08.10.05 Update

8.10.2005

Israeli researchers claimed a breakthrough toward using hydrogen for fuel. (JTA) Working with European colleagues, researchers at Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science have developed innovative solar technology that may offer a "green" solution to the production of hydrogen fuel. The process generates no pollution and produces zinc oxide that can be easily stored, transported, and converted back to hydrogen on demand, and has various energy uses. Results of the experiment are being reported this week at the 2005 Solar World Congress in Orlando, Fla.

Israel holds some 1,000 pieces of real estate owned by Jews who perished in the Holocaust, Israel's custodian general said
. (JTA) The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported Tuesday that Shlomo Shahar told a subcommittee of the Israeli government's Law and Constitution Committee that Israel also has some 500 other assets and 3,500 bank accounts of Holocaust victims. The committee was discussing a bill that seeks to create a public corporation or a government authority to coordinate restitution to the properties' legal heirs.

Israel will temporarily deport a Jewish citizen who also has U.S. citizenship for her activities against Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. (JTA) The Justice Ministry said Wednesday that Sa'adia Hershkopf agreed to leave the country and not return for 40 days as an alternative to administrative detention. Hershkopf, an 18-year-old resident of Kfar Chabad, was one of three activists arrested last week after a Jewish terrorist killed four Israeli Arabs. The attack was seen as a bid to derail this month's planned withdrawals from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. It was not immediately clear when Hershkopf would be deported. In a separate incident, a couple who had taken up residence in one of four West Bank settlements slated for evacuation was ordered to leave after the Shin Bet designated them a security risk.

Holocaust survivors are three times more likely to attempt suicide than others, a new study suggests. (JTA) According to findings published in the recent American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, around 24 percent of Holocaust survivors hospitalized at Israel's Abarbanel Mental Health Center have tried to kill themselves, as opposed to an 8.2 percent rate of attempted suicide among other elderly patients. According to the Abarbanel staff and Tel Aviv University researchers who carried out the study, it overturns longstanding beliefs that Jews who survived the Nazi genocide have a stronger will to live. The rate of suicide attempts increases as survivors age, the researchers found.

One in two Israelis avoids alcohol, a government study found. (JTA) According to Health Ministry dietary data released this week, 50 percent of Israelis do not drink, making for a low average national alcohol consumption of 20 ml per person per day. While general eating habits are acceptable, with the average Israeli taking in more than 2,000 calories a day only on weekends, the report found that most diets are too high in cholesterol and too low in calcium. Citizens of citrus-rich Israel also consume too much Vitamin C and therefore run the risk of developing kidney problems, the report warned.

A Jewish school in California was vandalized in what is being called a hate crime. (JTA) Swastikas, cartoon characters and the word "trouble" defaced the Torah Academy in Southern California on Monday, according to a media report. Local Jewish officials said it's not the first time vandals have attacked the school. Police are investigating the incident.

Some Israeli prisoners created an entrepreneurial stir by inventing a tough new sponge. (JTA) Billed as the most effective means yet of dealing with greasy pots and pans, the pad was developed by 15 inmates at Ayalon Prison as part of a jailhouse work program. A Prisons Service official, Haggai Dahan, said Wednesday that business was booming. "One of the big marketing firms has ordered 10,000 units," Dahan told Ma'ariv. "There is also interest abroad, and the bulk of the product is intended to be sold in the United States and Europe." The Prisons Service plans to mass-produce the pads and give prisoners involved in the enterprise a share of the profits, Ma'ariv reported.

Abercrombie & Fitch will partner with the Anti-Defamation League to bring anti-bias programming to U.S. college campuses. (JTA) The clothing retailer will join the ADL in promoting A Campus of Difference, a diversity training program to be launched at Washington University in St. Louis on Aug. 18 and then on several other campuses. "We are proud to be able to bring diversity education to some of the nation's most respected institutions of higher learning through this unique partnership with Abercrombie & Fitch," said the ADL's associate national director, Caryl Stern. "To its credit, Abercrombie & Fitch has taken the lead as a responsible corporation concerned not only about diversity in retailing, but in confronting bias and prejudice in the larger society and especially among young people at our nation's premier institutions of higher learning." Todd Corley, vice president for diversity at Abercrombie & Fitch, said the initiative would be important to help "support the dialogue among college students about the importance of appreciating differences."

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