Book Award Winner

Book Award Winner

While ck jets around North America, I will sneak in a Jewish news round-up

Jared Malsin, an American Jewish man who writes for a Palestinian news agency,, in Bethlehem, was detained at Ben Gurion Airport and will be deported. The Israeli government complained that he was using his religious status to remain in Israel, but wrote stories that were critical of Israel. Click here for the link.

Speaking about jailed Jews… Cuba detained a Jewish social worker who was helping Jewish groups. The Cuban government said Alan P. Gross is a spy. His friends say that he is just a naive mensch who likes to help out. The Washington Post and Miami Herald profile him, here is one of the stories

And speaking of purgatory… The National Catholic Register says that all eyes, or Catholic eyes, will be on Rome this Sunday, when the current Pope makes a visit to the main Rome synagogue. Maybe it has to do with Pius, piousness, and sainthood. Or maybe it has to do with Gucci shoe deals?

The Jerusalem Post and other papers have pieces on how Israel and Jewish service organizations are mobilizing funds and rescue efforts for Haiti. I already gave to the American Jewish World Service’s Haiti Relief Fund. What about you? There are also funds for JDC’s Jewish Coalition for Disaster relief; The Jewish Federations of North American;
B’nai B’rith Disaster Relief Fund; and B’nai Brith Canada. Oh, and of course, Chabad of the Dominican Republic and Hispaniola. By the way, does it give you a feeling of pride to know that Israel has already landed with a field hospital, 120 medical personnel and over 80 disaster relief military specialists? If you donate to the Red Cross through my friends at, the force foundation will match your gift.

And as tens of thousands died in Haiti, the BBC reports that although Israel may have apologized to Turkey for seating its ambassador at a purposely low chair, Arab, Turkish, and other pundits are still enraged. Note to file: never go to a Passover seder at Danny Ayalon’s apartment. He might seat you at a chair with its legs cut off.

Speaking of battlefield… The News Corp did a piece on Israeli robotics in battlefields. Titled “Israeli Robots Remake Battlefield,” they mean unmanned vehicles, and not your cousin Shuli who acts sort of robotic.

The Op-Ed page of The New York Times published a column by David Brooks titled the Tel Aviv Cluster. It starts out by spreading around some nice nachas on how great Jews are and Israel is. He wrote, “Jews are a famously accomplished group. They make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions, 27 percent of the Nobel physics laureates and 31 percent of the medicine laureates. Jews make up 2 percent of the U.S. population, but 21 percent of the Ivy League student bodies, 26 percent of the Kennedy Center honorees, 37 percent of the Academy Award-winning directors, 38 percent of those on a recent Business Week list of leading philanthropists, 51 percent of the Pulitzer Prize winners for nonfiction…..” But then he tells Iran a better way to defeat Israel thank nuclear missiles. Just get all those knowledge workers to pack their bags for Palo Alto. Thanks Dave.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that the shooter who killed one person and wounded 5 others at the Seattle Jewish federation was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release. Naveed Haq blamed poorly prescribed medications.

Sundance is a week away. The NY Jewish Film Festival opens this evening. And the esteemed SF Jewish Film Festival has selected a new program director. Jay Rosenblatt, a filmmaker and father of an ice cream eater, has taken the position. On average, the SFJFF screens 600 films a year to select which ones to show at their annual fest. This Summer will be their 30th anniversary.

Anniversaries? Mark you calendar for March 6, 2010, whenb the National Jewish Book Awards will be awarded. Joseph Kertes, a Canadian, has received the 59th annual National Jewish Book Award for Fiction for his novel, “Gratitude.”

And on the subject of gratitude. The death and obituary for one of Anne Frank’s saviors and friends made international news. One of the best obits was in the Daily Mail. And at age 98, The NYT not only gave Mina Bern, the Yiddish actress, a lovely obit, they wrote a piece interviewing her friends. And finally in the wrap up, more sad news, as Mexicans and other learned that one of the country’s greatest tycoons and philanthropists died when his private helicopter crashed in fog while he was returning from a NYC vacation. The Jewish community of Mexico City and others mourn the loss of Moises Saba Masri his wife, son, daughter in law and other who were killed.

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