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  • ISRAEL AT 50 Israel’s anniversary bash recalls Truman’s bold move

    LOS ANGELES, May 5 (JTA) —On May 12, 1948, two days before David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence, a tense meeting of momentous importance to the survival of the nascent Jewish state took place in the White House Oval Office. At stake was whether the United States would recognize the as-yet unnamed State of Israel and…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Sephardi immigrants boost Austrian Jewish community

    VIENNA, April 21 (JTA) — “You seem to be a nice guy. What are you doing living in Austria?” That’s a question Paul Grosz, the president of Vienna’s Jewish community, says he now expects from foreign visitors. “It’s not taboo for a Jew in London or New York to say I’m British or I’m American,…

  • Reform rabbis’ convention addresses complex issues

    ANAHEIM, Calif., June 23 (JTA) — “This is not your grandfather’s Reform service,” observed one person who had joined 600 Reform rabbis at an hourlong prayer service opening the annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. A quick glance showed that a majority of the men, and many of the women, wore yarmulkas…

  • Jerry Seinfeld makes wish come true for Israeli child

    LOS ANGELES, March 26 (JTA) — When 13-year-old Eyal Bir spent most of last year at an Israeli hospital for treatment of acute leukemia, the ordeal was brightened by regularly watching the “Seinfeld” show. So when the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which fulfills the requests of children with life-threatening illnesses, asked Eyal for his biggest wish, the…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Expatriates in China behind revival of Jewish communities

    BEIJING, June 24 (JTA) — When the tiny Jewish community of China’s capital city wanted to hold a Passover seder with all the culinary trimmings, they naturally turned to the bubbe of Beijing. The bubbe is Elaine Silverberg, who came here 10 years ago from New York to join her resident daughter, Elyse Beth Silverberg,…

  • Jerry Seinfeld makes wish come true for Israeli child

    LOS ANGELES, March 29 (JTA) — When 13-year-old Ayal Beer spent most of last year at an Israeli hospital because of acute leukemia, his ordeal was brightened by regularly watching the “Seinfeld” television show. So when the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which fulfills the requests of children with life-threatening illnesses, asked Ayal for his biggest wish, the…

  • Head of Los Angeles mortuary sentenced to 2 years in prison

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5 (JTA) — The director of the local Chevra Kadisha Mortuary has been sentenced to two years in prison and the facility has been temporarily closed. Zalman Manela, the founder of the 21-year-old mortuary, was incarcerated after pleading no contest to charges of forgery and grand theft. According to the Jewish Journal…

  • Reform rabbis urge Knesset to reject conversion legislation

    ANAHEIM, Calif., June 25 (JTA) — America’s Reform rabbis have lashed out at controversial conversion legislation in Israel, warning that its passage “would devastate the Israeli-Diaspora relationship and cause severe and deleterious consequences in the political, philanthropic and religious realms.” The bill, now pending in the Knesset, would codify the Orthodox establishment’s control over conversions…

  • ISRAEL AT 50 An American Jewish volunteer reflects on the last ‘good’ war

    LOS ANGELES, March 30 (JTA) — As the American Jewish community celebrates the 50th anniversary of Israel’s independence, those of us who went over to fight as volunteers in the fledgling country’s armed forces can look back with special pride and remembrance. We were privileged to take part not only in a momentous chapter of…

  • European insurance firms to expedite survivors’ claims

    LOS ANGELES, April 9 (JTA) — An international commission has been established to expedite the processing of insurance claims by Holocaust survivors and the heirs of victims. The agreement to set up the commission was signed Wednesday in New York. Signatories include the state insurance commissioners of New York and California, four major European insurance…