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  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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 Volunteers of 1948 war — ‘Our souls burn with pride

    SHA’AR HAGAI, Israel, April 30 (JTA) — The slim 76-year-old from Queens, N.Y., doesn’t look like a hero from Israel’s War of Independence. But in May 1948, Sidney Rabinovich risked his life to help the newborn Jewish state fight for its survival against invading Arab armies. This week, he and another 500 elderly veterans of…

  • Premier revives conversion bill as Conservatives press court case

    JERUSALEM, June 4 (JTA) — Efforts to forge a compromise over the ongoing conversion controversy in Israel appear ready to explode. The Conservative movement has returned to court to battle for the recognition of its conversions in Israel. In response, the government plans to revive legislation that would codify the Orthodox monopoly over conversions in…

  • 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…

  • ISRAEL AT 50 Vastly different kibbutzim struggle to hold on to youth

    KIBBUTZ KFAR RUPPIN, Israel, April 2 (JTA) — Bicycles are lined up outside the communal dining hall here at Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin. Nearby, a handful of teen-agers gather outside on the lush green grounds of the kibbutz, which is nestled between the town of Beit She”an and the Jordanian border in northeastern Israel. But the…

  • Conservative rabbis demand Chief Rabbinate’s cooperation

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 18 (JTA) — A Conservative Jewish leader said he was “skeptical but hopeful” after hearing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge Wednesday to continue efforts to resolve the conversion crisis in Israel. Rabbi Joel Meyers, the executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the Conservative movement’s rabbinical arm, made his comments after hearing…