‘New Reality’

041114_french-jews-sm

Even among those who anticipated it, the intensity of anti-Semitic violence that hit France in 2002 was shocking. That year — the height of the second Palestinian intifada — synagogues and schools were torched, previously rare anti-Semitic beatings occurred in Paris and elsewhere, and a new generation of Jews were introduced to dangers their grandparents… Read More

Alan Gross goes on hunger strike

041114_world-briefs-sm

American-Jewish contractor Alan Gross has launched a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment in a Cuban jail and the lack of American assistance. “I began a fast on April 3 in protest of the treatment to which I am subjected by the governments of Cuba and the United States,” Gross said in a statement issued… Read More

MIDC Salutes Poliakoff

041114_MIDC-sm

Abba David Poliakoff has a catch phrase about the Maryland/Israel Development Center that he’s practically known for. “The mission of the MIDC is to facilitate the soft landing of the Israeli company in the U.S. through Maryland,” he said. “And we implement this mission by utilizing what we call our ‘instant infrastructure.’” Poliakoff, 62, is… Read More

French Jewish group fined for defamation

France’s largest Jewish organization defamed a pro-Palestinian charity by accusing it of financing Hamas, a French court ruled. The ruling against the CRIF umbrella group handed down by the Nancy Court of Cassation last month was first reported Sunday by the news site al-kanz.org. CRIF staff were ordered to pay the equivalent of $4,140 to… Read More

Is UNRWA an Obstacle to Peace?

041114_unrwa-sm

As the breakdown of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process grabs the latest headlines, a growing group of organizations are calling attention to what they believes to be a major obstacle in fostering understanding between Israelis and Palestinians: the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). David Bedein, bureau chief… Read More

America’s Other Pastime

040414_mah-jongg-lg

For years, the clicking of the colorful tiles taunted Donna Beth Joy Shapiro. She wanted to learn the game, but she couldn’t find anyone to teach her. “It was the most mysterious thing my mother did,” said Shapiro of her mother’s regular mah jongg games. Finally, Shapiro attended an instructional event hosted by the Jewish… Read More

Mock Evictions Spark University’s Ire

040414_northeastern-sm

American universities have long been a place of political engagement, where rhetoric far from the sphere of mainstream political discourse is often the norm. But the recent suspension of a pro-Palestine student group has thrust Boston’s Northeastern University into a national debate on what constitutes free speech and what crosses into anti-Semitism and intimidation. The… Read More

What Happens in Vegas

040414_sheldon-primary-sm

LAS VEGAS — The GOP Jewish faithful descended in force on Sin City, turning out in record numbers and striking a feisty, combative tone at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual conference. According to organizers, some 400 people attended the gathering, where they were feted with poker and golf tournaments and wooed by presidential hopefuls. “In… Read More

Striving for Unity

040414_bhc-interfaith-sm

From the moment he took the microphone at the 54th annual Interfaith Institute at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, it was clear that keynote speaker Rev. Andrew Foster Connors, senior pastor of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, meant business. This year’s topic was “When There is No Vision, Community Will Perish.” Connor began by referencing BHC’s… Read More

Searching for Community

The night Gidon Feen came out as gay at his Orthodox high school after-graduation party, he said he could feel his stomach boiling. While he had come out to his close friends in 11th grade, this was his entire high school. “Oh, by the way, I’m gay and I’m coming out tonight,” he said. And… Read More