Top editor quitting the Jerusalem Post

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The executive editor of the Jerusalem Post has announced his resignation, citing "irreconcilable differences" with the paper's management.

David Makovsky's announcement late last week came on the heels of another resignation. The previous week, the vice chairman of the paper's board of directors, Hirsch Goodman, stepped down.

Bank Leumi lists dormant accounts

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel's Bank Leumi has published on its Web site a list of close to 13,000 accounts that have not been accessed in more than 45 years.

The move is aimed at locating the owners, or their heirs, of the dormant accounts. The site is located at www.bankleumi.co.il

Heavy rains, winds prompt warnings

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Heavy rains accompanied by winds as strong as 60 mph hit Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip early this week, prompting meteorologists to issue flood and hail warnings.

Snowstorms hit Mount Hermon on the Golan Heighs, while sandstorms raged in the Negev. Palestinian officials declared a state of emergency, warning that Palestinian refugee camps built on the Gaza coast were at particular risk.

Hezbollah hinting at halt in attacks

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hezbollah's leader is hinting the group might end its attacks on Israel if peace accords are reached among Israel, Syria and Lebanon.

The remarks were made in a television interview over the past week in Beirut by Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. Parts of it were broadcast on Israel Television.

Nasrallah also said that Ron Arad, an Israeli airman whose plane was shot down over Lebanon in 1986, might still be alive and that the group was attempting to determine his fate.

Meanwhile, Israel freed 27 prisoners held in Lebanon, including at least two members of Hezbollah. The releases may be part of a prisoner exchange and have also been linked to Hezbollah's promise to determine Arad's fate.

Teachers' strike affects 1 million kids

JERUSALEM (JPS) — Israeli teachers went out on strike Sunday over wages.

Histadrut Teachers Union's strike affects more than 1 million elementary and junior-high pupils and 100,000 teachers.

Their conflict revolves around an agreement signed between the union and the Treasury Ministry in 1994.

The union claims teachers' salaries have eroded by 15 percent in the last five years. The Treasury disputes the figure and has offered to pay the teachers 1.2 percent, an amount set by an arbitrator four months ago to resolve a similar disagreement with the Secondary Schools Teachers Association.

Yeshiva instructor accused of abuse

JERUSALEM (JPS) — Police have launched an investigation into alleged sexual abuse by a teacher at Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav yeshiva 14 years ago.

In mid-December, police were alerted to accusations by three men who studied at the yeshiva as teens and said they were sexually molested. The three are now in their mid-20s.

Police subsequently began investigations into other men who reportedly were also sexually abused but did not come forward.

Yeshiva officials said the man under investigation never taught there but he was a student about 20 years ago and still comes on occasion to pray.

The probe follows reports that senior rabbis at the seminary tried to cover up the affair and prevent students from filing complaints. Israel Radio reported that former Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapira may also be questioned about allegations he tried to hush up the affair.

Morocco's monarch plans visit to Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Morocco's king agreed to visit Israel, according to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz.

Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy made the announcement after meeting over the past week with King Mohammed in Rabat.

Report on schooling of Sephardi Israelis JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Jews of European descent continue to have higher levels of educational achievement than their Sephardi counterparts, according to a recent study.

About 23 percent of Sephardi Israelis have a post-secondary education, compared with 53 percent for Ashkenazi Israelis, according to the report conducted on behalf of the Israel Democracy Institute. The researchers attributed the ongoing gap to such factors as economics and staffing disparities.

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