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  • 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…

  • 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…