U.S. Report

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League applauded the U.S. Supreme Court for barring a high school valedictorian from giving a graduation speech in which he planned to ask the audience to live by "Jesus' example."

The court, without comment, this week turned down the California student's appeal argument that officials of his public school district violated his rights in 1998. Last June, the justices ruled that public schools cannot let students lead stadium crowds in prayer before football games, and in 1992 the justices barred clergy-led prayers at public school graduation ceremonies.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL's national director, said both decisions show the court "has demonstrated its willingness to see beyond popular public sentiment in order to protect the rights of students from proselytizing."

Meanwhile, the court ruled that the Ku Klux Klan may participate in a Missouri highway cleanup program.

As a result of the decision, the KKK will post a sign trumpeting its cleanup along a stretch of Interstate 55. The court unanimously rejected, without comment, appeals from the state of Missouri and the U.S. Justice Department that would have prevented the KKK from participating in the program.

Another UJC bigwig explores other options

NEW YORK (JTA) — The United Jewish Communities' chief financial officer is calling it quits after 17 years in the federation system. Details surrounding Lee Twersky's resignation have not been made public.

But Twersky's decision does come on the heels of the departure of the UJC's chief operating officer, Louise Stoll — a former Berkeley Board of Education president and board member of the Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay — but officials for the umbrella group of U.S. federations say the two moves are unrelated.

Iowa's Chabadniks stage Torah crowning

NEW YORK (JTA) — A Torah scroll was crowned by Chabad Lubavitch before several hundred people in a ceremony at the Iowa state Capitol, as the state declared Sunday Iowa Torah Scroll of Unity Day.

In recent years, a growing number of Chassidim have moved to Iowa because of a new kosher slaughterhouse in the town of Postville.