‘State’ of Confusion Will Vatican’s Palestine reference impact Jewish-Catholic ties?

Pope Francis greets Palestinian 
Authority President Mahmoud 
Abbas as the pope leaves St. Peter’s 
Square at the end of a canonization 
ceremony in Vatican City last month.

WASHINGTON — When considering the Vatican’s creep toward recognition of Palestinian statehood, think “Israel-Vatican” and not “Jewish-Catholic,” say Jewish officials involved in dialogue with the church. A May 13 announcement on an agreement regarding the functioning of the church in areas under Palestinian control raised eyebrows in its reference to the “State of Palestine.” The… Read More

At Home in the Lab

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BEERSHEVA, Israel — In sync with a worldwide momentum to attract more women to STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — for their study and career choices, Israel’s Council for Higher Education (CHE) is spearheading a concerted nationwide effort to attract and retain more women into academia in those fields. The results from… Read More

Joining Together

Israelis in the Netherlands celebrate Purim at an event organized by the Dutch Israeli scouts movement Hatsofim. 
(Courtesy of Hatsofim)

Whenever he would fly from his native Israel back home to the Netherlands, Serge Lypcyz would bring a heavy load of Hebrew-language books with him. Lypcyz and his Israeli friends in Amsterdam depended on such shipments — not only for reading material in their native language, but also to feel connected to their country of… Read More

A Real Concern

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with foreign ministers in Lausanne, Switzerland, during negotiations with Iranian leaders about the future of their nuclear program. (State Department photo/SIPA/Newscom)

Israeli politicians and American Jewish organizations were nearly unanimous this week in voicing concern and skepticism about the framework nuclear agreement reached between a U.S.-led coalition of six nations and Iran last Thursday. The deal, they say, does not go far enough to prevent the threat of a nuclear-armed Tehran in the near future. Shortly… Read More

Did They or Didn’t They? Allegations of Israeli spying put cloud over Iran deadline

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) sits with President Barack Obama during a meeting in the Oval Office in March 2014. (Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

Experts on intelligence matters in the United States are brushing off last week’s allegations from anonymous Obama administration sources alleging Israeli espionage concerning the multilateral nuclear negotiations. Scholars such as Michael Makovsky at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) dismissed the allegations, first published in The Wall Street Journal, and accusations that Israel… Read More

Should They Stay or Should They Go? Aliyah debate exposes French Jewry’s internal fault lines

PARIS — A burst of applause greeted Holocaust survivor Marek Halter and his close friend, Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, as they entered the Synagogue de la Victoire together in January. Halter, a celebrated author and friend of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, is known for his outreach to moderate Muslims, and his appearance with Chalghoumi at… Read More

Wake-Up Call For Russia’s Jews, Nemtsov murder is reminder of their vulnerability

Thousands of demonstrators in Moscow protest the murder of Boris Nemtsov.
(Alexander Aksakov/Getty Images)

During the past two years, Dima Zicer has skipped several political rallies opposing the chauvinistic policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin. A Jewish scholar of education from St. Petersburg, Zicer, 55, has limited hope for change in a country that is ranked 148th in the Press Freedom Index and where several of Putin’s critics have… Read More

Children ‘Had Faces of Angels’

An Orthodox Jew stands near 
the burial plots for seven children from the Sassoon family before their burial in Jerusalem on March 23. The seven children died early on Saturday when flames ripped through their Brooklyn home in one of New York City’s deadliest fires in years, officials said. Police identified the children who died as Yaakob Sassoon, 5, Sara, 6, Moshe, 8, Yeshua, 10, Rivkah, 11, David, 12, and Eliane, 16. (BAZ RATNER/REUTERS/Newscom)

The Brooklyn father who lost seven of his eight children in a home fire called his kids “a sacrifice” to the community. Gabriel Sassoon sobbed as he tried to recite the names of his late children during a eulogy Sunday at a Jewish funeral home in the heavily Orthodox Borough Park section of Brooklyn, the… Read More