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Weekly News Items from the Israeli Press, April 7, 2011 


JFNA in the Israeli Press
Jewish groups raise at least 2 million dollars in Japan aid

(JPost) "We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the Jewish community," chairman of JFNA Emergency C'tee says on earthquake effort.

Our brothers, ourselves

(Haaretz) Will American Jews be able to continue to support Israel if it maintains its current political, social and religious orientations? Yes - and no - it depends on whom you ask

Israeli lawmakers to study U.S. Jewish community

(Haaretz) Six Israeli lawmakers are headed to the United States this weekend for an intense study of American Jewish life amid concerns about a growing gap between American and Israeli Jews.

Column One: American Jewry’s fight

(JPost) It can only be hoped that the overwhelming majority of American Jews call and demand that all Jewish Federations stop allowing anti-Israel groups to feed from the communal trough.


Federations in the Israeli Press

Why does L.A. Jewish Federation head want everyone to be like LeBron James?

(Haaretz) It’s early January, and Jay Sanderson is talking in his corner office on the 11th floor of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ headquarters about his first year as president of Federation, explaining the versatility and passion he expects of his staff.

UJA creates hotline for New Yorkers seeking seder

(Jpost) UJA-Federation of New York’s J11 Information and Referral Center is trying to make sure that everyone in the New York Jewish community has a seder to attend this Pessah.

JFNA Partners in the Israeli Press

New gov’t food aid program kicks off amid uncertainty

(JPost) new government food aid program, aimed at improving the distribution of food donations and regulating the nonprofit sector that provides the food, got off to an uneasy start this week, with the NGOs involved still unsure where the bulk of funding will come from or exactly what the program’s goals are, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Welfare and Social Issues

All Holocaust aid groups to convene for first time

(Haaretz) All the organizations dealing with Holocaust survivors in Israel will convene later this month for the first time in a bid to cooperate and coordinate their activities.

'Reality is changing'

(Haaretz) Although the Katsav trial elicited some shocking support in Orthodox circles for the ex-president - even after his conviction - overall, the case has increased awareness and discussion of sexual abuse among religious women

Pessah food package requests double over last year

(JPost) Requests from charities around the country for food aid packages to help feed the country’s growing needy population have nearly doubled this year compared to last year, Israel’s largest food bank, Leket, reported Monday.

All survivors' medicines to be subsidized

(YNet News) Knesset's Finance Committee decides to cancel discrimination against group of 15,000 Holocaust survivors receiving pension from Germany, therefore not entitled to help in purchasing medications

Panel: Should Holocaust funds only go to survivors?

(JPost) Should Holocaust restitution money be used exclusively to help elderly survivors, the youngest of whom are in their late 70s and 80s, or should some of it go toward remembering the dead?


Safed’s new medical school ‘will change North’

(JPost) Project will create thousands of jobs, says Negev and Galilee Development Minister Silvan Shalom.


Social Activism

Turning personal tragedy into a call to action

(Haaretz) Widower of cancer victim devotes himself to establish project helping English-speaking immigrants navigate Israeli health care system.

'Do Touch': World’s first deaf-blind acting group in Jaffa

(JPost) "Nalaga’at” Center composed of 11 actors; "We ask people who come to our center to communicate, to touch,” says group development manager.


Jewish World

Confessions of a Jewish infant genital mutilator

(Haaretz) San Francisco moves to introduce a ban on male genital mutilation, making it illegal to remove the foreskin of a boy under the age of 18 on the pain of a $1,000 fine and a year’s imprisonment

European Jews seek help in anti-shechita law

(JPost) The Dutch parliament is set to debate a bill prohibiting the slaughter of animals in the Netherlands that have not been stunned.

Jewish nationalism is top priority for Israeli youth

(JPost) Jewish nationalism – and not democracy – emerged as the most important objective for Israel’s youth in 2010, according to research featured in a new book by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, published last week.

The struggle for the soul of religious Zionism

(JPost) What role does messianism play in the worldview of religious Zionists in Israel compared to those we refer to as modern Orthodox in America?


Israel Advocacy/Relations

Israel heads up Autism Awareness UN events

(JPost) Day will culminate in the screening of 2 episodes of the Israeli series Yellow Peppers, a show that raised autism awareness in Israel for its treatment of a child with autism in the Arava.


Science, Technology and Economic Development

NIS 100M to boost India, China ties

(YNet News) The Treasury and Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry are launching a plan aimed at strengthening Israel's trade relations with India and China.


Special for Passover

Non-traditional items showing up on Seder plates

(JPost) Fruits, vegetables representing a variety of causes from solidarity with oppressed Jews to welcoming the intermarried seen on Passover. 

Rabbis endorse ‘educational’ initiative on Pessah sacrifice

(JPost) An initiative to raise the awareness of the centrality of the Pessah sacrifice is gaining momentum, after central rabbis from major streams have endorsed the educational effort.

Western Wall notes removed to make room for new in annual clean

(Haaretz) Western Wall workers remove thousands of notes left by visitors in the cracks of the wall using wooden sticks dipped in the mikveh, or ritual bath; they will then be taken for burial.


Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

Yediot Ahronot argues, "In the beginning there was denial.  The establishment refused to recognize the existence of the Goldstone commission, refused to cooperate with it, refused to offer it information, and refused to investigate the serious occurrences which it indicated.  Then came the mudslinging.  The commission is biased against Israel.  Goldstone is anti-Semitic, a Jew who hates his own people.  Human rights organizations that cooperated with him are Hamas advocates.  Then afterwards came the price, the damage of denial."


Ma'ariv cautions against focusing too much on issues such as funding for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's travels or the watches that Defense Minister Ehud Barak purchased while overseas and avers that, "While the investigations need not be stopped, a sense of proportions is important mainly because otherwise truly important matters are overlooked."


Yisrael Hayom refers to the recent elimination of a reported senior Hamas terrorist near Port Sudan and suggests that, "The strident tones out of Khartoum over the past two days indicate considerable anxiety, testimony that a high-profile target was hit." The author asserts that, "Sudan is the wild west, a paradise for smugglers and terrorists," and speculates that, "The Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which has paid a lot of money to be able to operate freely in Sudan, was looking for a new smuggling route," which the recent elimination was designed to help close.  The paper cautions that, "Iran is determined to continue fighting," and sending weapons to Gaza and Lebanon, and says that since Israel cannot stop Iran on its own, "What is required is wide-ranging international action, that is not happening."