During the week covered by this review, we received 7 articles on the following subjects:
Christians in Israel
Maariv; The Jerusalem Post, January 14, 2016
The pension fund of the United Methodist Church in the US has announced that it is withdrawing its funds from five Israeli banks “which support Israel’s policies in the territories.” However, it will continue to invest in some 18 other Israeli concerns whose policies line up with its views. The five banks are on a list of 39 companies worldwide which, according to The New York Times, the Methodist Church considers to be below the necessary human rights preservation standard. The Kairos group within the Methodist denomination considers this decision to be a victory for the BDS movement, and have declared that they will act to widen the decision at the denomination’s next conference in May.k
Christians in Israel
Maariv, January 11, 2016
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum have decided on a joint initiative to show gratitude to Christian IDF soldiers and veterans in the form of study scholarships and other joint projects. “We were born to live together as brothers,” said Father Gabriel Naddaf, head of the forum.
The Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2016
This article reports that the cemetery of the Salesian Beit Jamal monastery near Beit Shemesh has recently been desecrated, and dozens of cruciform tombstones knocked over. The incident is under police investigation, and it is suspected that it has a “price-tag” background, as it is the second time in three years that the monastery has been vandalized.
Status HaTzafon, January 1, 2016
This article protests the planning of a housing project on the southern slope of Karnei Hittin, as it is not only the location of famous battles such as the Crusader defeat by Saladin in 1187, but also one of the possible locations of the Mount of Beatitudes.
Yediot Eilat, January 15, 2016
This article recounts a number of recently published tourism statistics for 2015. Of particular note is the fact that 52% of incoming tourists were Christian, with 22% declaring that they had come for pilgrimage. The average rate of satisfaction was 4.4 out of 5.
Makor Rishon, January 15, 2016
This article reviews The Sages of Romania and Their Connection to the Land of Israel, by Yaakov Geller, self-published in 2015.
The article describes how the book deals with different aspects of Jewish life in Romania in the 19th and 20th centuries, from education to the Holocaust, and the fine line the community’s leaders needed to walk due to the many “stormy” events of the time. The work is an in-depth, well researched book on the subject, including much archival detail and 92 personal testimonies. The book is particularly important due to the attention it gives to the historical societies of the period, which were devoted to researching the history of the community; Jewish education from 1843 to 1948, with much primary source material; the various yeshivas in old Romania; meticulous biographies of Romania’s rabbis; and the maps and appendices, including a list of Jewish publications in Romania and a map of communities destroyed in the Holocaust.