FRIENDS OR FOES?: Boston Jews are split on whether or not they should welcome the new Boston Palestine Film Festival, the Jewish advocate reports. Organizers of the festival are reaching out to area Jews. “I think Jews that want Israel to survive and Palestinians that want to be heard have a lot in common,” Salma Abu Ayyash, a festival organizer, tells the Advocate. “I’ve always been inspired on all levels to hear the ‘other side,’ and I encourage people to do that.”
REFLECTING ABSENCE: New York Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt was at last week’s protest at the U.N. against Mahmoud Ahmadinejhad. So were thousands of others — or, at least, other Orthodox Jews. And so, Rosenblatt asks: Where was the rest of the community? “Much of the crowd was made up of Jewish day school students who had been bussed in for the occasion and who seemed eager to catch up with friends they had not seen since camp this summer,” Rosenblatt writes. “Several communal officials, surveying the scene on 47th Street near Second Avenue, estimated that the large majority of those adults present were religious Zionists.”
ARNIE TIME: The Jewish Theological Seminary’s new chancellor says that “Conservative Judaism is not just some entity stuck in the middle between Reform and Orthodox.” The New Jersey Jewish News attends Arnold Eisen’s speech to a Livingston synagogue.
Also in the Jewish News: Editor Andrew Silow-Carroll analyzes the Hitler-Ahmadinejad analogy.
THE SKY IS FALLING: Is it the 1930s all over again? Some say Jews today face threats comparable to those that existed when the Nazis rose to power. Others say the two eras can’t be compared and caution against hysteria. Activist David Horowitz disagrees with both of these views: “I think Jews are in a much worse state than in the 1930s. The lies are so monstrous these days.” (Yeah, Goebbels was pretty restrained in his lies.) Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent attends an all-star right-wing panel discussion at a local shul.
‘EXTREME SUKKAH’: The Contra Costa Jewish Community Center built an “extreme sukkah.” But, despite its more than 1,000 decorations, it wasn’t extreme enough for the Guinness Book of Records. The effort to get the sukkah into the record book as the most adorned sukkah on earth was rejected by Guinness, according to San Francisco’s J.
Also in J.: The San Francisco Giants gave out bobblehead dolls of local Chabad Rabbi Yosef Langer. To make sure that a bobblehead likeness didn’t cross the line into idolatry, Langer consulted with a halachic expert. “This does not fall into the category of idolatry,” Langer informs the paper. “It’s a toy.”
LOSS FOR WORDS: L.A. Jewish Journal editor Rob Eshman writes about the Israel critics who rendered comedian Bill Maher almost speechless.
Also in the Journal: Lisa Frydman Barr says “Madonna is good for the Jews.”
BAD SPORT?: The new manager of Britain’s Chelsea football (i.e. soccer) club is an Israeli. But instead of celebrating the arrival of a new Jewish sports celebrity, some members of the British Jewish community are criticizing his links to the cultish Kabbalah Centre, London’s Jewish Chronicle reports.
‘CHALLAH SUPERSTAR’: The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle reports: “Five local bakers are still in the running to become a ‘Challah Superstar.’” Challahs were judged on “appearance — including gloss, dimension and color — flavor, texture, softness, chewiness, moistness and complexity of the recipe.”