U.S. Report

WASHINGTON (JTA) — George W. Bush promised members of a Jewish organization a continued "special relationship" between the United States and Israel.

But the Republican presidential candidate told B'nai B'rith International's convention via satellite Monday that America should not pressure the Jewish state or interfere with Israel's democratic process.

Bush also sounded familiar themes for Jewish groups, including support for the peace process, tolerance of all faiths and moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, B'nai B'rith International's sitting president, Richard Heideman, was re-elected Monday by a vote of 236-111 at the convention, which was held in Washington.

It was the first time in the organization's history that an incumbent president faced a serious challenger, Daniel Frank, a fact many insiders attribute to grassroots dissatisfaction with the budget cuts and restructuring by the Washington office.

Rabbi hits president; membership declines

MIAMI (JTA) — A Florida synagogue has lost members since the rabbi punched the president several months ago, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Shortly after the incident at Temple Emanu-El in Palm Beach, Rabbi Leonid Feldman, a Russian emigre widely credited with revitalizing the Conservative synagogue, apologized to the board and took a new job at a synagogue in Miami Beach.

Massive Jewish poll is under way, finally

NEW YORK (JTA) — The first large-scale national study of American Jewry in 10 years began Aug. 20 after months of delays.

Some 5,000 Jews are expected to be interviewed in the coming months in the National Jewish Population Survey.

The poll, originally scheduled to begin in January, was delayed so that leaders in its sponsoring agency, the United Jewish Communities, could offer input and test questions.

The survey is expected to shape the priorities of Jewish organizations in the United States in the coming decade.

Shul mouth-to-mouth a life-saving mitzvah

COLUMBUS (JTA) — Congregants at an Orthodox synagogue in Cleveland saved their rabbi's life during Shabbat services last week by giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and pumping his chest.

According to the Cleveland Jewish News, Rabbi Yisroel Grumer, 74, collapsed after Shabbat morning services and was quickly taken to the hospital where he will have bypass surgery. The shul, Congregation Shomre Shabbos, now plans to organize CPR classes for the Orthodox community in the area.

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