U.S. Report

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) has been named the new head of the U.S. House of Representatives' Middle East subcommittee.

Ros-Lehtinen replaces Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-N.Y.), who retired from Congress last year. Ros-Lehtinen, who represents Miami, is considered a strong supporter of Israel.

N.Y. anti-Semitism brings on vigilance

NEW YORK (JPS) — Local officials, members of the police hate crimes unit, and representatives from the Anti-Defamation League have resolved to band together to fight a rash of anti-Semitic incidents in Brooklyn.

Addressing an auditorium overflowing with jittery residents, officials meeting on Thursday night denounced the incidents, among them the spray-painting of swastikas on 26 cars last week in Marine Park, an attempted synagogue arson that was thwarted by a gas station attendant, and a string of burglaries at local synagogues.

Two weeks ago, local residents returned home from vacation to discover property vandalized with swastikas and "Kill the Jews" painted on their walls.

"This is not a crime against Jews, this is a crime against our whole community," said Rep. Anthony Weiner, who called the meeting at a Brooklyn YMHA after the Marine Park attack. "If the person who did these crimes is in this room, you're going to get caught and you're going to do time," he said.

Jewish senators complain over prayer

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jewish members of the Maryland state Senate criticized a Baptist minister for ending an invocation before the body by saying, "in Jesus' name."

The invocation, which was delivered Monday, was one of several similar incidents recently.

Jewish legislators complained last week to the Senate president that rules requiring prayers to have no specific religious references were ignored three times during January, according to The Associated Press.