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  • Israeli minister bears gift for U.N. in event marking a rocky 50 years

    UNITED NATIONS, May 11 (JTA) — Israel commemorated 50 years of rocky membership at the United Nations by giving the world body a symbolic gift. At a brief ceremony in the U.N.’s towering headquarters in New York, Israel’s foreign minister presented Secretary-General Kofi Annan with a stone from a fourth-century synagogue in the northern Galilee….

  • Jewish parents turn to medical technology to conceive children

    NEW YORK, May 5 (JTA) — When Dr. David Barad talks about “the birds and the bees,” his subject matter has more to do with petri dishes and test tubes than romantic embraces. On any afternoon, Barad, director of reproductive endocrinology at New York”s Montefiore Medical Center, can expect a visit by those among the…

  • Population survey will measure forms of Jewish identity, practice

    NEW YORK, May 9 (JTA) — Lighting Shabbat candles is a traditional symbol of Jewish identity. But watching a Jewish film festival? Researchers working on the year 2000 National Jewish Population Survey are looking into unconventional Jewish activity — such as joining Jewish book clubs or attending museum exhibitions — alongside more standard measures of…

  • Researcher wants to help groups make better use of Jewish survey

    NEW YORK, May 9 (JTA) — The results of the last national survey of the American Jewish population were widely distributed — but one researcher says they could have been more widely used. Rabbi Hayim Herring, the director of identity and continuity at the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, has just completed a study of how Jewish…

  • Pollster tracks trends in Israeli and U.S. opinions on the Mideast

    NEW YORK, May 4 (JTA) — Israelis want peace, but most are not willing to sacrifice for it. Most Palestinians support the concept of the peace process, but fewer have confidence in specific agreements made with Israel. These ranges in public opinion are the findings of polls that have examined attitudes in and toward the…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Collaboration is ‘name of game’ in world of Jewish philanthropy

    CHICAGO, April 29 (JTA) — Rachel Davis came to the Windy City with a vision and left three days later with a potential partner. The mother of four from Houston wanted to set up a national system for extracurricular activities for Jewish day school students like her oldest son, a high school senior, who must…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Reform movement hails outreach as ‘most distinctive achievement

    NEW YORK, April 27 (JTA) — The great rabbis Hillel and Shammai, it is said, considered a question familiar to Jews today: whether would-be converts to Judaism should be welcomed or discouraged by the Jewish community. For the next 1,978 years, the general reaction among Jews followed the example of Shammai — would-be converts were…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Israelis contest Palestinian drive to revive U.N.’s 1947 Partition Plan

    NEW YORK, April 20 (JTA) — When the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state on Nov. 29, 1947, the Arabs rejected it. Now, it is the Israelis who are reiterating their long-held position that U.N. Resolution 181— also known as the Partition Plan — is “null and void.”…

  • Recent arrest of 12 Iranian Jews apparently linked to internal feud

    NEW YORK, April 14 (JTA) — Twelve Iranian Jews were arrested in Iran last month, but the specific charges remain unclear, according to sources familiar with the situation. Although Iranian authorities carried out the arrests, they apparently stem from an internal dispute between the Jewish communities of Tehran and Shiraz, in southwest Iran, according to…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES New name reflects federation effort to involve an ‘under 50’ Jewish cr

    WASHINGTON, April 13 (JTA) — What do you get when you add the Council of Jewish Federations to the United Jewish Appeal and the United Israel Appeal? Federation leaders from around the country meeting this week in Washington completed that equation with “United Jewish Communities: Serving Federations Across North America.” That”s the name chosen for…