U.S. Report

NEW YORK (JTA) — An Israeli living in Holland will be brought to Brooklyn to face charges that he was a leading exporter of the drug ecstasy to the United States, according to U.S. officials.

Officials in Holland accused Sean Erez of being the brains behind a smuggling operation that used Chassidic youths as couriers to get past customs at JFK International to flood the East Coast with more than 1 million pills.

Erez, 30, and his girlfriend, Diana Reicherter, 22, were arrested in 1999 in Amsterdam and have repeatedly "opposed extradition on the grounds of their alleged psychiatric condition," prosecutor Linda Lacewell said, according to court papers.

4 chiropractors claim boss is anti-Semitic

ATLANTA (JTA) — Four Jewish professors are claiming they were subjected to religious discrimination while employed at Life University, a chiropractic school in Marietta, Ga.

The Atlanta Jewish Times reported that, in a lawsuit filed Dec. 19 but not made public until last week, the four professors charged they were unfairly terminated or demoted and the decisions were approved by Sid Williams, the university's president and founder.

According to the lawsuit, Williams also repeatedly called Jewish faculty members "New York Jews," and during an assembly in front of the student body and faculty he referred to various Jewish faculty members as "all these Jews."

Playwright Miller plays a Jew, but in a movie

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — The author of "Death of a Salesman" will act in the next film by one of Israel's leading directors.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Arthur Miller will play a father in Amos Gitai's English-language "Plain Jane," based on Miller's short story "Homely Girl, a Life."

In the $9 million English-language film, Samantha Morton will play the troubled daughter of a Jewish immigrant, and the 85-year-old Miller will make his big screen debut as her father.

Miller's story is set in the Jewish immigrant community of New York, but the film version has been transplanted to Palestine of the late 1930s, before the establishment of the state of Israel.

Gitai is known for his highly controversial Hebrew-language films, most recently "Kadosh" and "Kippur."

Online exhibit fights hate, a click at a time

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — The Museum of Tolerance unveiled Globalhate.com, a new $5 million exhibit to combat the proliferation of Internet sites by hate groups.

Visitors to the electronic exhibit see eight large screens, illustrating some of the most heinous hate crimes of the last few years and community responses to them. "Hate sites by neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other bigots represent one of the major growth industries on the Internet," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which created the museum.

"In 1995, when the Oklahoma City federal building was blown up, there was one such site. Now there are over 2,000."

Genetic breakthrough may help Ashkenazi

NEW YORK (JTA) — A group of doctors in the United States identified the genetic mutation that causes familial dysautonomia, a neurological disease that affects Ashkenazi Jews in disproportionate numbers.

One in 3,600 Ashkenazi Jews is affected by the disease, which leads to problems with heart rate and blood pressure.

In a related development, the Dysautonomia Foundation announced screening tests for people at risk for the disease here at Mount Sinai Hospital and NYU Medical Center, and at the Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel.

Sunrise and sunset flow swiftly on Web

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Orthodox Union set up a Web site that will offer every Jewish Internet user a date, albeit one on the calendar.

The O.U.'s site has a search engine — named Zmanim, Hebrew for "Times" — that gives the sunrise, sunset, candlelighting and Havdallah times in cities around the world. It can be found at http://www.ou.org/zmanim/zmanim.htm.

The engine allows you to search by country for major cities, or even via an exact latitude and longitude specification.

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