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  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Federations begin to re-examine process of funding needs abroad

    NEW YORK, Aug. 17 (JTA) — The 11th of August may have seemed like an ordinary Wednesday, but that summer afternoon marked the start of a transformation in the way many American Jews send funds to Israel and other parts of the Jewish world. Gathered in a hotel in Manhattan were representatives of more than…

  • Israeli justice minister to tackle rampant software piracy problem

    NEW YORK, Aug. 12 (JTA) — Israel is getting into hot water with the United States over the piracy of compact discs and computer software. “Israel is allegedly a hub of piracy in our part of the world” and a “candidate to be the only country in the highest level” of a U.S. list of…

  • Russia ‘not responding adequately’ to anti-Semitism, says Moscow rabbi

    NEW YORK, August 11 (JTA) — Russia is not “responding adequately to political and violent anti-Semitism,” said the chief rabbi of Moscow. Noting a recent spate of anti-Semitic acts, including the July 12 knifing of a prominent member of the Moscow Jewish community, Pinchas Goldschmidt told a gathering of American Jewish leaders here that neither…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Camps focus on Jewish content while tailoring it to kids’ interests

    NEW YORK, Aug. 8 (JTA) — Camp Surprise Lake, a 775-acre wooded haven that attracts mostly “minimally affiliated” Jewish kids from the New York area, is sprucing up its Judaic programming. Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, one of the Conservative movement”s nine Jewish overnight camps, is beefing up its offerings in sports, crafts and music….

  • Camp trains synagogue lay leaders in how to keep Jewish rituals alive

    NEW YORK, Aug. 8 (JTA) — Munching happily on fish sticks and french fries, the diners seated in a sun-filled corner of the dining room at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires made a surprising bunch or campers. Indeed, the 19 adults had come to the Conservative movement’s camp in upstate New York for serious summer…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Looking beyond the numbers: The next frontier in intermarriage

    NEW YORK, Aug. 4 (JTA) — When the Women’s Division of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation started a program for the non-Jewish partners of Jewish men, the goal was simply to educate, not to convert. But the founder of the program says that many of the 50 to 60 participants have converted — an unexpected…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Threat to Jewish group in Argentina comes at a time of internal upheaval

    NEW YORK, July 26 (JTA) — A menacing phone call to the Buenos Aires office of an international Jewish organization earlier this month has reaffirmed the Argentine Jewish community”s need for enhanced security. Argentina”s estimated 250,000 Jews, however, face more than physical danger. The seventh largest Jewish community in the world is experiencing growing internal…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Meeting on Israeli settlements criticized as manipulation of law

    NEW YORK, July 5 (JTA) — If representatives of 188 countries meet in Geneva on July 15, Israel will be on everyone”s mind. Israeli officials, however, won”t be there. The meeting is being convened specifically to discuss the enforcement of the Fourth Geneva Convention in “occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem.” It is being organized at…

  • Jewish Agency outlines new vision, rejects latest calls for its dissolution

    NEW YORK, June 29 (JTA) — Just as the Jewish Agency for Israel was outlining a new vision for its future, Israeli legislators were offering motions in the Knesset questioning whether the agency should have a future at all. The Jewish Agency’s annual assembly closed on June 23, having ratified in principle a strategic plan…

  • Mubarak disappoints Jewish leaders, ‘brushing aside’ key issues of concern

    NEW YORK, June 28 (JTA) — Jewish leaders came away from a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak this week with few assurances that the Middle East leader would take an active role in promoting Jewish concerns in the region. Given Egypt’s substantial contributions to Middle East peace in the past, “the hope and expectation…