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  • 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…

  • Israeli court orders government to resolve Women of the Wall case

    JERUSALEM, March 4 (JTA) — In an apparent bid to resolve the Women of the Wall issue once and for all, Israel’s Supreme Court has granted the government 90 days to show “just cause” why women who wish to pray at the Western Wall cannot do so as a group. The court ruling Tuesday denied…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD 50 years after secret struggle, volunteers recall their voyages

    ATLIT, Israel, May 26 (JTA) — For as long as they can remember, Max and Leah Meltzer have been hearing their grandfather recount stories of how he helped smuggle Jewish Holocaust victims into pre-state Israel. But this week, during the 50th anniversary reunion of the North Americans who participated in Aliyah Bet — the Hebrew…

  • 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…

  • Labor legislator’s bill backs Orthodox religious councils

    JERUSALEM, Dec. 8 (JTA) — Labor Knesset member Avi Yehezkel has introduced a bill that would require all members of the country’s religious councils to declare that they are Orthodox. The bill, which last week passed its first of three required Knesset readings in a vote of 22-5, apparently came as a shock to many…

  • 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…

  • 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…