USA

LA anti-cult group criticises Cruise award

By Yoav Sivan, May 12, 2011

The executive director of an educational group on cults has criticised Simon Wiesenthal Centre for handing its highest honour, the Humanitarian Award, to actor Tom Cruise at a ceremony in Beverly Hills last week.

Mr Cruise received the award for his financial support of the centre and its Museum of Tolerance, for which the dinner alone raised $1.4 million.

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What a circus

By Yoav Sivan, May 12, 2011

A Washington courtroom settled down for a ringside seat this week at what must be one of Jewish America's most lurid family disputes.

The case is the latest chapter in a decades-old feud between two heirs of the Ringling Bros & Barnum and Bailey Circus, estimated to be worth $750 million.

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New York Satmar town is US poorest

April 28, 2011

A strictly Orthodox township in upstate New York is the poorest place in the United States, according to the Census Bureau.

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JDL was probed over rapper death threats

By Paul Berger, April 21, 2011

The Jewish Defence League (JDL) was investigated over the use of death threats to extort money from US rap stars, according to files recently released on the FBI website.

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Mega-donors plan a Jewish Al-Jazeera

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 7, 2011

A group of Jewish philanthropists is planning to create an international television news channel to counter the influence of outlets like Al-Jazeera.

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Malmo mayor accused of lies and antisemitism

By Nathalie Rothschild, March 31, 2011

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has renewed its criticism of Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu, accusing him of failing to combat antisemitism and of "echoing the conspiracy theories against Jews in the 1930s".

In October 2010, the Centre demanded that Mr Reepalu be disqualified from the World Mayor Award because of his "anti-Jewish statements".

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Jail or the Mob? Tough choice for diamond dealer

By Ellen Tumposky, March 24, 2011

A Jewish diamond dealer has begged a New York City judge to let him remain in prison rather than face retribution for testifying against a member of the Mafia.

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USA: Radio executive is caught in video 'sting'

By Yoav Sivan, March 17, 2011

As the United States debated federal funding for public broadcasting after the release of a sting video of a National Public Radio executive attacking the Tea Party movement, Jewish organisations focused on certain comments pertaining to control of the media.

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New US ambassador to Israel is Obama insider

By Ellen Tumposky, March 17, 2011

The nomination of White House adviser Daniel Shapiro as US ambassador to Israel has won praise across the spectrum from US Jewish organistions which saw Shapiro as the best man for the job-and one who has the President's ear.

Mr Shapiro, 41, will replace Bush appointee James Cunningham. The nomination must be confirmed by the US Senate.

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Conservative Jews face a rapid decline

By Paul Berger, February 17, 2011

The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, once the largest denomination in America, has announced sweeping changes aimed at halting a precipitous decline in membership.

The number of families affiliated with Conservative Judaism has fallen by 14 per cent in 10 years, according to a strategic report issued recently by the USCJ.

"Among congregations of every size and in every region, there is growing ambivalence about their continued membership in USCJ," the report warned.

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