Shorts: U.S.

College offers Jewish studies online

new york (jta) | Gratz College, a non-denominational Jewish college in Philadelphia, is the latest school to offer an exclusively online master of arts degree in Jewish studies.

The online program has no “real-time” requirements and consists of 15 sessions. The courses can be accessed 24 hours a day.

There are several other schools that offer online masters programs in Jewish studies.

For more information, call (800) 475-4635.

Ex-N.J. aide Cipel drops lawsuit threat

new york (jta) | The former aide to New Jersey’s governor said he would not file a sexual harassment lawsuit against the governor.

Golan Cipel, an Israeli who was briefly employed as New Jersey’s top homeland security official, said he no longer sees a reason to sue his former boss since Gov. James McGreevey resigned after announcing he had a consensual relationship with a man government sources identified as Cipel.

Cipel has said he is not gay. McGreevey aides, who say the governor had a consensual affair with Cipel, said Cipel has no case.

Bush defends Sharon at rally

washington (jta) | President Bush defended Ariel Sharon at a campaign rally in New Hampshire.

Bush was asked Monday, Aug. 30, by a woman at a campaign rally in Nashua how he could describe the Israeli prime minister as a man of peace “if he causes death and torture among innocent Palestinians.”

Bush answered, “First of all, Ariel Sharon is defending his country against terrorist attacks, just like we will.” That got applause.

Bush said Sharon wanted a Palestinian state, but one with a reliable leadership that could pursue peace.

“Ariel Sharon is a duly-elected official in a democracy. In other words, Israel is a democracy. We would hope that the Palestinians would have that same kind of democracy, which would lead to a more peaceful world.”