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David Friedman, Journalist, Dies

The former Washington bureau chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, David Friedman, died December after a long illness. He was 68.Friedman served as JTA’s Washington bureau chief from 1981 until his retirement in 1992.During his tenure, Friedman covered pivotal news events, including Israel’s war in Lebanon, the first Palestinian intifada andRead More


Russian Politics as Usual, With Putin’s Grasp Firm

By S.A. Greene

LONDON — There was a time not too long ago that Russia was famous for its instability. Observers joked that if President Boris Yeltsin lived long enough everyone would get a crack at being prime minister.President Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000 promising to change all that, to make life predictable again for Russians. In this, judging fromRead More


Jewish Agency Maintains Funding Split

By Nacha Cattan, With Reporting From Jta.

After months of heated political battles, the Jewish Agency for Israel has managed to thwart efforts to cut its funding from American charitable federations.Faced with shrinking donations from federations and changing needs abroad, the federations’ national roof body, the United Jewish Communities, had spent the past year in a messy tug-of-warRead More


Oh Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel + 710 = A New Record

By Max Gross

The University of Maryland suffered a bitter defeat this weekend — no matter how you spin it.One of the student body’s proudest achievements was shattered in a crushing rout by a rival. It wasn’t a basketball or football championship game that they lost. It was the “Dreidel Cup.”On Sunday, the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center at IndianaRead More


UJC Names Vice President For Policy, Replacing Aviv

By Ori Nir

WASHINGTON — The country’s leading Jewish charitable network has tapped someone to replace its departed powerhouse Washington director.The United Jewish Communities last week announced that it had hired Charles Konigsberg, a longtime congressional staffer, to replace Diana Aviv as the organization’s vice president forRead More


Winning War on Terror Requires Reconsideration of Saudi Alliance

By John Kerry

More than a year after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Saudi interior minister, Prince Nayef, told an Arab media outlet that he thought “the Jews” were responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.When a senior member of the Saudi ruling family — its top law enforcement officer responsible for trackingRead More


Former Bosnian Official Rails From Jail

By Marc Perelman

Ten years ago, when his native Bosnia was wracked by bloody ethnic warfare, Muhamed Sacirbey was able to fly from New York to Sarajevo and back without a moment’s fear. Today the war is over, yet Sacirbey, a former Bosnian foreign minister, is scared to go home.Once the Balkan nation’s most visible spokesman, Sacirbey has been in a NewRead More


Unbeloved Bush Aide Baker Reemerges in Mideast Thicket

By E.J. Kessler

A former secretary of state noted for his strained relations with Israel and American Jewry is back in the thick of Middle East affairs — just in time to throw a wrench into the 2004 election.Last week, President Bush tapped James Baker III, a Texas oil man, longtime family friend and political fixer who helped secure Bush’s hold on the 2000Read More


Rabbi May Meet With Lesbian Inmates

By Elli Wohlgelernter

JERUSALEM — The Reform and Conservative movements appeared to win a small victory against Israel’s Orthodox religious establishment this week when a representative of the Israel Prison Service said a Conservative rabbi would be granted permission to meet with two lesbian inmates.While attorneys working on behalf of the Conservative rabbiRead More


Yeshiva University Countersues School In Rabbi Dispute

By Nacha Cattan

Yeshiva University, defending itself against a lawsuit by an Israeli religious academy with which it severed ties, is countersuing the Israeli school, alleging that it “utterly refused to protect” Y.U.’s exchange students from a rabbi affiliated with the academy.The Israeli school, Derech Etz Chaim yeshiva in Jerusalem, accused theRead More





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  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
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