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Rabbi Facing Fraud Charges Plans Return to Fundraising

By E.J. Kessler

A Brooklyn rabbi charged with defrauding the federal government of almost $700,000 is proclaiming his innocence and vowing that his legal troubles have only temporarily halted his prodigious political fundraising.Milton Balkany, the dean of an Orthodox girls’ school in Boro Park, surrendered to authorities on August 26 to face charges thatRead More


CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

Dean Defense: In his latest attempt to mend fences after the dustup over his comment that the United States “ought not to take sides” in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Howard Dean is trying to assuage the ire of Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman.In an interview with the Associated Press, Foxman describedRead More


Democratic Council Rebuilds New York Chapter

Just in time for the Democratic presidential primaries, a Jewish Democratic group is rebuilding its presence in New York.The National Jewish Democratic Council, founded in 1990 as “the national voice of Jewish Democrats,” has hired fundraiser Jill Straus to spearhead its revived New York chapter. Straus will reach outRead More


Suit To Press Bush on Jerusalem’s Status

By Eric Marx

A New Yorker living in Israel filed a law suit this past week against the Bush administration in an effort to press it to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Ari Zivotofsky claims in the suit that the State Department broke the law when it refused to list Israel as the place of birth on his 11-month-old son’s passport, even though heRead More


Jewish Groups Choose Sides on Vouchers

By Ori Nir

WASHINGTON — With Congress battling over a bill that would strongly influence the future of the school vouchers debate nationwide, Jewish groups on both sides are jumping into the fray.Orthodox Jewish organizations are rallying behind a measure passed by the House of Representatives last week that would bring vouchers to the DistrictRead More


Welfare Bill Drawing Strong Opposition

By Ori Nir

WASHINGTON — A welfare-reform bill endorsed by the Bush administration and working its way through the Republican-controlled Congress is drawing fierce opposition from a coalition of Jewish organizations.The Senate Finance Committee approved a version of the bill last week, which would increase work requirements and cutRead More


Democrats Differ Over Loan Guarantees

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration’s decision this week to deduct funds that Israel spends on West Bank construction from American loan guarantees pointed up the cleavages in the foreign policy stances of the top Democratic presidential candidates.Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman and Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt chose to attackRead More


Jewish Terrorist Suspects Released

JERUSALEM — Nine of the 12 men arrested on suspicion of links to a Jewish terrorist cell were released from custody last week. Sources involved in the investigation say the police and the Shin Bet General Security Service failed to prove the suspects’ involvement in terrorist activities.“The mountain has turned into a molehill,” said oneRead More


Sharansky Set To Take Heat On Campus Speaking Tour

By Elli Wohlgelernter

JERUSALEM — In an effort to reinforce students’ Jewish identities and bolster Israel’s standing on North American college campuses, Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky is embarking next week on a whirlwind campus speaking tour.Believed to be the first time an Israeli minister has embarked on an extensive tour of NorthRead More


Mel Gibson Movie Fuels Excitement Among Hollywood’s Christian Filmmakers

By David Finnigan

LOS ANGELES — With Jewish groups warning that Mel Gibson’s graphic film about the death of Jesus could resurrect charges of Jewish responsibility for the crucifixion, some in Hollywood appear to be spooked. Despite the movie’s rave reviews from prominent Christian conservatives, 20th Century Fox, which has the option of first refusalRead More


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