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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…

  • Rabbis, government officials reach accord on burial issue

    JERUSALEM, April 16 (JTA) — Israel’s chief rabbis and Ministry of Absorption have agreed on a way to resolve the controversy over burials for some immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Many of the immigrants are not considered Jewish by the Orthodox rabbinate and burial societies. The agreement, which went into effect Wednesday, allows those…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Gripped by grief, Israel mourns loss of `so many boys’

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 5 (JTA) — The parents of Assaf Rothenberg long had the eerie feeling that their son would not return from Lebanon alive. Voicing the day-in-day-out sense of foreboding felt by many parents of soldiers serving in Lebanon, the father of the 20-year-old paratrooper said, “For a few months already, whenever Assaf went into…

  • Jewish groups grow impatient with Swiss over missing assets

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 7 (JTA) — Angered by what it termed “remarks bordering on anti-Semitism” by the outgoing president of Switzerland, the World Jewish Restitution Organization has announced a series of retaliatory measures that would include a boycott of Swiss banks. Two top officials of the WJRO held a news conference here Sunday to unveil their…

  • Israel marks Arab culture month

    JERUSALEM, May 20 (JTA) — A large book fair and heritage exhibition are two of the events taking place during Arab Culture Month, which kicked off on Sunday. The annual event, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, the Committee of Local Arab Councils and others interested in promoting Israeli Arab culture, is being held at…

  • Reform asks court to recognize conversions of adopted infants

    JERUSALEM, May 6 (JTA) — The Reform movement’s decision to petition the High Court this week to recognize the Jewishness of two infants who were adopted and converted abroad could further strain Israeli-Diaspora relations, according to a senior aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “In our recent meetings with leaders of the Reform and Conservative…