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  • FOCUS ON ISSUES 50 U.S. Reform rabbis press Netanyahu on conversion bill

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 28 (JTA) — Although it is too early to tell whether a whirlwind visit to Israel will have an impact on the outcome of pending conversion legislation, a delegation of Reform rabbis in America say the visit was not in vain. The 50 rabbis came to Israel this week to lobby against a…

  • 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…

  • JDC program helps Bosnians develop business, build trust

    SARAJEVO, Bosnia, Jan. 27 (JTA) — An accountant for two decades, 40-year-old Sarajevo native Bosiljka Markovic would like to start her own accounting firm. While many might consider this a pipe dream, given the sorry state of Sarajevo’s war-ravaged economy, Markovic says she knows what she is getting into, thanks to a small-business program recently…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Decision to not indict premier boosts holiday mood in Israel

    JERUSALEM, April 21 (JTA) — The political cloud that has hung over the country for the past three months appeared to be dissipating with the start of Passover. The decision by Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein not to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in connection with the Bar-On affair — along with reports that the government…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES How Israelis deal with grief intensified by nation’s size

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 11 (JTA) — Sixteen-year-old Shelley Ben-Yehuda did not know any of the 73 soldiers killed in last week’s helicopter crash, but that did not stop her from mourning. “I was affected by what happened, just like everyone else,” says the high school junior, who is looking toward her own induction into the army…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Sarajevo Jewish community rebuilding after Bosnia war

    SARAJEVO, Bosnia, Jan. 27 (JTA) — It is a bitterly cold day, but the Jewish Community Center of Sarajevo exudes a warm glow. Little more than a year after the U.S.-brokered Dayton agreement led to a cease-fire between Serbs and Muslims in this war-ravaged country, the community center and the people who run it still…

  • 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…

  • Jewish Agency leaders press Sharansky on conversion bill

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 23 (JTA) — A delegation of American Jewish leaders representing all streams of Judaism expressed their “deep concern” over pending conversion legislation in a meeting with 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…

  • American Jewish group urges Israelis to oppose conversion bill

    JERUSALEM, May 28 (JTA) — In an attempt to rouse the Israeli public against a pending conversion bill, an American Jewish organization is taking out a full-page advertisement in the country’s largest-circulation daily newspaper. This Friday, Yediot Achronot will carry a Hebrew-language ad, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, urging Israelis to actively oppose any…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Israelis boost Jewish presence at southern tip of United States

    KEY WEST, Fla., May 1 (JTA) — Strolling through the bustling streets of this historic town, once home to Ernest Hemingway, the last thing one expects to hear from the shopkeepers is fluent Hebrew. Yet that is the language spoken by the tanned young men and women who own many of the stores around this…