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In Other Jewish Newspapers: Methodist Madness, Ahmadinejad’s Rabbinic Embrace, Summer Camp Confessions

By Daniel Treiman

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Et tu, United Methodists of New England? Boston’s Jewish Advocate reports on the latest group of mainline Protestants to jump on the divest-from-Israel bandwagon.


The Connecticut Jewish Ledger remembers Pfc Daniel Agami of Parkland, Fla., as part of its series on Jewish soldiers killed in Iraq. May his memory be a blessing.


The New York Jewish Week profiles a Brooklyn-born ultra-Orthodox rabbi who warmly embraced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and is now getting a cold shoulder from his fellow Jews.

Also, in the Jewish Week: Magen David Adom wants you to visit Israel — and don’t forget bring your blood. Israel correspondent Joshua Mitnick tracks down some Palestinian clerics who are mounting a religious challenge to Hamas.


Jews for Jesus recently faced off against the Washington D.C. JCRC. The result of this battle royal? “They came, they saw, they passed out fliers.” That’s the verdict from the sardonic headline-writer at the Washington Jewish Week.


The Atlanta Jewish Times reports: “Jewish Atlanta has some 9,700 youths ages 12 to 17, and fewer than 1,200 participate in post-b’nai mitzvah Jewish activities such as youth groups and summer camps. Many of those teens never received any formal Jewish education: Two-thirds of youngsters in interfaith families get no Jewish education, and two-thirds of Jewish Atlantans married since 1990 are in interfaith families, according to the centennial population study of Jewish Atlanta last year.” To improve these stats, the local federation is restructuring its teen outreach efforts, using a fresh moniker: Tribe Three-Sixty.


With an aging and shrinking local Jewish community, The Detroit Jewish News’s Arthur Horwitz writes that area Jews need an “attitude adjustment” and should start stressing the area’s virtues: “Folks, let’s start by changing the conversation from ‘CAN’T DO’ to ‘CAN DO.’”


San Francisco’s J. visits with Elsie Rich, a Vienna-born Santa Rosa resident who is being honored by her local synagogue as she turns 106. “I go day-by-day. At my age, anything might happen,” she tells J. “But they wanted to throw me a party, so I’ll be there.”


Former summer camp pranksters recount their exploits for the L.A. Jewish Journal. “Camp is a place of freedom, where everything is measured against fun. Is it fun? Are we having a good time? Pranks are a part of that,” former camp counselor Rabbi Paul Kipnes tells the Journal. Kipnes recalls one incident in which his young charges placed his things on his bunk floor surrounded by wall-to-wall cups filled with toilet water. The young pranksters grew up to be Reform rabbis.


The Australian Jewish News marks the 10th anniversary of the collapse of a footbridge over Tel Aviv’s polluted Yarkon River, a tragedy that resulted in the deaths of four Australian athletes who were in Israel to participate Maccabiah Games.


Israeli soccer is the latest target of British boycott proponents, London’s Jewish Chronicle reports. But anti-Israel boycotters have also faced some setbacks, the JC notes: “BBC staff spearheaded a rank-and-file rebellion which forced the National Union of Journalists to abandon its boycott of Israeli goods approved at its delegates’ conference in April. Leaders of lecturers’ union UCU expressed disquiet over a vote backing consideration of an academic boycott, while a poll of UCU members overwhelmingly supported a ballot on the issue.”


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