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  • 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….

  • Israel to pursue extradition as Hamas issues threat to U.S.

    NEW YORK, Jan. 29 (JTA) — Israeli officials say they intend to pursue the extradition of a Hamas leader from the United States after he withdrew his appeal of the initiative. Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook could be sent back to Israel within 60 days to stand trial, despite warnings that it would provoke Hamas violence….

  • Major philanthropist is eyed as possible new JNF president

    NEW YORK, Dec. 3 (JTA) — It may be too soon to call, but Ronald Lauder — cosmetics heir, philanthropist and former U.S. ambassador to Austria — apparently is being eyed as the next president of the Jewish National Fund of America. Some believe he and his high profile could be just the prescription for…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Elections to Zionist Congress hinge on success of deal-making

    NEW YORK, Feb. 17 (JTA) — The registration forms have been printed for the U.S. election of delegates to the next Zionist Congress. But whether they will be mailed out is anybody”s guess. Reform and Conservative Zionists believe that they have the most to gain by an election and that the fight for religious pluralism…

  • 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…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Compromises are sought after conversion measure is approved

    NEW YORK, March 25 (JTA) — The Israeli Cabinet received the news of last week”s Tel Aviv suicide bombing as it was debating an issue divisive to the Jewish world. At that meeting, the Cabinet approved an amendment that would bar the legal recognition of Reform and Conservative conversions performed in Israel. Whether the amendment…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Non-Orthodox confront premier on conversion bill during U.S. visit

    NEW YORK, April 8 (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week managed to exacerbate and then deflect the anger provoked here by the advance of divisive conversion legislation in the Knesset. First, he canceled a Monday appearance in Washington before a major Reform movement gathering, citing a scheduling conflict. But organizers from the…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Israeli government scores mixed reviews on outreach

    NEW YORK, Dec. 16 (JTA) — Six months after the Israeli government changed hands, the diplomatic effort to reach out to Diaspora Jews and transmit Jerusalem”s new message is prompting mixed reviews. Some community and organizational leaders say the outreach is not as aggressive or cogent as it was under the previous government, in part…

  • 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…

  • 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 are re- examining that role. Federations across the United States provide half of the agency”s $400 million annual budget. In an…