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  • For First Time, Israeli Arab is Given Miss Israel Crown

    An Arab woman has been named Miss Israel for the first time in the nation’s history. “I am totally Israeli, and I do not think about whether I am an Arab or a Jew,” 21-year-old Rana Raslan, from Haifa, said at Tuesday’s 1999 pageant. “They wanted a beauty queen, not a political queen,” said Raslan,… More ▸

  • University Establishes Institute to Study Jewish Life in U.S. West

    The University of Southern California has announced the establishment of an Institute for the Study of Jews in American Life that will study the growing number of Jews living in the Western United States. As leaders in the arts and media, the general economy, and in professional and academic life, “Jews are significantly influencing the… More ▸

  • Around the World: Women of the Wall Takes Campaign to Israeli Street

    Borrowing a page from the Lubavitch movement, the Women of the Wall group has launched a new outreach campaign to give Israeli women a chance to wrap themselves in a tallit, the ritual shawl worn by observant men, and some women, during Jewish prayer. The organization of women in Israel, who greet each new Jewish… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A group of observant women in Jerusalem is offering women the opportunity to wrap themselves in a tallit, the ritual shawl traditionally worn by men during prayer. According to one member of Women of the Wall, the inspiration for the new strategy came directly from Chabad-Lubavitch, which offers tefillin, the ritual cases men fasten with… More ▸

  • Behind the Headlines: Religious Pluralism Battle Moves to Claims over Wall

    One of the holiest sites in Judaism has moved front and center in the battle over religious pluralism in Israel. Orthodox officials boycotted a tour Monday that was aimed at finding a site for egalitarian and women’s prayer groups to worship at the Western Wall. The tour was organized by the Ne’eman Committee, which was… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The committee charged with finding compromises to the crisis over religious pluralism in Israel is considering four possible solutions to the controversy regarding women praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The Reform and Conservative movements and a group known as Women of the Wall have reportedly agreed to a proposal under which there would… More ▸

  • Bella Abzug Remembered As ‘tikkun Olam Incarnate’

    “It is the passing of an era,” Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, said upon hearing of this week’s death of Bella Abzug, the first Jewish woman elected to Congress. She “was a spitfire,” said Forman, who worked with the Democratic lawmaker from New York when he was a staffer for… More ▸

  • Israel Sets Procedures for Converting Adoptees

    A piece of the controversy over conversions performed in Israel has likely been resolved. The Israeli government this week approved the recommendations of a committee dealing with the conversions of children adopted abroad. The committee, headed by Rabbi Haim Druckman, a former National Religious Party Knesset member, had called for the creation of special rabbinical… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Susan Weidman Schneider, the editor of the Jewish feminist magazine Lilith, was one of 30 editors of women’s magazines hosted at a White House conference. The daylong seminar, which included a briefing by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and touted “pro-women” initiatives, came against the backdrop of allegations of sexual misconduct by the president. More ▸