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  • Netanyahu appeals for peace among Jews on religious issues

    JERUSALEM, June 29 (JTA) — Before Israel can make peace with its Arab neighbors, the Jewish people must make peace with one another. That was the message Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conveyed Sunday to the Jewish Agency for Israel Assembly. “For there to be peace between Jews and Arabs, between Israelis and Palestinians, first…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Solution to conversion crisis still faces significant hurdles

    JERUSALEM, June 23 (JTA) — Now that the Israeli government has reached agreement with the Conservative and Reform movements on a process to resolve the conversion controversy, is a solution really attainable? Reform and Conservative leaders appear confident that last week”s widely touted accord establishing an interdenominational committee will lead to a compromise in the…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Russian community on sidelines of passionate conversion debate

    JERUSALEM, June 17 (JTA) — Despite the roiling controversy about a pending conversion bill that is certain to affect many of their lives, immigrants from the former Soviet Union remain curiously low-key about the issue. While American Jewish leaders speak passionately about the plight of Israel’s 150,000 to 200,000 non-Jewish Russian olim, many of whom…

  • JDC assesses role in meeting social service needs in Israel

    JERUSALEM, June 17 (JTA) — The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has begun to assess how effectively the organization’s Israel-based programs are meeting the country’s needs. Aware that social and financial priorities within Israel and in the Diaspora have changed significantly in recent years, the JDC’s Israel Committee convened earlier this month in Israel to…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Forces opposing conversion bill split over negotiating strategy

    JERUSALEM, June 5 (JTA) — A split has emerged between the Reform and Conservative movements over how to resolve the crisis swirling around impending conversion legislation. The Reform movement said this week that it would freeze all of its legal motions seeking recognition of its Israeli conversions, provided the government stops its efforts to pass…

  • Lichtenstein gives sculpture to Israel in memory of Rabin

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 25 (JTA) — The artist Roy Lichtenstein has donated one of his sculptures to Jerusalem’s Israel Museum in memory of slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The modern steel sculpture, which will be unveiled Sunday in the presence of the Rabin family, will stand in Daniel Park, in the Jerusalem municipality complex. Lichtenstein,…

  • Rabbis from all streams to convene

    JERUSALEM, April 10 (JTA) — Rabbis from all streams of Judaism are expected to attend the Shalom Hartman Institute’s 11th annual Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar, to be held in Israel from June 30 to July 10. This year’s study themes are “The Attitude of Judaism Towards Christianity and Islam” and “Interpersonal Dynamics in the Judaic…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Israeli teen-agers agonize as military service beckons

    JERUSALEM, Dec. 4 (JTA) — Abigail Hoffman, a student at Jerusalem’s High School of the Arts, is feeling a lot of pressure these days. By the end of the school year, Hoffman, a high school senior with dreams of becoming a professional dancer, will be drafted into the Israel Defense Force. Hoffman admits that she…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Israeli Orthodox rabbis accused of taking bribes for conversions

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 18 (JTA) — An Israeli television investigative report has left many people here wondering just how kosher the country’s Orthodox conversions really are. The report, aired last week on a popular program that regularly exposes alleged corruption, showed an Orthodox rabbi demanding thousands of dollars to perform what the media has termed a…

  • U.S. Reform rabbis voice concerns on conversion bill

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 27 (JTA) — Fifty American Reform rabbis have voiced their “grave concerns” over Israel’s pending conversion law in a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During Sunday’s meeting, the rabbis told the prime minister that the so-called “Rabbinical Court Conversion Bill,” which the Cabinet is reportedly about to approve, will delegitimize millions of…