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Sundown: Oren Says No

Israel ambassador to skip J Street, plus planets’ names, Lambert’s laments, and more

Hadara Graubart
October 21, 2009

• Turns out the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, won’t speak at the J Street conference next week, after all. The embassy announced the final decision yesterday. [JPost]
• In honor of the International Year of Astronomy (who knew?), Uranus and Neptune will be given Hebrew names, the last two planets to get them. Vote for your favorite here. [JPost]
• Sometimes, former American Idol star Adam Lambert gets tired of all the attention he receives from Christians looking to save him from his raciness: “I’m Jewish, okay? I don’t need another crucifix! This is not an appropriate gift for me!” [Details]
• “[W]ithout meaningful services,” says the writer of an op-ed in the Jewish Week, “all you have is a community center with a Torah in it.” He advises Conservative rabbis to “focus on the eternal, not the topical,” and cantors to “try to impress the shul with the congregation’s singing, not yours.” [JW]
• An Israeli organization has arranged for seven people from Kaifeng, China, “home to a flourishing Jewish community for more than a millennium,” to make aliyah and convert. [Arutz 7]

Hadara Graubart was formerly a writer and editor for Tablet Magazine.