NewsBits: Around The Jewish Web

Touching the world of Jewish philanthropy, here are a few items appearing on other Web sites you may find of interest.

from Bloomberg:

Madoff ‘Klole’ Dwarfs Palestinians’ Rockets for American Jews

Michael Steinhardt, the philanthropist who helped start Birthright Israel, says the leading topic of talk among New York Jews isn’t the invasion of Gaza. It is Bernard Madoff’s suspected $50 billion fraud.

“It dwarfs the war,” said Steinhardt, who is set to join a panel of Jewish intellectuals and investors today, near Union Square in Manhattan, to dissect the swindle.

from The Wall Street Journal:

New York Subpoenas Merkin

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has issued subpoenas to former GMAC Financial Services Chairman J. Ezra Merkin, three of his funds and 15 nonprofits in his probe of alleged frauds on charities in the Bernard Madoff scandal.

from Haaretz:

Jewish charity brings U.S. viewers Israel’s version of the war in Gaza

The Chicago-based International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) is now financing 60-second ads to show Israeli children running toward bomb shelters as rockets strike the western Negev. The ad spots also show the wreckage left behind by the rockets.

from the Daily Pennsylvanian (University of Pennsylvania):

Gaza conflict puts Israel study abroad on hold

In response to intensified conflict in the Gaza Strip, the University announced last week that it will not permit students to study abroad in Israel and the West Bank through Penn-approved exchanges this semester.

from The Baltimore Sun:

Despite Gaza violence, Md. students take Birthright trip to Israel

However, since Israel launched its Gaza offensive Dec. 27, nervous students and more nervous parents have pelted Birthright and local trip organizers with safety concerns. While the vast majority have kept their reservations, 314 students had backed out as of Jan. 5, Birthright officials say.

from the Jerusalem Post:

Center Field: Why we are here (Gil Troy)

My family and I returned from England on January 2, midway through the second year of our extended Israel adventure. The seventh day of war against Hamas’s rockets added frissons of anxiety to the usual arrival chaos. After an impromptu security check as we deplaned, guards detained one passenger. Our driver met us, saying, “The situation is rough.” I told my daughter, “We’re going to have to be extra careful wandering around for now.” With a 13-year-old’s defiant logic, she replied “Then why are we here?”