Judaism

The Omaha Center for Torah Learning

July 24, 1999

Source: Omaha World-Herald

On July 24, 1999, the Omaha World-Herald reported that the Omaha Center for Torah Learning, a privately funded educational institution that is part of the Kollel Torah MiTzion group, will open on September 1st in Nebraska. Kollel Torah MiTzion is a Jerusalem-based initiative that helps Jews outside of Israel to create learning centers and recruit faculty. The first programs were established in 1994 in Cleveland, Ohio and Cape Town, South Africa. Now there are 22 programs in 8 countries, including 12 in the United States. Along...

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Los Angeles Muslims and Jews Try to Move Beyond Conflict

July 23, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 23, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the efforts of Los Angeles Muslims and Jews to renew efforts to create a code of ethics for civilizing Muslim-Jewish relations. In the wake of the national controversy over the appointment of Salam Al-Marayati to a national counter-terrorism commission, the two sides are trying to salvage public relations. Mather Hathout, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Southern California, stated: "We have got to learn how to disagree-with respect and civility and a touch of...

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Lubavitch Rabbis Offering Classes in Seattle, Washington

July 21, 1999

Source: The Seattle Times

On July 21, 1999, The Seattle Times reported that two Brooklyn, NY-based rabbis from Project Talmud, the Lubavitch World program, will spend three weeks in Bellevue, Washington offering free classes for individuals and groups in the beliefs and practices of Judaism from August 1 through August 20 at the Eastside Torah Center. Project Talmud is being held in more than 100 cities in the United States and Canada.

Suspects in Synagogue Arsons and Murders Connected to "Christian Identity"

July 19, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 19, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the anti-Semitic faith of the two suspects under investigation for the three synagogue fires in Sacramento and the murder of a gay couple in Redding, California. The two suspects, brothers Benjamin Matthew Williams and James Tyler Williams, are said to belong to a sect called Christian Identity, which considers Jews and people of color subhuman, and views abortion and homosexuality as unpardonable sins. Christian Identity, which experts believe has as many as 50,000...

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New Book on Messianic Jews

July 17, 1999

Source: The Boston Globe

On July 17, 1999, The Boston Globe published an article that looks at a new book by Rabbi Carol Harris-Shapiro, a professor of religion at Temple University, entitled, Messianic Judaism: A Rabbi's Journey through Religious Change in America. Harris-Shapiro addresses the Jews for Jesus movement, which is controversial for many American Jews. "I think they were upset that someone was taking a serious look at the Jews for Jesus and not saying that they are a terrible, brainwashing cult. They are people whose claims we may...

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Columbus, Ohio Synagogues Reach Out to Educate Jews

July 16, 1999

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On July 16, 1999, The Columbus Dispatch published an article on the efforts of Columbus synagogues to educate Jews about Jewish faith and practice. Congregation Tifereth Israel runs an adult education program called Midreshet Israel, which has four components: a Jewish Life Workshop series, academic classes taught by Ohio State University professors, small study circles held in peoples' homes, and Havurot, which are get-togethers where people share Jewish experiences. The Congregation also runs Minyan Chadash, which has been...

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Appointment of Salam Al-Marayati to Counter-Terrorism Commission Withdrawn

July 9, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 9, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that House Democratic leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-MO.) withdrew the nomination of Salam Al-Marayati to a congressional commission on counter-terrorism. Gephardt claimed that Al-Marayati would not be able to gain security clearance in time for him to join the commission. Gephardt has been under fire from Jewish organizations ever since he made the appointment. Morton A. Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, accused Al-Marayati of excusing terrorist attacks against...

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Appointment of Muslim to National Counter-Terrorism Commission Creates a Stir

July 5, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 5, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that the appointment of Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, by House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt to a national counter-terrorism commission has come under attack by major Jewish organizations. Muslim Americans hail the appointment as a "sign that Washington is finally giving them a voice in policymaking." Al-Marayati looks forward to the position: "I hope to broaden the discussion on terrorism by looking at its root...

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Lubavitch Center Opens in Washington, D.C.

July 3, 1999

Source: The Washington Post

On July 3, 1999, The Washington Post reported that the American Friends of Lubavitch has opened a $2 million center in Washington's embassy district. The 10,000-square-foot building houses an Orthodox synagogue, a large meeting room, and a library with more than 2,000 books on Chabad Lubavitch and Jewish mysticism that will be open to the public. The new center also draws attention to its director, Levi Shemtov, who is considered by many to be the "unofficial rabbi of Capitol Hill." Chabad Lubavitch has about 250,000 followers...

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Appointment of Muslim to National Counter-Terrorism Commission Creates a Stir

July 2, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 2, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article by Laila and Salam Al-Marayati on the attempts of Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) to disturb Jewish-Muslim relations and block appointments to federal commissions. The Al-Marayatis call for moderation and dialogue to help foster a "viable and mature Jewish-Muslim relationship." "Our major concern is not with promoting any particular foreign group but with enriching the democratic process of debate in America. Our approach is to educate American policymakers and...

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Aish Hatorah

June 26, 1999

Source: The Boston Globe

On June 26, 1999, The Boston Globe published an article on the success of Aish Hatorah, an educational program aimed at Jews between the ages of 25 and 40 that offers seminars on everything from ethics to dating. In the Boston area, Aish Hatorah opened a center in Brookline's Coolidge Corner four months ago, with more than 2,500 people walking through its doors and more than 2,700 people on its the mailing list. Aish Hatorah operates in more than 100 cities on five continents and has been at the center of a resurgence in Jewish...

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Synagogue Arson in California

June 23, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On June 23, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that over 100 federal, state, and local investigators have recovered a great deal of "high-quality evidence" from the three synagogue fires that took place in Sacramento, California on the early morning of June 18th. James Maddock, the FBI special agent in charge of the investigation in Sacramento, stated: "Some of the leads appear very promising. We are all optimistic on the task force that this investigation will be done quickly and will identify those responsible and bring them to...

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Synagogue Arson in California

June 23, 1999

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On June 23, 1999, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that up to $6 million in federal loan guarantees will be available to the three burned synagogues as a result of the 1996 Church Arson Prevention Act, which helped churches in the Midwest and South that were destroyed in a string of arsons. Andrew Cuomo, secretary of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development, stated: "I would urge you to consider not just rebuilding the temples, but to expand the temples while you're at it. Let's make a clear sign that this act has not...

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Synagogue Arson in California

June 21, 1999

Source: Sacramento Bee

On June 21, 1999, the Sacramento Bee reported that several community leaders in Sacramento called for the creation of a Sacramento "museum of tolerance" at a rally held across the street from Congregation B'nai Israel. Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. and Assemblyperson Darrell Steinberg vowed to raise the resources, both publicly and privately, to construct a museum that would be similar to Los Angeles' Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Synagogue Arson in California

June 20, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On June 20, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that makeshift Shabbat services for Congregation B'nai Israel, held in Sacramento's Community Theater, attracted more than a thousand people. Some of those attending were from the Northern California United Methodist conference across the street. Rev. Faith Whitmore presented the Jewish community with $6000, which was the proceeds from a collection taken at the conference. Throughout the city, there has been an outpouring of support for the burned synagogues from public officials,...

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