I'm back. I picked up a fascinating story which I need to write up; I hope I'll be able to post it tommorow. In the meantime, here's a couple of interesting tidbits.
Ever heard the one about how Israel's Arabs are Apartheided against and all that? Take a look here: someone made a list of the top achieving highschools in Israel and divided them by sector. The sector with the most top schools (40%) is the modern orthodox. No suprise there, it's been that way for years. The Haredi aren't on the list at all, of course, since in the best case scenario they don't much care about preparing their daughters for national level matriculation examps; the boys don't study for them at all. The secular sector, by far the largest demographic, has only a quarter of the top achieving schools.
One third of the top achieving schools are from the Arab sector, who make up about 20% of the population.
Then, over here, we've got a story about some Catholic leader who wrote a document which managed to unite all the major strands of American Judaism - a major feat, that - in rejecting him. Apparently they feel the document implies an expectation that the Jews will become Catholics. I'm a bit surprised, since by and large the relations between American Catholicism and American Judaism have been quite good these past few decades, but if anyone thinks the Jews will end up being Catholics, well, I'd say that past experience ought to dampen their expectations.