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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…

  • 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…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Torah and pluralism spark passion for delegates to NJCRAC gathering

    NEW YORK, Feb. 18 (JTA) — Welfare cuts, campaign finance reform, the balanced budget amendment and federally funded school vouchers dominate the domestic Jewish public policy agenda these days. But when Jewish community activists from across the country gathered in Washington this week, some of the most stirring discussion focused on other matters. Delegates to…

  • Israel welcomes new U.N. chief as council probes housing units

    UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 17 (JTA) — Israel has welcomed the appointment of Kofi Annan of Ghana as the next secretary-general of the United Nations. Of all the candidates considered, “Annan is the best for Israel,” said Yitzhak Lior, deputy director general for international organizations at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. But Annan’s appointment Tuesday by…

  • Survey: Most U.S. Jews support Hebron deal as well as U.S. role

    NEW YORK, Feb. 12 (JTA) — A new survey has found that 64 percent of American Jews “strongly or somewhat” support the recent agreement on Israeli troop redeployment in Hebron. More than 80 percent support the role played by the Clinton administration in that accord, according to the survey by the Israel Policy Forum. Indeed,…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Unique foundation subsidies boost attendance at day school

    SEATTLE, Jan. 27 (JTA) — Matt Peckarsky is a product of public schools and a Reform home and synagogue, yet at 14, he finds himself a freshman at the Orthodox Northwest Yeshiva High School in Seattle. The gaps in his Hebrew language background gave him a “shaky start,” says his father, David Peckarsky, but Matt…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Alarm sounds over conversion, but passage of measure probable

    NEW YORK, March 4 (JTA) — Israel runs a big risk if it passes legislation reinforcing exclusive Orthodox control over conversions in Israel. That was the alarm sounded by American Jewish leaders during a flurry of meetings with Israeli officials this month. Nonetheless, the Americans believe that unless something dramatic develops, the legislation is likely…

  • U.N. debate targets Israel as tensions mount in Jerusalem

    UNITED NATIONS, March 12 (JTA) — The international community stepped up pressure on Israel this week when the U.N. General Assembly called an urgent session to debate plans for construction in eastern Jerusalem. One speaker after another accused Israel of undermining the peace process by altering the “facts on the ground” and pre-empting final- status…

  • More for Reform, Conservative? Top fund-raisers search for a way

    NEW YORK, May 13 (JTA) — Top Jewish fund-raisers are meeting with representatives of the Reform and Conservative movements to find ways to raise more money for their programs in Israel. Talks were held in Chicago this week, where the United Jewish Appeal is holding board meetings. Under consideration is a plan to allocate $20…