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  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Druse bent on participating in Zionism educational programs

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 19 (JTA) — How do you teach “100 Years of Zionism” to non-Jewish Israeli students? That was the challenge facing Saleh Alsheich, the Ministry of Education’s director of education for the country’s Druse community. Instead of shying away from the ministry’s most recent “theme of the year,” marking the 100th anniversary of the…

  • Conversion panel to reconvene in new effort to break deadlock

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 17 (JTA) — A committee charged with finding a way to resolve a crisis over conversions in Israel will make another bid to break its deadlock. The committee failed to come up with a recommended solution by last Friday’s deadline. But, instead of disbanding, the committee was planning to convene again Thursday to…

  • High Court upholds Reform bid to fill seat on religious council

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 5 (JTA) — A Reform Jewish woman has won the backing of Israel’s top court to take her place on a local religious council. The High Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that the Religious Affairs Ministry must allow Joyce Brenner to sit on the Netanya council. The ministry was given one week to…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Victims of suicide bombings: More than just names on a list

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 4 (JTA) — The victims of last week’s twin suicide bombing at the Mahane Yehuda market were more than names on a list. A survivor of Auschwitz, two new immigrants from the former Soviet Union and an Israeli Arab were among the 13 victims to lose their lives when two men blasted themselves…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Twin suicide bombing shatters hope of reviving peace process

    JERUSALEM, July 30 (JTA) — A week that began with promise ended in bloodshed. The twin suicide bombs that shook Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda on Wednesday struck not only the heart of the nation’s capital but also any immediate hope of reviving the moribund peace process. The colorful open-air market, with its maze of stalls filled…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Around the world, relatives seek Swiss bank account claims

    JERUSALEM, July 28 (JTA) — When the Swiss Bankers Association published its long-awaited list of dormant World War II-era bank accounts here last week, 82-year-old Dov Haber found what he was looking for. Buried in the tiny print was the name of Haber”s uncle, Hermann Roth, who lived in Vienna before the war. As soon…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Petition on religious councils not affecting conversion issue

    JERUSALEM, July 22 (JTA) — One month after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu established a committee to find a compromise on Jewish conversions, the question of how to register those who have undergone a non-Orthodox conversion in Israel remains unresolved, according to those close to the negotiations. Faced with an August 15 deadline, the seven-member…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Maccabiah athletes mourn — but vow to let games continue

    RAMAT GAN, Israel, July 15 (JTA) — Instead of preparing and competing, athletes at the Maccabiah Games spent the day after a fatal accident trying to make sense of a tragedy they were convinced was avoidable. An air of mourning was palpable at Kfar Maccabiah, the games’ official headquarters, where many of the athletes —…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Israel’s red heifer still piques curiosity — and political concern

    JERUSALEM, July 14 (JTA) — To most Israelis, she is just one of tens of thousands of cows born in Israel every year. But to some Orthodox Jews, Melody, a young heifer with sleepy brown eyes and auburn-colored hide, is the heavenly sign of redemption they’ve been waiting for. Described as the first red heifer…

  • Conversion committee begins search for harmonious solution

    JERUSALEM, June 30 (JTA) — The committee named to find a compromise on Jewish conversion has begun its awesome task. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking at the opening of the committee’s first meeting Monday, urged the sides to demonstrate tolerance and flexibility in trying to find a solution. The premier “gave us his hearty…