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  • 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…

  • Latest pluralism imbroglio focuses on new IDF directive

    NEW YORK, March 23 (JTA) — Reports of new threats of a Reform boycott of Diaspora fund-raising efforts for Israel are unfounded, said the leader of the Reform movement in the United States. The Israeli media widely reported last week that the head of the Reform movement’s Israel Religious Action Center, Rabbi Uri Regev, threatened…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Clinton’s nominee for U.N. seen as a `friend of Israel’

    UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 17 (JTA) — President Clinton’s pick for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has a reputation as a committed internationalist, a friend of Israel and a consensus-builder. Indeed, Jewish constituents, organizational leaders and those who have worked or served with Bill Richardson on Capitol Hill respond with accolades at the mention of…

  • NJCRAC delegates hear upbeat reports on U.S.-Israel relations

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left Washington “more hopeful than ever” about achieving peace and security in the Middle East, according to Israel’s ambassador to the United States. In talks last with President Clinton, “all subjects were raised of common interest,” including the “peace process in all its aspects,” Ambassador…