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Vatican Distances Itself From Praise Of Gibson’s Movie

By Marc Perelman

The Vatican is distancing itself from the comments of two Catholic officials who recently praised the controversial Mel Gibson movie “The Passion.”In a letter sent to the Anti-Defamation League, Cardinal Walter Kasper, the top Vatican liaison to the Jewish community, said that any endorsements of the film from topRead More


Peres Birthday Bash a Blast From the Oslo Past

By Chemi Shalev

JERUSALEM — Celebrating his 80th birthday this week, Shimon Peres enjoyed what was in many ways his finest hour. His two-day birthday party was, by Israeli standards, a feast fit for a caesar. Never before in the history of the country — and probably never again — had so many foreign leaders and dignitaries traveled so far just to singRead More


AJCongress Opens Talks With Group Of Islamists

By Marc Perelman

The American Jewish Congress has opened an initial discussion with a Muslim group associated with the main Islamist party in Pakistan and is considering deeper contacts.The dialogue, involving the Jewish group and the Islamic Circle of North America, has been approved by Jewish, Israeli and American officials, according to AJCongressRead More


Wesley Clark Jumps in With Kosher-Style Kickoff

By E.J. Kessler

It was only in his 20s that Wesley Clark, the retired general and Iraq war critic, discovered his Jewish ancestry. But the newest entry in the Democratic presidential race has wasted no time in bringing his fledgling campaign to Jewish precincts — and by this week he seemed poised to inherit some Jewish voters uncomfortableRead More


Baltimore Shul Tests Conservatives’ Policy on Gay Vows

By Nacha Cattan

The board of directors of Baltimore’s largest Conservative synagogue has voted to allow its rabbis to perform same-sex commitment ceremonies in the sanctuary.Last month two women became the first couple to take advantage of the new policy at Beth El Congregation on Park Heights Avenue, a 1,750-family synagogue located in an area of theRead More


After a Child’s Death, Discovering Signs and Wonders

By Nathaniel Popper

Two years and an ocean removed from the brutal murder of her 13-year-old son, Sherri Mandell still has problems confronting the question “How are you doing?” with much more than downcast eyes and a sigh.“The grief stays with you. It’s not something that goes away,” she said before beginning lunch with the Forward last week, whileRead More


IN OTHER WORDS...

By Oren Rawls

Raiders of the Lost Art: The inability of the American military to prevent the looting of the Baghdad Museum during the early stages of the war in Iraq constituted, to many critics around the world, nothing less than aiding and abetting the plunder of the cradle of civilization.With cross-cultural sensitivity presumablyRead 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


Molestation Case Is Dismissed By Rabbinical Court

By Elli Wohlgelernter

JERUSALEM — The rabbinical court that was to hear testimony from American-born Rabbi Matis Weinberg regarding accusations of alleged molestation of yeshiva students has dismissed the case because of a lack of witnesses to recent alleged impropriety.Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch, head of the three-rabbi beit din, or rabbinic tribunal, told the ForwardRead More


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