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Jews in the News: The Latest on Conversion, Jews, Movies and More

Jewish Infighting
“Who will carry the torch for Jewish unity?” (The Jewish Chronicle)

Simon Rock asks, “How can we preserve Jewish peoplehood if we can’t agree who is a Jew?” A very good question! His article gives a good, if long-winded, look at the obstacles that currently impede Jewish unity.

“Racists, Fascists, Self-hating Jews and Other Terms of Endearment” (Chicago Daily Observer)

Jewish infighting has gone public as Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz reports that Benjamin Netanyahu called Obama advisors David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel “self-hating Jews.” Oy vey, indeed.

The Jewish Lifecycle
“Women ‘step into adulthood’ already as adults in Pocono Pines”

Proof again that you’re never too old to have a bat mitzvah!

Conversion

“Arrivals: Devorah Olam: From New York state to Ma’aleh Adumim” (Jerusalem Post)

This profile does wonders in illuminating the winding paths many converts take to reach Judaism, from falling out with spouses and relatives to moving from one denomination to the next to finding a home in Israel (the people and the country).

“Declaring bride’s conversion treif, Rishon Lezion rabbi nixes marriage” (The Jerusalem Post)

Rishon Lezion Chief Rabbi Yehuda David Wolpe strikes again. He refused to issue a marriage license for a couple living in his city because the bride’s conversion – performed under the auspices of the Orthodox Chief Rabbinate of Israel – was deemed to be unkosher.

Jews in the Middle East: Israel & Beyond
“Lebanon Jewish community rebuilds ornate synagogue” (AFP)

Can someone explain how (and why) there are still Jews in Lebanon?

“Jewish Teen on Trial in Iran” (JTA)

Well, this can’t go anywhere good. Pray.

“They may say I do but what to do when the state says, no you don’t?” (TheAge.com)

When the groom couldn’t prove he was Jewish, this Jewish couple decided to become part of a growing group of Israelis who have married in private ceremonies not recognized by the State of Israel.

Jews in Latin America
“Latin American Jews contend with spike in anti-Semitism” (The Christian Science Monitor)

Across Latin America, Jewish leaders say they are contending with a new level of anti-Semitism that heated up after Israel’s military operation in Gaza in December. Um, so I guess I’ll cross South America off my list of places to look for jobs for my husband come next summer.

“Argentineans commemorate AMIA attack” (JTA)

Argentina’s president attended the annual commemoration of the terrorist attack on the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

Jews in America
“National News” (Baltimore Jewish Times)

A news roundup: DHL is fined for shipping to Iran, Sudan and Syria. Jewish groups laud Sotomayor confirmation. U.S. Army Base goes kosher. Democrats tell Republicans to denounce Limbaugh’s Nazi remarks. Conservative rabbi in Georgia sues over kosher laws–ah, that clarifies a news bit from last week’s roundup!

“Is the turbulent health care debate bad for the Jews?” (JTA)

Um, what do Nazis have to do with healthcare? And why turbulent times are not good for minorities….

“Coming Home to Touro: Our Colonial Jewish History” (Jewish Press)

Wondering when Jews came to America? Here’s a little lesson in Jewish history for you.

Jews in Europe
“For young Europeans discovering roots, Jewishness is about culture, not religion” (JTA)

Can Jewishness be defined without religion? These young Europeans say it can.

Jews in a Disney World

“Do Disney movies promote anti-Semitism and racism?” (Haaretz)

I know you thought Disney movies were just cute and cuddly but do the stereotypes that abound in Disney movies warp the way we view people from other cultures?

“‘it’s a small world’ and the Jewish Problem” (Haaretz)

A whole different (Jewish) look on that famous Disney ride.

Jews in Music and Movies

“Oy Caramba!” (NY Post)

From “Bagels & Bongos” to “Mazel Tov, Mis Amigos,” Latin-Jewish fusion is alive and well in music and funny (not haha) titles abound!

“David N. Weiss: From Hollywood to Holywood” (Examiner.com)

Who says you can’t get religion in Hollywood? And why does this article seem to imply that a Jew who has left Judaism has to convert to come back?

Um, is anyone planning on actually SEEING this movie? Please, don’t tell me. I really don’t want to know. If you have any good sense go see “District 9” instead.
Jews in Books

“Expanding The Limits Of Home” (The Jewish Week)

In “What Else But Home: Seven Boys and an American Journey between the Projects and the Penthouse,” Michael Rosen’s seven-year-old son Ripton befriends five of boys—all black and Hispanic, from the impoverished neighborhood across the park— who became a fixture in the Rosens’ home. The boys began to see the Rosens as more than just an arcade of middle-class creature comforts; the Rosens began to learn the full stories of the boys’ fractured lives.

Jews in the Twilight Zone

And in case you missed it, in last week’s news, Roseanne Barr dressed up as Hitler but there’s no way I’m linking to that despicable Heeb Magazine spread.
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