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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…

  • 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 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…

  • 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…

  • Jerusalem AIDS conference marks Israeli-Arab cooperation

    JERUSALEM, Dec. 9 (JTA) — More than 40 Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians convened this week in Jerusalem to establish a regional task force aimed at preventing the spread of AIDS. During the four-day conference, which was organized by the Jerusalem AIDS Project, participants discussed obstacles facing public health professionals in the Middle East, where religion…

  • Jewish Agency leaders press Sharansky on conversion bill

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 24 (JTA) — A delegation of American Jewish leaders has expressed “deep concern” over pending conversion legislation to Industry and Trade Minister Natan Sharansky. Sharansky met Sunday with the leaders, members of the Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governors, in his capacity as chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Diaspora Affairs. The…

  • Israeli rabbis demonstrate against conversion legislation

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 30 (JTA) — A dozen Israeli Reform and Conservative rabbis chained themselves to benches outside the Interior Ministry to protest a pending bill on conversions. The protest, which attracted a great deal of local media attention, passed peaceably Thursday. Einat Ramon, a rabbi and spokeswoman for the Masorti/Conservative movement in Israel, said the…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Up close and personal: Visitors witness conflict over Har Homa

    JERUSALEM, March 6 (JTA) — A delegation of American Jewish leaders this week ran headlong into the conflict over Israeli plans for Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem. Members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, here on their annual mission, stopped to visit Har Homa and to hear Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Israel, Palestinians plan for massive tourism in 2000

    JERUSALEM, Dec. 10 (JTA) — Christmas is less than two weeks away, but both Israel and the Palestinian Authority already are looking ahead four years. Travel experts estimate that anywhere from 3.5 million to 5 million visitors will descend on the region during the year 2000. Last year, a record 2.5 million tourists came to…