February 7, 2008
Briefs: Sderot—the missiles keep coming; Dimona terror bomb kills one Israeli
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Zuckerman says U.S. policy toward Israel likely will change when a new president takes office next year.
"It never does stay the same -- and it is often a surprise," he said. "But it is my judgment that there are a whole variety of views of Israel.
Phone Service Stymies Sex Calls
Israel's main phone company is offering a service that blocks calls to sex lines. Bezeq announced Sunday that it has invested $500,000 in a "kosher" phone line that is unable to dial sex chat forums and other identifiable "pornographic" numbers. Leading rabbis have approved the service, which is aimed primarily at an Orthodox clientele. Bezeq once had exclusive control over Israeli telephone service but now faces competition from cable services.
ZOA Chides Hillel on Invitations
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life rejected a call to disinvite two controversial speakers from its upcoming summit.
In a letter responding to criticism from the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), Hillel Executive Director Wayne Firesetone defended the decision to invite University of Pennsylvania President Amy Guttman and UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake to its Summit on the University and the Jewish Community March 24-26 in Washington, D.C.
The ZOA in a letter last week said Drake and Guttman both were inappropriate choices for speakers since they have been "insensitive to the needs and concerns of Jewish students."
Six of the nine pages of the ZOA letter were dedicated to detailing the "anti-Semitic speakers and programs" that are "routinely sponsored at UCI, causing Jewish students to feel threatened, harassed and intimidated."
Guttman was an inappropriate choice, the ZOA said, because she posed for a photo with a student dressed as a suicide bomber at a Halloween party at her home in 2006.
Firestone conceded the photo was "in poor taste," but defended Guttman's "otherwise excellent record" of promoting Jewish life on campus. With respect to Drake, Firestone said he also was concerned with the situation at UC Irvine and had consulted with local Jewish leaders about the invitation.
"Like them, Hillel believes that a more constructive approach to Chancellor Drake is to engage him in conversation," Firestone wrote to the ZOA. "The Summit will provide such an opportunity."
Jewish Center Slated for Aspen
Construction is poised to begin on a synagogue and Jewish community center in Aspen. The Jewish Community Center-Chabad of Aspen, a 34,000-square-foot facility that will take up half a block in the city's historic downtown, is projected to cost between $16 million and $17 million.
It will be the city's first synagogue building, according to Rabbi Mendel Mintz, the head of Chabad of Aspen. Two Reform congregations in town rent space in local churches.
The building will house a religious school -- which currently serves 65 children -- a ballroom, teen game room, library, lecture hall and retreat center.
Mintz said the kosher deli and catering service will allow the JCC to host the Jewish organizations, notably federations and educational groups, that already hold conferences in Aspen.
Permits should be completed by March, he said. Construction is slated to take 18 months. Approximately 1,000 Jews live in the greater Aspen area.
Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
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