SCI-FI SHABBAT: An annual science-fiction convention adds Shabbat services to its programming, the L.A. Jewish Journal reports.
JEWS AGAINST HAMSTERS: A Philadelphia alternative weekly is in hot water for putting a hamster dressed as an Orthodox Jew on the cover of its holiday issue. Critics say equating Jews with rodents has an ugly history. An editor retorts that the hamster is “super cute.” Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent has the blow-by-blow.
‘HATCHET MAN’: San Francisco’s J. profiles Rick Lemberg, knife- and ax-tossing world champion. “He can throw anything, but he doesn’t do that at home. He’s well-behaved at home,” his wife tells J.
NEWT SPEAKS: Former GOP House speaker Newt Gingrich told a Jewish National Fund audience in Atlanta that America is “sleepwalking into a nightmare.” “We are not very many mistakes away from a second Holocaust. Three nuclear weapons is a second Holocaust,” Gingrich said. The Atlanta Jewish Times was there.
PEWS THAT PAY: Declining Long Island synagogues are offering cash incentives to young people to get them to join, The New York Jewish Week reports.
SOUTHERN BELZ: The Belzer Hasidim do Dallas. Brooklyn’s Jewish Press has the story.
MESSIANIC JUDAISM BACKFIRES: Messianic Jewish congregations aim to bring Jews to Christianity. But, The Jewish News of Greater Phoenix reports, sometimes they end up bringing Christians to Judaism. “The unanticipated consequence of the Messianic movement is that some convert to Judaism,” Patricia Power, a Catholic-turned-Messianic congregant-turned-Jewish convert, tells the Jewish News. “It’s not a one-way street.”
BROTHEL BOYCHIK: A recently busted London brothel owner boasts to London’s Jewish Chronicle that prostitutes wanted to work for him because he’s Jewish. “They just wanted a safe place where they could earn money and they thought I could provide that,” he tells the paper.
Also in the J.C.: London has a Jewish Santa Claus; a woman searching on Amazon for a book by a far-left Israeli historian found the site also recommending “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”; with a controversy simmering over dismissive e-mails about Israel from members of Prince Charles’s staff, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth is considering visiting the Jewish state.
HOWARD OUT: With Prime Minister John Howard’s electoral defeat, The Australian Jewish News asks: “has Australia lost its best Israel friend?”