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  • 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…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Jewish purchase of Arab lands could trigger IRS investigation

    NEW YORK, Jan. 14 (JTA) — U.S.-based charities raising money to purchase Arab-owned land in Israel”s disputed areas could be scrutinized for possible violations of U.S. tax laws. Critics of these purchases charge that they are a political and provocative act by those who seek to change the facts on the ground and sabotage the…

  • Alarm sounds over conversion, but passage of measure probable

    NEW YORK, March 10 (JTA) — Israel runs a risk of dividing world Jewry if it passes legislation reinforcing exclusive Orthodox control over conversions in Israel. American Jewish leaders were bent on sounding this alarm in a flurry of meetings late last month with Israeli officials in Jerusalem. Nonetheless, most of the Americans left Israel…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES U.S. policy toward Har Homa draws mixed Jewish reaction

    NEW YORK, March 18 (JTA) — The international political uproar over Israeli construction of Jewish housing in eastern Jerusalem initially found American Jews circling the wagons. Some criticized the timing of Israel’s decision, saying that it would endanger the peace process. But most defended Israel’s sovereign right to build anywhere in the city of Jerusalem….

  • Jewish groups hail verdict in Crown Heights civil trial

    NEW YORK, Feb. 10 (JTA) — Jewish groups are hailing the federal jury conviction of Lemrick Nelson Jr. in the killing of a Chasidic scholar during the Crown Heights riots in 1991. They also called for greater racial tolerance. Nelson, 21, had earlier been acquitted in state court of killing Yankel Rosenbaum, prompting demands for…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Mix of relief, disappointment pervades U.S. Jewish community

    NEW YORK, Jan. 15 (JTA) — Relief, resignation and disappointment rippled through the American Jewish landscape in the wake of this week”s signing of the long-delayed agreement on the Israeli redeployment in Hebron. But despite the range of reaction, there was little fear that the accord would sow the kind of deep divisions here that…