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Iranian Jew Nabbed In L.A. Shul Arsons

By Ruth Andrew Ellenson

LOS ANGELES — Alarmed at a string of recent arson attacks against synagogues and other religious institutions in the affluent San Fernando Valley, residents of this city were relieved last weekend when a suspect was arrested — and then shocked when the suspect was identified as a Jewish immigrant from Iran.Farshid Tehrani, 40, is accusedRead More


New Insurance Law To Protect Victims of Hate Crimes

By David Chesanow

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Hate-crime victims here no longer need to worry about losing their insurance, thanks to a new state law proposed and pushed by Jewish organizations. The measure prohibits insurance companies from canceling or not renewing coverage on property targeted in hate crimes.The new law, which applies toRead More


Parley Takes a Fresh Look at World’s Oldest ‘Demon’

By Benjamin Soskis

There is often comfort in the familiar, even in a familiar evil. That is why in the analysis of antisemitism, the historical approach, the search for continuities, is often an emotionally and rhetorically conflicted one. Casting one’s eyes back on the past millennia of persecution offers a terrifying vista. But if such a perspective can make oneRead More


Ashkenazim Storm Sepharad

By Dale Fuchs

In 1986, when Buenos Aires native Isidoro Gravier decided it was time to find a better future for his family, he moved to Madrid, thinking he could settle comfortably into the established Jewish community there. But it was not so easy.“The people were very friendly and supportive,” he recalled, “but the culture felt alienRead More


Russian Student Uncovers Community’s History

MOSCOW — Twice a day for 10 years, Alexei Evstratov passed by an abandoned cemetery in his hometown of Borisoglebsk. “I knew that this was a cemetery, but not until a few month ago did I know it was a Jewish cemetery,” said the 11th-grader, who is not Jewish.He decided to take research matters into his own hands by interviewing localRead More


No Simple Task: Breaking Television’s Jewish Barrier

By Lisa Keys

Rabbi Irwin Kula is no stranger to public exposure. As president of CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, he lectures constantly across the country. He’s written several books and has been a guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”Right now, though, Kula is adjusting to an entirely new order of notoriety. He’s the host ofRead More


IN OTHER WORDS...

By Oren Rawls & Ami Eden

War of Ideas: “During the 19th century, many people around the world earnestly believed that mankind had discovered the secret of steady human progress, and that secret was the culture of liberalism — the culture of rights, rationality, and innovation, which had arisen in Europe and spread to other places,” Paul Berman writesRead More


Orthodox Union Blasted by Labor Group

By Nacha Cattan

A Jewish labor group is blasting the largest Orthodox organization in America for endorsing a bill that labor unions say is a Republican assault on workers’ rights.The legislation in question is a House bill that would allow businesses to offer workers time off from work, known as compensatory time, in place of time-and-a-half overtime pay.TheRead More


Stand on Anti-gay Remark Could Cost Specter Support

An erstwhile ally of Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter says the moderate lawmaker has damaged his support among gay and progressive voters.Malcolm Lazin, a gay Republican and executive director of Philadelphia’s Equality Forum, said this damage is the result of the senator’s ringing defense of fellow Pennsylvania Senator RickRead More


Young Israel’s Eviction Plans Draw Criticism

By Nacha Cattan

A national organization charged with aiding Orthodox synagogues plans to sell its building and evict two congregations in the process.In a statement, leaders of one of the congregations accused the National Council of Young Israel of driving the synagogue “out of existence” by deciding to sell its main office building to a realRead More


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