06.19.05 Update

6.19.2005

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom apologized for Israeli arms sales to China. Story from Arutz Sheva here.

The St. Louis Dispatch has a story about 54-family reform
Congregation Kol Am moving from a century-old farmhouse to a new building that will open in Spring of 2006.

Yedioth Ahronoth interviews the co-founder of Nefesh B'Nefesh, an organization that strives to make aliyah easier for American Jews, who says that 99% of olim that his group has brought over have remained in Israel.

Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in North America, will be undergoing restoration of the 1763 building and grounds, and adding a visitor's center with a $10 million campaign. Story from the AP here.

Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics released figures indicating unemployment at 9.1% for the month of April. News from Globes here.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Israel´s Gaza withdrawal will help efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians. (JTA) "A successful disengagement will enhance the security of Israel and it should give a sense of confidence and trust between the Israelis and Palestinians as they look to a better future," Rice told reporters Sunday after meeting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem. The secretary of state, whose Middle East tour included a visit to the West Bank on Saturday, called on the Palestinian Authority to disarm and dismantle terrorist groups as required by the U.S.-led peace "road map". Earlier, she said Israel should avoid placing "facts on the ground" that could undermine negotiations, an apparent allusion to West Bank settlement expansion. Haaretz said Sharon would propose to Rice that as part of the looming withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, the international community would pay to have settlements there razed and for Palestinian refugees to be rehoused on the land.

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