Shorts: U.S.

Group to monitor Air Force guidelines

washington (jta) | The Jewish Council for Public Affairs will monitor religious tolerance at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

The umbrella organization for Jewish community relations councils and national organizations said this week it would “closely track” the implementation of the Air Force’s interim guidelines to ensure that they safeguard against proselytizing and improper sectarian prayer.

“The critical question is whether people who serve in the military understand the principle reason for being in the military, which is to support and defend the Constitution,” said Rabbi Joel Schwartzman of Colorado, a retired Air Force Jewish chaplain.

Creating ‘buzz’ on reproductive rights

new york (jta) | Some Jewish women’s activists sent vibrators to Jewish leaders to create a “buzz” about what they see as organized Jewish community’s silence on reproductive rights.

Jewish Women Watching said the Jewish community cannot be silent on these issues in the wake of Judge Samuel Alito joining the Supreme Court.

The group, whose members are anonymous, have orchestrated several similar campaigns during the past few years to protest what they see as sins of the Jewish world, including sexism and homophobia.

Ohio farmers trek to Israel

dayton, ohio (ap) | A 29-person delegation of Ohio farmers is visiting Israel for 10 days to study everything from water management to milk processing to handling urban expansion.

“I’m extremely intrigued by the ability of [Israelis] to grow enough crops for 7 million people in the desert,” said Daniel Corcoran, 42, who raises soybeans, wheat and alfalfa on his 4,000-acre family farm near Waverly in southern Ohio.

The trip is being hosted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Cleveland-based Negev Foundation, a group whose mission is to develop agriculture in the southern, largely desert portion of Israel.

Israeli Consulate launches video blog

new york (jta) | The Israeli Consulate in New York recently launched an online video blog.

The Web site, which went live last month, will allow Israelis and visitors to Israel to post videos about life in the Jewish state, and will allow others to comment on them.

The site,, is an effort to highlight a side of Israel not often seen in the mainstream press to an English-speaking audience, the consulate says.