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  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Retelling the Passover story with a vision of coexistence

    NEW YORK, April 6 (JTA) — Arms linked around one another, the 180 souls gathered in the gaily painted synagogue sanctuary sang Shehecheyanu, a Hebrew prayer recited at festive gatherings. On Sunday, the fifth night of Passover, the American Jews and Arab Americans sitting together at New York’s Congregation B’nai Jeshurun celebrated a seder that…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Federations prepare to launch ‘new era’ in Jewish communal life

    NEW YORK, Mar. 31 (JTA) — When representatives of nearly 200 North American community federations meet in Washington after Passover, they will celebrate the start of what is being called “a new era in Jewish community life.” The merger of the Council of Jewish Federations, the United Jewish Appeal and the United Israel Appeal has…

  • ADL: Anti-Jewish acts rise slightly, reversing a 3-year downward trend

    NEW YORK, March 22 (JTA) — Vandalism against Jewish institutions and property rose slightly in 1998, ending a three-year decline in reported anti- Semitic incidents, according to the Anti-Defamation League. In 1998, 1,611 acts of vandalism and harassment directed against Jews were reported in 42 states and the District of Columbia — 40 more than…

  • HOLIDAY FEATURE Iranian Jews recall own Exodus as they cling to ancient customs

    NEW YORK, March 9 (JTA) The Israelites fled Egypt in haste, but well packed: They began their exodus with their flocks, herds and unleavened bread dough, as well as the jewels and garments of the Egyptians. When Soraya Masjedi Nazarian left Iran in 1979, she left behind almost all of her possessions. “I didn”t have…

  • Federation system reports campaigns are on the rise

    NEW YORK, March 9 (JTA) — Things are looking up for North America’s most broad-based Jewish fund-raising campaign. According to the final tally last week, UJA Federations of North America’s 1998 annual campaign brought in $763 million — up $26 million over 1997 — with 107 of the system’s 189 federated Jewish communities reporting significant…

  • HOLIDAY FEATURE Iranian Jews recall own Exodus as they cling to ancient customs

    NEW YORK, March 8 (JTA) The Israelites fled Egypt in haste, but well packed: They began their exodus with their flocks, herds and unleavened bread dough, as well as the jewels and garments of the Egyptians. When Soraya Nazarian left Iran in 1979, she left behind almost all of her possessions. “I didn”t have even…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Jews unlikely to cut circumcision despite new policy from academy

    NEW YORK, March 3 (JTA) — Most Jews aren”t flinching at the medical establishment”s most recent findings on circumcision. The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending for the first time that pain relief, such as local anesthetics, be provided to infants being circumcised. The group, which issued its latest policy statement on circumcision this week,…

  • Committee makes little progress in effort to curb terror incitement

    NEW YORK March 1 (JTA) — After seven meetings, Israel sees little progress in working together with the Palestinians to end incitement to violence and terror. Israel is “very disappointed with the amount of progress made” in the committee that was created by the Wye peace accords in October, said Daniel Taub, one of five…

  • HOLIDAY FEATURE Virtual Purim brings insight but no substitute for Megillah

    NEW YORK, Feb. 22 (JTA) — This Purim, the Internet is putting a new twist on the Scroll of Esther. Revelers preparing to celebrate the springtime holiday can use the World Wide Web for a deeper understanding of the Megillah, or scroll, which tells the story of the fourth-century-B.C.E. redemption of the Jews of Persia….

  • Jewish leader again in spotlight, this time over deal with Serbians

    NEW YORK, Feb. 24 (JTA) — A top Jewish organizational leader is back in the glare of the media spotlight after news reports said one of his business deals may have violated U.S. sanctions against Serbia. Ronald Lauder’s plans to provide long-distance telephone service to and from Yugoslavia are under review by the Clinton administration,…