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

    NEW YORK, March 5 (JTA) — Israel runs a risk of dividing world Jewry if it passes legislation reinforcing exclusive Orthodox control over conversions in Israel. American Jewish leaders sounded this alarm in a flurry of meetings last week with Israeli officials in Jerusalem. Nonetheless, the Americans believe that unless something dramatic develops, the legislation…

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

    NEW YORK, May 20 (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 Netanyahu angers non-Orthodox on conversion bill during U.S. visit

    NEW YORK, April 7 (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”s cancellation of an appearance before a major Reform movement gathering this week in Washington deepened the anger provoked by the advance of divisive conversion legislation in the Knesset. And Netanyahu did not help the cause of harmony by quipping at a Monday afternoon news…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES As immigrants begin to lose aid, Jewish groups try to limit damage

    NEW YORK, April 1 (JTA) — Elizabetta Kostoveskaya is paralyzed from a stroke and suffering from Alzheimer”s, homebound in a subsidized apartment run by the Council for Jewish Elderly in Chicago. Since her emigration from Kiev in 1992, the 84-year-old has relied on government assistance, to which she was entitled for five years as a…

  • Regional leaders monitor progress of reform at JNF

    NEW YORK, Dec. 29 (JTA) — Regional leaders of the Jewish National Fund of America are watching and waiting to see whether plans to reform the organization will be carried out and will be sufficient to restore confidence in its operation. The charity has been scrambling to put its house in order after upheaval over…

  • Jewish coalition joins effort to enhance Ethiopian absorption

    NEW YORK, Feb. 2 (JTA) — One year ago in Jerusalem, a violent protest of Ethiopian Jews erupted after the discovery that Israeli health officials were disposing of their blood donations for fear of HIV contamination. Consensus was that health officials had bungled badly. But there was also a recognition that the Ethiopians were expressing…

  • PROFILE Zeal of JNF’s new president inspired by Jewish awakening

    NEW YORK, March 6 (JTA) — Ronald Lauder is a man driven to reclaim his Jewish legacy. The cosmetics heir and philanthropist grew up as a self-described assimilated or “three-day-a-year” Jew. “I didn’t think twice about being Jewish,” he says during an interview in his 42nd-floor suite in the towering General Motors Building on Fifth…

  • And the winner is … Conference nominates new chair

    NEW YORK, March 18 (JTA) — After months of anticipation and speculation, the nomination is in for the next chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. It is Melvin Salberg, a prominent attorney and former chairman of the Anti-Defamation League. Several members of the umbrella organization expressed surprise at the news,…

  • CJF leaders move on pluralism CJF leaders move on pluralism, back partnership plan with UJA

    WASHINGTON, April 15 (JTA) — Responding to what they described as “tremendous”” grass-roots pressure, federation leaders across North America have backed a plan to double campaign allocations to the Reform, Conservative and modern Orthodox movements in Israel. The move, an important gesture designed to demonstrate the Diaspora fund-raising establishment”s commitment to religious pluralism in Israel,…

  • Ronald Lauder is nominated to take over helm of the JNF

    NEW YORK, Feb. 4 (JTA) — Cosmetics heir and philanthropist Ronald Lauder has been nominated to be the next president of the Jewish National Fund of America. JNF’s nominating committee chose Lauder on Monday. The board is slated to weigh in with its vote on Feb. 10. Questions have arisen, however, as to whether the…