U.S. Report

TRENTON (JTA) — Municipal leaders of a New Jersey town said they would fight a discrimination suit filed by local Orthodox Jews all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the Bergen Record.

The Orthodox Jews filed a federal suit on Nov. 24 to defend the right to retain their newly constructed eruv, a wire that permits observant Jews to push or carry objects on Shabbat by extending the boundaries of home.

Officials in the town of Tenafly complained that proper permission had not been sought for the eruv, but others suggested the officials really feared an influx of Orthodox Jews.

The director of E.T. now Spielberg, KBE

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Filmmaker Steven Spielberg was granted honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth on New Year's Eve for his "extraordinary contribution to the entertainment industry and the British film industry over the last 25 years."

As an American, the 53-year old director of "Schindler's List," "Saving Private Ryan" and "E.T." is not entitled to the appellation "Sir," but he can place the initials KBE — Knight of the British Empire — after his name.

Asked whether Spielberg would now add KBE to his screen credits, publicist Marvin Levy joked that the three letters on top of the initials in Spielberg's studio DreamWorks SKG — for Spielberg and his partners Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen — might confuse the situation.

Medalist to skip Japan in favor of Maccabiah

NEW YORK (JTA) — Lenny Krayzelburg, America's triple Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer, intends to skip the World Championships in Japan in order to compete at the Maccabiah Games next July in Israel.

"I have never been to Israel and I would really like to go there and compete," Krayzelburg said. "It is a very important part of my heritage."

The 25-year-old athlete said he may reconsider if violence in the Middle East escalates between now and July. But he added that the so-called "Jewish Olympics" were his first choice.

Born in Odessa, Ukraine, Krayzelburg left the Soviet Union with his parents in 1989, when he was 13, in part to escape anti-Semitism.