ALL WE ARE SAYING, IS GIVE ISRAEL A CHANCE: Some Jewish activists are complaining that the city-sponsored Cambridge Peace Commission in Harvard University’s uber-liberal hometown is biased against Israel. Boston’s Jewish Advocate has the story.
RABBINATE TUG-OF-WAR: New York Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt chats with Rabbi Benjamin Lau, a prominent religious Zionist who is challenging the Haredi dominance of Israel’s official rabbinate. “We are the Zionists and we should be the ones with the power,” Lau explains. “It’s not normal for the state to be the captive of the haredim.”
CELEBRATING IN SAVANNAH: The New York Jewish Week heads down south to Savannah, where the local Jewish community is celebrating its 275th birthday.
JEWS AND CHESS: The New Jersey Jewish Standard looks at the longstanding Jewish connection to the game of chess.
JEWS WITH GUNS: The Washington Jewish Week visits with local Jewish gun owners and finds the following: “All told, Jewish gun ownership in the Washington area appears to be a mostly male phenomenon. Interviewees said they were unaware of local women who independently own guns. The wives of gun owners declined comment.”
REFORM FOR ODESSA: The Baltimore Jewish Times reports that the local Jewish community federation is sending $50,000 to the Ukraine to help fund a Reform congregation in the Black Sea port city of Odessa.
HONORING JOE DUMARS: The Michigan region of the Anti-Defamation League recently honored the Detroit Pistons and the club’s president, former Pistons star Joe Dumars. The Detroit Jewish News reports that Dumars was on hand to pick up the award and spoke about how growing up in the South influenced the way he treats others. I wonder if the event’s emcee introduced the basketball legend as “Joe Duuuuuuuuumars,” (like in the good old days).
ELIE WIESEL TESTIFIES: Elie Wiesel, one of our most eloquent witnesses to the Holocaust, recently took the stand as a witness in the trial of a Holocaust denier who is charged with attempting to kidnap him in a San Francisco hotel. San Francisco’s J. was in the courtroom.
NEW HOPE FOR CAMP SWIG?: The collapse of a real-estate deal in which the Reform movement was to sell a beloved Northern California Jewish camp to a Methodist group has given new hope to former campers trying to save a beloved community spot. San Francisco’s J. has the story as well as an editorial expressing admiration for the “exhausted heroes” trying to keep Camp Swig Jewish.
CAPITALISM OR CRETINISM?: In an opinion article for the L.A. Jewish Journal, USC professor Marty Kaplan writes that cost-cutting L.A. Times owner Sam Zell is treating an important civic institution as if it were a bagel store. (Meanwhile, he notes, a local landlord isn’t treating a cherished area bagel store much better.)
JOAN RIVERS SPEAKS: Joan Rivers has kind words (for Rosie O’Donnell, Nicole Kidman and Howard Stern) and some less kind ones (for Russell Crowe, Tommy Lee Jones and Diane Keaton). The Canadian Jewish News speaks with a comic legend with a legendarily sharp tongue.
WINEHOUSE’S KOSHER SPREE: Amy Winehouse must have had a hankering for some Jewish soul food. The troubled songstress recently swung by a number of kosher food shops in London’s Golders Green and seemed to be in good spirits, obligingly posing for pics with fans. Britain’s Jewish Chronicle has a photo, but I found a better one. (I imagine she was having the following epiphany: “All this time, I could have been high on rugelach…”) There are more photos here.