Who Jew

  • Jewish Agency Adopts Conversion Resolutions

    The Jewish Agency Assembly adopted resolutions calling on the Israeli government to establish an independent authority on Jewish conversions and special courts of Jewish law to “allow the conversion process to move forward.” The twin resolutions were adopted by the world body Sunday after heated debate and a crossfire of amendments and counter-amendments. The issue… More ▸

  • Russian Immigrants Explore Their Jewishness at Limmud Event in Israel

    In the 1840s, Shmeylin Valentin’s great-great-great-grandfather was a student of the Vilna Gaon. But Valentin, the son of a staunch communist, says he grew up in Lithuania with “no Yiddish and no religion” at home, even though his grandfather had been a rabbi. Now living in Israel, Valentin is curious to know more. Last week… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A Rosh Hashanah prayer book incorporating the liturgy and customs of some Brazilian Jews has been published. The machzor created for Sephardic Jews living in northern Brazil’s Amazon region also will benefit other Portuguese-speaking Sephardic communities as well as the Bnai Anousim, those whose ancestors were compelled to convert to Catholicism at the time of… More ▸

  • Israel’s U.S. Envoy: Peace Talks with Lebanon Possible Next Year

    Comprehensive peace has never been closer for Israel, and within a year Israel could be holding peace talks with Lebanon, Israel’s U.S. ambassador told JTA. Sallai Meridor noted that talks with the Palestinians are continuing despite the political upheaval in Israel, and said a third track could be in place within a year. “I don’t… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The Jewish Agency has agreed to an official collaboration on North American aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh. The organizations announced Sunday that under an agreement signed a week ago, Nefesh B’Nefesh will have primary responsibility for marketing and promotion, while the Jewish Agency will remain responsible for determining aliyah eligibility with other authorities in Israel and… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Jews from four European countries whose ancestors were forced to convert are visiting Israel. The 16 Bnai Anousim, historically called Marranos, are in the Jewish state under the auspices of the Shavei Israel organization to renew their ties to the Jewish people and to Israel. They come from Spain, Portugal, Italy and France. In addition… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Hundreds of Ethiopian immigrants rallied in Jerusalem to demand that more Falash Mura be brought to Israel. An estimated 1,000 protestors gathered outside the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday to call on the government to keep bringing in the Falash Mura — descendents of Ethiopian Jews who say they were forced, over the centuries, to… More ▸

  • Aliyah from Ethiopia Must Continue

    The cold, rainy season in northwestern Ethiopia is at its peak, adding to the misery of thousands of Jews who recently have learned that Israel intends to abandon them in Ethiopia and that funds essential to their survival have run out. When the rains stop and malaria mosquitoes breed in the puddles, some of the… More ▸

  • Bringing Falash Mura Impugns the Real Ethiopian Jews

    The 125,000 Ethiopians who live in Israel immigrated here in dribs and drabs. When Ethiopians first started coming to Israel in the 1970s, some members of Israel’s political elite referred to us as “temporary migrant workers.” Things began to change only during the waves of aliyah in the 1980s, under Menachem Begin’s Likud government. The… More ▸

  • Questions Raised About Actions of Some New Israel Fund Grantees

    In October 2003, on the eve of a JTA series about its financial support for vitriolic pro-Palestinian groups, the Ford Foundation announced a landmark $20 million grant to a Jewish group. Not just any Jewish group: the New Israel Fund, an organization dedicated to social change in Israel, yet criticized by some for funding groups… More ▸