Birthright Gets Gift
NEW YORK — The Adelson Family Foundation has pledged another $30 million (US) to the Birthright Israel Foundation. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, have now contributed nearly $100 million over the past two years to the foundation that funds Birthright. The latest pledge is a $20-million gift for 2009 and $10 million for 2010.
Sweet Home Alabama
DOTHAN, Ala. — A Jewish group in Alabama is offering up to $50,000 to Jewish families that relocate to its town. Blumberg Family Jewish Community Services wants to repopulate the Jewish community of Dothan, a largely Christian town of 58,000. Families that stay for five years and become active in the local shul don’t have to repay the grant. Southern U.S. states have recently seen a growth in Jewish population, and some 386,000 Jews live in the region. But trends show young people moving to large cities such as Atlanta. The program has advertised in Jewish newspapers in the U.S. Northeast and Miami, Associated Press reported.
NEWYORK — American Orthodox Jewish and Catholic leaders have issued a joint statement affirming a “shared commitment” to traditional marriage. Noting rising calls to legalize same-sex marriage, the statement says traditional marriage “is of critical importance to the furtherance of a fundamental societal interest.” Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld, head of the OU/RCA joint committee on inter-religious affairs, and Bishop William Murphy, of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, signed the document.
WASHINGTON — Several swastikas were found Sept. 6 painted on homes in Rockville, Md., a Washington suburb that’s home to many Israelis. Police are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime. It came a few months after Israeli children were assaulted nearby, Ha’aretz reported.