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  • Israel rejects U.N. request to pay compensation for Kana

    NEW YORK, June 15 (JTA) — Israel has rejected as “fundamentally flawed” a U.N. General Assembly resolution asking Israel to pay more than $1.7 million in compensation for damages sustained by a U.N. compound in southern Lebanon. Israel maintains it is “bound by no legal or moral obligation” to assume responsibility for the reimbursement. Israeli…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Donors demanding more say in how federations use gifts

    NEW YORK, June 9 (JTA) — A six-figure donor to the Jewish federation in Louisville, Ky., decided he did not want any of his money going to Israel because he was angry about conversion legislation pending in the Knesset. Like many other American Jews, he believed the controversial measure would delegitimize Reform and Conservative Judaism…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Non-Orthodox confront premier on conversion bill during U.S. visit

    NEW YORK, April 8 (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week managed to exacerbate and then deflect the anger provoked here by the advance of divisive conversion legislation in the Knesset. First, he canceled a Monday appearance in Washington before a major Reform movement gathering, citing a scheduling conflict. But organizers from the…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Israeli government scores mixed reviews on outreach

    NEW YORK, Dec. 16 (JTA) — Six months after the Israeli government changed hands, the diplomatic effort to reach out to Diaspora Jews and transmit Jerusalem”s new message is prompting mixed reviews. Some community and organizational leaders say the outreach is not as aggressive or cogent as it was under the previous government, in part…

  • Lauder assumes presidency of the Jewish National Fund

    NEW YORK, Feb. 11 (JTA) — Ronald Lauder, cosmetics heir and former U.S. ambassador to Austria, has taken over the helm of the Jewish National Fund of America. The board unanimously elected Lauder on Monday, making his presidency effective immediately. Lauder succeeds Milton Shapiro, whose term was slated to end at the end of this…

  • Regional leaders of JNF endorse Lauder for president

    NEW YORK, Jan. 22 (JTA) — Leaders of the Jewish National Fund of America from across the country have endorsed Ronald Lauder, cosmetics heir, philanthropist and former U.S. ambassador to Austria, as the next president of the organization. If the board approves, he could be installed as early as next month, replacing Milton Shapiro who…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Slogans, ballots and intrigue: Time for another Zionist Congress

    NEW YORK, May 29 (JTA) — “In one very important election concerning Israel, only Americans can vote,”” blares the blue- and- white form in bold black letters. “Send for your ballot today.”” The race is on. All across the country, rabbis are calling on their congregants to vote in the upcoming election of representatives to…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Jewish Agency seeks new form in bid to hold on to federations

    DEAD SEA, Israel, March 11 (JTA) — The Jewish Agency for Israel is trying to transform itself in a way that finds favor with local federations, which are a lifeline for the organization but which are re- examining that role. Federations across the United States provide half the agency”s $400 million annual budget. In an…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Probe of possible spy aiding Israel spurs Jewish anxieties

    NEW YORK, May 7 (JTA) — A report that a top U.S. official may have passed highly sensitive information to Israel is sparking fears that it could damage relations between Washington and Jerusalem. Israel has denied the allegations, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”s spokesman in Jerusalem calling them “totally baseless.”” Eliahu Ben-Elissar, Israel”s ambassador to…

  • Netanyahu aides to seek compromise on conversion

    NEW YORK (JTA) — At a private meeting Monday night with Reform and Conservative movement leaders, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to buy some time in the conflict over pending conversion legislation. The controversial measure would give the Orthodox Chief Rabbinate exclusive control over conversions performed in Israel, in effect barring the recognition of…