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  • New Cal President Keeps Kosher, Loves Israel

    The new president of the University of California’s 10 campuses and 220,000 students keeps a kosher home, lectures on Maimonides for intellectual stimulation and is an unabashed Israel supporter. “I am what I am,” Mark Yudof says. “What I’ve found works best for me is transparency, being direct and being honest.” As he takes the… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The UJA-Federation of New York will spend $1.5 million over three years on programs for young Israeli children and parents at risk. The program is part of an initiative being launched this week to improve literacy and school readiness in Israel for children from birth to 3 years old. It is geared to needy populations… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning a gun-control law is being criticized by several Jewish groups. In a 5-4 decision announced Thursday, the court struck down the District of Columbia’s ban on owning handguns for self-defense, which was the strictest gun-control law in the country. Several organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee,… More ▸

  • JTA Earns Four Awards from Jewish Press Group

    JTA garnered three first-place awards from the American Jewish Press Association at its annual meeting this week in Washington, including in the investigative reporting category for the fifth straight year. JTA, which won a total of four 2007 Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism, also took top honors in the photography category and… More ▸

  • Israelis Are Learning to Give with Help from Philanthropy Experts

    It’s standing room only at a workshop for Israelis on how to set up a family foundation. Well-heeled participants listen attentively as an American consultant to foundations such as the family foundations of Bill Gates and the descendants of Levi Strauss offer tips. “What difference do you want to make in the community?” asks Virginia… More ▸

  • Finding Judaism in the Great Outdoors: Two New Guidebooks Show How

    There were about two dozen people on Rabbi Mike Comins’ Torah Trek in Tilden Park here. Most members and friends of Chochmat HaLev, a Jewish Renewal-style community, had hiked a lot. Many had prayed or meditated. Some had done both together. But none, the hikers were to learn, had done it quite this Jewishly. Comins,… More ▸

  • Educators Learn Ways to Welcome Glbt Jews into the Community

    Let’s say you get a memo from work, a Jewish organization, instructing you to leave home any part of your identity that doesn’t conform to Jewish tradition. Sure, there’s room for interpretation. But let’s just say you’re gay. Or lesbian. Or transsexual. And you’re pretty sure you get the subtext. Then what? This was one… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Oxford, England held it first-ever Israeli cultural street fair. The main attractions in the British university town’s fair included a group of camels, belly dancers, stalls offering Israeli food and a miniature Western Wall on which visitors could place personal notes that were to be sent to the real wall in the Old City of… More ▸

  • Reform Student on Track to Become the First Black Female Rabbi

    Alysa Stanton-Ogulnick isn’t particularly interested in being a standard-bearer. She’s proud to be black, proud to be a woman and proud to be a 45-year-old single mother who raised her adopted child on her own. And when she says that next May, following her ordination as a Reform rabbi, she will become the first black… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Gershom Sizomu will become the first officially ordained rabbi of Uganda’s Abayudaya Jews. Sizomu, like his father and grandfather before him, has served as the isolated African community’s spiritual leader. After five years of study at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies of the American Jewish Universtiy in Los Angeles, he will become a Conservative… More ▸