The Palestine National Orchestra performed for the first time in the Palestinian Authority and in Israel. The orchestra made its debut in Ramallah, and then performed in eastern Jerusalem over the weekend and in Haifa on Sunday night. "Today an orchestra, tomorrow a state," Suhail Khoury, director of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, wrote in the program, according to the French news agency AFP.
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Israeli and Palestinian ambulance services signed an agreement they hope will ease Israel's accession to the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.
National, International, World briefs, news. The Reform movement passed a resolution criticizing the handling of the Iraq war and seeking a partial troop withdrawal.
Youngsters across the Southland and beyond banded together April 17 to participate in J-Serve 2005, the first-ever national day of service for Jewish teens. J-Serve, designed to correspond with Youth Service America's National Youth Service Day, offers Jewish teens a way to get involved in tikkun olam projects in their local communities.
El Al, Israel's national airline, is the only airline that keeps kosher, observes Shabbat and even gives out doughnuts on Chanukah, but recently it has been doing other mitzvot as well.
Local and national Jewish organizations have mobilized to help tsunami victims and invite the community to participate, as well.
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Imagine a reality television show featuring scantily clad women and nice Jewish boys, a cross between "elimiDATE" and "The Man Show." "Nice Jewish Boyz" would aim to smash the myth of the overmothered Jewish male. It would be racy.
Letters from Jewish summer camps have not changed much since 1963, when Allan Sherman recorded the classic song, "Hello Muddah! Hello Faddah!" Kids still write about what they had for lunch, what their cabin is like and their bunkmates. Though a national Web site allows one-way e-mails from parents to kids, Jewish summer camps still expect campers to write their folks the old-fashioned way -- with pen, paper, stamps and envelopes.
Amid the troubling statistics of the 2000 National Jewish Population Survey, there is one genuinely positive trend. The percentage of children in Jewish day schools is the highest it's ever been. Twenty-nine percent of Jewish children today have attended a day school at some point.
Many Jewish parents have recognized that a day school education can give their kids the strong identity and sense of rootedness that they need to navigate an increasingly complex world.
Jewish voters are an important constituency in national elections, concentrated in such electoral vote-rich states as California, New York, Florida and Illinois. However, they are even more important in the struggle for the Democratic presidential nomination, comprising an important share of the vote in key Democratic primaries. For Jewish Democrats, the 2004 nomination race is providing some very difficult choices.
There is something about baseball, war and commanders-in-chief that eternally binds us to our national pastime. Presidents want the baseball teams to play, and the fans want to take their minds off of wars, economic problems and domestic troubles. So it's a win-win situation.
Such is baseball, where hope springs eternal. It is FDR throwing out one of his 11 first pitches on opening day during the Great Depression and later during World War II. A confident JFK in 1963 -- just six months after the Cuban Missile Crisis and seven months before his assassination -- is seen smiling in a famous photo tossing out the first pitch in Washington.
No matter how intense world affairs are, there is something comforting and consistent about baseball, and it even gives the president a moment of relief from pressing issues.
As Russia celebratesthe 500th year of its unofficial national beverage, Yevreskaya Vodka -- or Jewish Vodka -- is succeeding with Russians by emphasizing Jewish religion and culture. Yevreskaya sells in Moscow at about $2 for a pint -- a medium-priced vodka by local standards. The Urozhai distillery, located in a village five miles outside of Moscow, first put Yevreskaya on the market six years ago.
t may be the worst of times for Christian right groups -- which could be good news for Jewish leaders.