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  • Concern over pluralism in Israel spreads to Jews across the globe

    JERUSALEM, March 14 (JTA) — After Friday night services conclude at Congregation Israelita Paulista in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and some 1,000 members of the Reform temple mill about and socialize, conversation often turns to the latest news about the pluralism conflict in Israel. “There is a lot of talk about the issues in Israel, especially…

  • Fervently Orthodox men join army, breaking taboo in Israeli community

    TEL AVIV, March 14 (JTA) — At a lonely base in the northern Jordan Valley, a group of young devout men have replaced their black coats and Talmuds with army green and M-16 rifles. Unlike the average Israeli trainee, they pray after the morning jog, have a daily Torah study session, eat in the army’s…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Will devotion to study lead to economic disaster for haredim?

    JERUSALEM, March 14 (JTA) — Rushing back to class along the twisting alleyways, a yeshiva student named Yishayahu breaks the midday quiet in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem”s fervently Orthodox neighborhood. Like most of his peers, the 24-year-old Yishayahu studies full time and does not work. “None of the yeshiva students I know work,” Yishayahu, the father…

  • News Analysis: Largest Acquisition of Israeli Firm Spurs Debate over High- Tech’s Future

    JERUSALEM, March 11 (JTA) — With the announcement of the largest-ever foreign acquisition of an Israeli firm, Israel’s high-tech sector is once again basking under the international spotlight. But although there is a consensus in Israel that the increasing number of mergers and acquisitions is a vote of confidence in Israel’s technological prowess, not everyone is…

  • World Reform leaders heckle Sharansky, and cheer Amoz Oz

    JERUSALEM, March 11 (JTA) — Natan Sharansky, Israel’s minister of industry and trade, encountered hostility this week at a meeting of world leaders of the Reform movement. Sharansky initially was greeted warmly when he arrived to address the World Union for Progressive Judaism’s 29th annual convention in Jerusalem. But seconds after taking the podium, a…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Largest acquisition of Israeli firm spurs debate over high-tech’s future

    JERUSALEM, March 11 (JTA) — With the announcement of the largest-ever foreign acquisition of an Israeli firm, Israel’s high-tech sector is once again basking under the international spotlight. But although there is a consensus in Israel that the increasing number of mergers and acquisitions is a vote of confidence in Israel’s technological prowess, not everyone…

  • Breaking with tradition, group delves into debate on pluralism

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 23 (JTA) — Every year, a mission of leaders of American Jewish organizations travels to Israel to survey the situation. Every year, they meet with leading political figures and various segments of the Israeli population. But this year, something was different. For the first time, delegates from the Conference of Presidents of Major…

  • Palestinian asks U.S. Jews to press Netanyahu on peace

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 21 (JTA) — Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief peace negotiator, urged visiting American Jewish leaders on Sunday to help revive the stalled peace talks by passing a message on to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Send him this message on my behalf,” Erekat said in an impassioned speech to the Conference of Presidents…

  • American Jews convene group in Israel to advocate for pluralism

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 21 (JTA) — Nearly 20 religiously liberal and secular American Jewish organizations have joined forces and formed a new group to fight for religious freedom in Israel. The North American Coalition for the Advancement of Religious Freedom in Israel gave itself a name and drafted its first mission statement in a meeting Saturday…

  • Deportations compared to Passover ritual ‘burning

    JERUSALEM, April 2 (JTA) — Israel’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has compared the deportation of illegal foreign workers to the ritual of burning chametz, or leavened bread, traditionally performed before the Passover holiday. Hanna Zohar, coordinator for Kav La’Oved, an organization working to protect the rights of foreign workers, said the terminology reeked…