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  • Controversy still swirling around conversion institute

    JERUSALEM, May 5 (JTA) — A joint institute aimed at resolving the conversion crisis is moving forward despite protests by Israel’s Reform and Conservative movements and an impending renewal of the pluralism battle in court. The seven-member board of the Institute for Jewish Studies, set up by the Jewish Agency for Israel, includes five Orthodox…

  • ISRAEL AT 50 Israelis look beyond flags to find meaning in jubilee

    JERUSALEM, April 20 (JTA) — Blue-and-white flags are sprouting from the antennae of Israeli cars, just as they do every Independence Day. But after a year of haggling over 50th anniversary celebrations, and amid mounting tensions within society, Israelis are preparing for next week”s jubilee celebrations with mixed feelings. As Yom Ha”atzmaut approaches — the…

  • Orthodox ad campaign seeks to influence the Israeli public

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 20 (JTA) — On billboards, buses and in full-page newspaper advertisements, Israelis are being introduced to a new movement with a pro-Orthodox message on the conversion bill conflict. The campaign, which has support from some secular individuals, is an effort to get a pro-Orthodox message across to an Israeli public that has grown…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Shortage of high-tech specialists affecting Israel’s economic growth

    JERUSALEM, June 22 (JTA) — Israeli engineers and computer programmers are not worried when they see dramatic headlines warning of rising unemployment. All they have to do is turn to the help-wanted pages, which are filled with ads from companies seeking high-tech specialists. The ads demonstrate what many in the field already know: Electronics and…

  • Netanyahu looks right to bolster his coalition

    JERUSALEM, April 21 (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is thinking of adding a far-right party to his governing coalition. The premier confirmed during a press briefing Tuesday that he is engaged in talks with the Moledet Party with that goal in mind. The party, which holds two Knesset seats, opposes the Oslo accords….

  • Conservative Jews claim win in wake of protection at wall

    JERUSALEM, June 2 (JTA) — Conservative Jewish leaders in Israel are declaring victory after a group of 250 worshipers completed prayers on Shavuot morning at the Western Wall under police protection — despite attempts by hundreds of fervently Orthodox Jews to stop the service. Last year, non-Orthodox Jews who prayed near the Western Wall plaza…

  • Israel may register black family seeking citizenship, lawyer says

    JERUSALEM, June 25 (JTA) — Israel’s Interior Ministry may soon register a black, Jewish American family as immigrants after refusing to recognize their right to Israeli citizenship when they arrived in the country last month, according to the lawyer representing the family. Dan Evron, a lawyer for the Conservative movement in Israel, said he has…

  • ISRAEL AT 50 High-tech companies drive Israel’s fast-growing economy

    TEL AVIV, April 6 (JTA) — Israeli start-up companies showed off their wares from behind sleek, futuristic booths adorned with state-of-the-art multimedia presentations. Magicians and scantily clad young women promoted the latest in high-tech products. Representatives of some of the world’s leading technology giants talked business behind closed doors — indeed, 3Com, a manufacturer of…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Israeli stock market ignores current diplomatic stalemate

    JERUSALEM, June 2 (JTA) — The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange doesn”t seem to be paying much attention to the 15-month stalemate in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. Despite the absence of a diplomatic breakthrough, the benchmark TA 100 index stood at 326.82 at the end of last week — almost double its level in July 1996, less than…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Israeli gays march with pride, bolstered by religious opposition

    TEL AVIV, June 29 (JTA) — Amid fluttering flags and a festive atmosphere, Or Marouani-Panner, a heavyset woman in a baseball cap, is barking orders through a megaphone to gay groups gathering at Tel Aviv’s central square. Marouani-Panner, a lesbian and a professional events organizer, is running Israel’s first-ever gay and lesbian parade. The rainbow-colored…