Wednesday, September 28, 2011

L'Shana Tova

May the New Year bring Shalom to all.

 L'Shana Tova

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Talking Points

After the Arab Spring, a summer of Israeli protests, and the Palestinian bid for statehood, what will rabbis say in their High Holiday sermons?

Abigail Miller/Tablet Magazine
Israel and the Palestinian bid for statehood have dominated this week’s news, and whatever happens at the United Nations, Jews around the world are certain to be thinking and talking about it during the upcoming High Holidays. There were other big stories this summer, too: the Arab Spring, for one, and what some see as a rejuvenation of Israeli civil society by the tent-city protesters. Tablet Magazine asked a range of rabbis from across the country—Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox; from New York to California, Florida to Illinois—what they’re planning to tell their congregations. -- Allison Hoffman, Tablet

To read more, click here.

The Untold Story of Josh Fattal

American hiker Josh Fattal (center)
is greeted on Sept. 21, 2011 in Muscat, Oman,
after Tehran released him and Shane Bauer on bail,
months after handing them hefty jail terms.
Getty Images
By now, the whole world knows the name and face of Joshua Fattal, the 29-year-old Elkins Park native who spent 26 months in an Iranian prison before being reunited with his family last week in Oman and arriving back on U.S. soil on Sunday.

But one aspect of the story that has largely gone unreported is the fact that Fattal is Jewish  -- Bryan Schwartzman, Jewish Exponent

To read more, click here.

An App for That

RustyBrick’s shofar app for the iPhone. (Len Small/Tablet Magazine)
From an iPhone shofar to smart Siddurs, the software company founded by twins Barry and Ronnie Schwartz dominates the Jewish app market -- Stephanie Butnick|, Tablet

To read more, click here.

Spain Recognizes Israel as Jewish Homeland for First Time

Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez meeting with President Shimon Peres, Jerusalem, February 8, 2011.
Photo by: AP
FM Jimenez's UN speech is particularly dramatic since Spain is considered a leading EU country to support Palestinian rights.

Spain’s Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez presented a new policy for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on Saturday, declaring Israel as the homeland of the Jews for the first time and saying that the issue of Palestinian refugees should be solved in such a way that it does not compromise Israel’s current demographic makeup of a Jewish majority.  -- Barak Ravid, Haaretz

To read more, click here.

Love Story

An illustration from The Brisket Book. (Happy Menocal)
Some food will improve your meal; brisket improves your life. In time for the holidays, a book looks at the most beloved of Jewish delicacies. -- Stephanie Pierson, The Tablet

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ADL Urges Vatican to Ensure Anti-Jewish Sect Accepts Teachings of Vatican II Before They Are Welcomed Back

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urges the Vatican to ensure that a breakaway Catholic sect which teaches anti-Judaism will be required to accept the church's official positive teachings about Jews and Judaism before they are fully accepted back into the Roman Catholic Church.   --  ADL

To read more, click here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Durban III Conference Held amid Counter Events

Pro-Israel protestors outside UN building in New York (Photo: AFP)

As in previous years, Israel, the US and 11 Western countries did not take part in protest of event's focus on Israel instead of on other global hotspots where racism is present

To read more, click here.

French Muslim Woman Flouts Veil Ban, Announces Presidential Bid

Kenza Drider, a French Muslim wearing a niqab
despite a nationwide ban on the Islamic face veil,
announcing she wants to run
for French presidency in 2012,
in Meaux, Sept. 22, 2011.
Photo by: Reuters
French woman who wears an Islamic face veil - flouting a nationwide ban - announced Thursday she wants to run for president in next year's elections.

Also Thursday, a French court fined two women who have refused to remove their veils. All three women are part of a growing attack on the law that has banned the garments from the streets of France since April and prompted similar moves toward a ban in other European countries.  -- The Associated Press and DPA via Haaretz

To read more, click here.

Op Ed: Delayed Win for Saudi Women

Let’s not praise King Abdullah as a freedom-loving democrat just yet—he’s finally giving Saudi women the right to vote, but not until 2015, and he’s still not letting women drive, says David Keyes.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia delivers a speech
to the Saudi Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 25, 2011.
AP Photo
Saudi women awoke Sunday to a long-awaited and welcome surprise announcement from King Abdullah: women will be permitted to vote and run in future municipal elections. Although the municipal council has little influence and only half of its members are elected—the other half are appointed—there can be no doubt that this is good news and a step in the right direction. -- David Keyes, Daily Beast

To read more, click here.

September 1861 Observance of the Jewish New Year in Washington

Michael M. Allen (AJA)

When the Civil War began, the Jewish population of Washington numbered only about 200 to 300 individuals.  However, their numbers increased as soldiers and civilians flocked to the wartime capital -- Steven Berkowitz, Civil War Washington, D.C.

To read more, click here.

Israel to Focus on Desalination to Deal with Water Woes

The Hadera desalination plant. Controlled by IDE.
Photo by: Eyal Toueg

Plan proposes creation of desalination plants on offshore man-made islands because of the difficulty in finding land for building such plants on beaches. -- Zafrir Rinat

To read more, click here

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Where Women Are Winning

In its latest issue, Newsweek’s rankings reveal where women are leaving their mark—and where the gains are slow to come.

To view the rankings and the various stories about women all over the world, click here.