Newsdesk March 19, 2004

By Forward Staff and Jta

Beilin To Lead New PartyTEL AVIV — Foreign policy maverick Yossi Beilin won the election Tuesday as leader of the newly formed Yahad Party, edging out veteran Meretz lawmaker Ran Cohen.Beilin won 53.5% of the votes, showing strongly in big cities and Arab communities, while Cohen took 46.5%, doing well among kibbutzim.Yahad was created this yearRead More


Reform Rabbis Seek To Revive Food Laws

By Nacha Cattan

More than a century after the founders of Reform Judaism rejected kosher dietary laws as outdated practices likely to “obstruct” modern spiritual development, a growing cadre of the movement’s religious leaders are seeking to revive the practice.Discussion about resurrecting the observance of kosher laws, or kashrut, dominated the latestRead More


Fiddling With Tradition: Does Musical Misstep?

By Ami Eden

Mel Gibson isn’t the only director generating a heated debate over his depiction of Jews.As “The Passion of the Christ” racked up more than $200 million at movie theaters in just two weeks and generated loads of media attention, a burgeoning debate has emerged over the latest Broadway incarnation of “Fiddler on the Roof,” directed byRead More


Judge Decries ‘Frivolous’ Shoah Appeals

By Nacha Cattan

The federal judge overseeing a $1.25 billion Holocaust restitution settlement with Swiss banks is accusing an American survivor group of filing “frivolous” claims for more funds while survivors in the former Soviet Union live in abject poverty.Brooklyn federal judge Edward Korman filed a sharply worded memorandum this week, vividly detailingRead More


Newsdesk March 12, 2004

Arabs Fight Syria Sanctions Several of Washington’s Arab allies are urging the Bush administration not to impose sanctions on Syria, arguing that such measures would discourage reform in Damascus and further foment anti-American sentiments in the Middle East, Arab diplomatic sources said.The administration leaked to reporters and membersRead More


CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

Flipping for Florida: Pounding the Republicans’ main line of attack on the apparent Democratic presidential nominee, Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman rapped Massachusetts Senator John Kerry on Monday for “flip-flopping” on Israel’s security fence and for “mistakes in judgment” regarding a 1997 remark praising Yasser Arafat as aRead More


The Blood of Martyrs

By Gus Tyler

While on a recent trip to Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld predicted that Osama bin Laden would be captured “at some point.” The scuttlebutt is that such a “capture” seems likely to come near enough to Election Day to provide President Bush with the votes necessary to lift him out of his sagging standing in theRead More


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