Do the words "innovative" and "Jewish groups" seem like oxymorons? Not to the publishers of "Slingshot," a new guidebook to the "50 most innovative Jewish groups in North America," published by a division of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies.
A wave of recent gatherings has tackled the existential questions facing world Jewry, and many are aimed at or driven by new actors. The slew of new forums focusing on the future of the Jewish people reveals a certain angst about today's challenges and raises questions about how much faith Jews have in existing institutions to address those challenges.
As the United Nations prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its founding in San Francisco, the occasion is bittersweet for Jewish observers.
It was the United Nations that sanctioned the State of Israel's birth in 1948, but it gave the Jewish state the status of an ugly stepchild -- constantly singling out Israel for condemnation and excluding Israel, alone among U.N. member states, from full membership in the regional groupings that apportion key positions at the world body.
That said, Israel recently has made strides at the United Nations.
When it comes to helping victims of the Southeast Asian tsunami, the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is taking the adage, "teach a man how to fish," quite literally.
As part of its long-term relief efforts for victims of the Dec. 26 tragedy, the group is working with its partner organizations in the region, including the Sanghamitra Service Society in Andhra Pradesh, India, which helps local fishing communities with sustainable development and disaster preparedness. The philosophy behind the group's post-tsunami effort is the same as that behind general AJWS operations -- long-term efforts through collaboration with groups in the region.
When it comes to action at the United Nations, Europe -- considered by many observers to be the organization's moral bellwether -- often decides the course.
That was the case again this week as the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution demanding that Israel comply with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that it must tear down its West Bank security barrier and compensate Palestinians affected by its construction.
Funders of UC Berkeley's Center for Middle Eastern Studies have links to Al-Qaeda, according to a campus Jewish newspaper.
Delight shot through the classroom of eighth-graders like a pogo stick gone wild.
The 35 students at the Heschel School on Manhattan's Upper West Side erupted Monday afternoon with giddy comments and questions about the two-week trip to Israel they were about to begin the next morning.
As the U.S. military pounds Iraq, Jewish communities in Muslim countries may become increasingly vulnerable.
Shortly after September 11, when the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles (JFGLA) renewed its insurance policy, it found that rates nearly doubled.
This year, it will be even worse, according to Jack Klein, the Federation's executive vice president and chief operating officer.