Newsletter Issue # 35 – June 20, 2012

New York City health officials proposed that Orthodox Jewish parents must sign a consent waiver before they can take part in a circumcision ritual. Introduced at a Board of Health meeting, the proposal represents an escalation of the city’s efforts to curtail the ancient Jewish procedure of metzitzah b’peh.

London is all ready to host the UK’s first-ever Israeli film festival with a celebration of work that celebrates the contribution of Israeli film and television has made and the diversity of its projects. The London Israeli Film & Television Festival, is the brainchild of Odelia Haroush, Anat Koren, and Patty Hochmann.

Dozens of 20- and 30-year-olds are trundling into the lobby of Jerusalem’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. Some brought rugsacks with sneakers dangling down. Some are pulling Tumi designer rolling bags. Some have tzitzit hanging out or kippot on their heads. Others are in skimpy summer dresses. All of them, says philanthropist Lynn Schusterman, under whose auspices they have gathered here, are future Jewish leaders.

A fast was called in support of the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El. Supporters are fasting in a mini Yom Kippur in hopes of changing the decree. The neighborhood is set to be demolished within two weeks. Residents of the neighborhood and supporters will gather for a special prayer service to beseech Heaven for divine mercy.

Yes. Hebrew National Hot Dogs have been kosher since 1905. But we know lots of more-kosher-than-thou types who don’t partake. Those are the Jewish folk who answer to an even higher authority than Hebrew National.

No, Mormons are not Jews, they are not Christians either. The Times has an op-ed by David V. Mason, saying that he is a Mormon, Not a Christian. A genuine a Mormon as you’ll find, a templegoer with a Utah pedigree and an administrative position in a congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Parshat Shelach tells the story of the spies who were sent to spy out the land of Israel. Although Yehoshua and Kalev remained faithful to Hashem, the rest of the group did not, and the mission ended with disastrous results. Yehoshua took over leadership of the nation after Moshe’s death still he sent spies. This seems perplexing. You would think he would have learned his lesson from what happened.

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