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Michele Chabin

JERUSALEM (RNS) The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to tackle the question of whether American passports issued to children born in Jerusalem should include the word “Israel.” Until now, passports issued in this disputed city have designated the children’s birthplace as Jerusalem, but not Israel. American officials have long maintained that replacing Israel with Jerusalem […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) An Israeli-Canadian journalist believes he may have tracked down two of the iron nails used to crucify Jesus to the cross. Or at least objects that “could be” the long-lost relics. While researching a segment for the History Channel series “Secrets of Christianity,” host and producer Simcha Jacobovici learned something that startled him: […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) Nearly 100 American Orthodox rabbis have signed a letter demanding that the conversions they perform outside Israel be recognized—at least for immigration purposes—by Israel’s Interior Ministry. The rabbis—including members of the Rabbinical Council of America, the Orthodox Union, Yeshiva University and the International Rabbinic Fellowship—were caught off guard by an article in the […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) Israeli officials have installed an $11 million pipe to ease a weekly water shortage on Fridays as observant Jews prepare for the Sabbath and Muslims ritually wash themselves before weekly prayers. Until now, water pressure has been low in some parts of Jerusalem during the hours leading up to Shabbat, which begins at […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) American Jews and evangelical Christians are taking a central role in rebuilding the Carmel region in northern Israel after a deadly fire decimated large swaths of the Carmel forest and left many people homeless. Several Jewish and evangelical Christian organizations have launched fund-raising drives to assist the region after a massive wildfire in […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Palestinian government has pulled a report stating that Jews have no historic connection to the Western Wall following condemnation from the U.S. State Department and others. The study, which was prepared by Al-Mutawakel Taha, a well-known writer and official with the Palestinian Ministry of Information, stated that the Western Wall—the holiest site […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, is actually a Muslim shrine, according to an official report published Monday (Nov. 22) by the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Information. The document, which was written by Al-Mutawakei Tahad, a senior ministry official and respected writer, states that the Wall—long considered the sole surviving piece […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) Experiencing the warmest, driest November on record, residents of the Holy Land are calling on a higher power to bring rain to this parched region. While winter traditionally arrives late here, the almost total lack of rainfall is threatening crops and the underground aquifers that provide fresh water. If the drought continues, it […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) For the first time in its 62-year history, Israel will soon allow a limited number of couples to marry in civil ceremonies. The Civil Union Law, which received final parliamentary approval this week, applies only to couples who have no legal affiliation with an organized religion. Until now, all Israeli marriages had to […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) Israel, like the United States, is a largely secular society with deep religious roots. And Israel, like the United States, is home to vocal religious conservatives who frown on homosexuality. But Israel, unlike the United States, has allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military for 17 years. In fact, they […] Read More