Shorts: U.S.

USC sukkah vandalized

A sukkah from the University of Southern California’s Hillel was vandalized.

The incident is not believed to be anti-Semitic, the Daily Trojan campus newspaper reported.

The attack, which caused $500 in damage, came last weekend, after Sukkot had ended.

Congress passes security bill

washington (jta) | Congress has approved $25 million to protect synagogues and other high-risk nonprofit institutions from terrorism. Both the House and Sentate approved the expenditure as part of the Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which awaits President Bush’s signature.

Jewish groups, including the United Jewish Communities and the Orthodox Union, led an effort to gain a separate security fund for nonprofit groups. Several other Jewish groups were concerned that security aid for synagogues and churches would cross the line separating church and state. Charles Konigsberg, UJC’s vice president for public policy, said much can be accomplished with the money. “This money will enable a lot of nonprofit institutions to put up concrete barriers and bullet-proof doors to really enhance their security,” he said.

100 tombstones desecrated in Ohio

cincinnati (jta) | More than 100 tombstones were knocked over at a Jewish cemetery in suburban Cincinnati.

The desecration, discovered Monday, Oct. 4, at a United Jewish Cemeteries location in Walnut Hills, Ohio, was the second incident at the cemetery in the past few months.

Cemetery officials said more police supervision and media attention is needed to prevent further acts.

Anti-Semitism — is it back in play?

washington (jta) | A Fox sports announcer is back for the baseball playoffs despite comments seen as anti- Semitic.

Steve Lyons had questioned Shawn Green’s commitment to Judaism after the Los Angeles Dodgers slugger sat out an important game against the San Francisco Giants because of Yom Kippur.

Green is “not a practicing Jew,” Lyons said on air. “He didn’t marry a Jewish girl. And from what I understand, he never had a bar mitzvah, which is unfortunate because he didn’t get the money.”

The Fox network, which is televising the games, apologized and said Lyons had expressed remorse.

Bombed bus displayed at Duke

washington (jta) | The remains of an Israeli bus bombed by terrorists this year is on display at Duke University in North Carolina this week, in advance of a pro-Palestinian conference being held on the campus this weekend.

The bus is being displayed courtesy of Chabad.

$4.5 million for Boston day schools

boston (jta) | Jewish day schools will receive a total of $45 million from anonymous donors.

Earmarked for $10 million each are the three largest Jewish schools in the Boston area: the Maimonides School in Brookline, the Rashi School in Newton and the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston, also in Newton.

Maimonides is a modern Orthodox school, Rashi is affiliated with the Reform movement and Schechter with the Conservative movement. Together they educate about 55 percent of the 2,800 youngsters who currently attend the 14 Jewish day schools in Greater Boston, the Boston Globe reported.

Bush: Ignoring Arafat was ‘unpopular’

washington (jta) | President Bush cited his isolation of Yasser Arafat as a decision that he made that was not popular.

Bush listed his “unpopular” decisions in the second presidential debate Friday, Oct. 8, as evidence of his willingness to lead against the tide.

“You know, I’ve made some decisions on Israel that are unpopular. I wouldn’t deal with Arafat,” he said, because the Palestinian leader would not reject terrorism. “People in Europe didn’t like that decision. And that was unpopular, but it was the right thing to do.”

Rice, Holbrooke to address AIPAC

washington (jta) | Key foreign policy advisers to both U.S. presidential candidates will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee a week before the election.

Condoleezza Rice, President Bush’s national security adviser, and Richard Holbrooke, former ambassador to the United Nations and a key aide to Sen. John Kerry, will speak at AIPAC’s National Summit in Hollywood, Fla. on Oct. 24 and 25. The event is an annual gathering of large donors for the pro-Israel lobby.

Civil liberties groups side with Pollard

washington (jta) | The American Civil Liberties Union and several other groups have filed briefs supporting Jonathan Pollard in his appeal of a U.S. District Court ruling denying his attorneys access to classified information that was used in determining the former U.S. Navy intelligence officer’s life sentence for spying for Israel.

The brief also was supported by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists and several New York officials, including Rep. Anthony Weiner, a Democrat, and former state Attorney General Robert Abrams. A three-judge panel will hear the appeal in January.

Thou shalt hear case

washington (jta) | The Supreme Court has agreed to take up the issue of public display of the Ten Commandments.

The court will hear oral arguments early next year in two cases, one involving a display on the grounds of the Texas state Capitol and the other regarding a monument in Kentucky courthouses. The court will hear the two cases as one, which often happens when lower courts disagree.

Several Jewish groups oppose the public display of the Ten Commandments, suggesting it crosses the line separating church and state, and likely will file briefs in the case.

Orthodox Jewish groups likely would oppose striking down displays of the Ten Commandments if it meant public displays of menorahs and other Jewish symbols also would be forbidden, officials at these groups say.

The court ruled in 1980 that the Ten Commandments could not be displayed in public school classrooms.