Museum of Jewish Heritage, Folksbiene to partner and possibly merge
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Museum of Jewish Heritage, Folksbiene to partner and possibly merge

Two New York Jewish cultural organizations are expected to sign a partnership agreement that could lead to a merger.

The memorandum of understanding between The Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and the National Yiddish Theater-Folksbiene is to be announced Tuesday night and, if all goes well, will ultimately lead to a full merger, several media outlets reported.

Founded in 1997, the museum in recent years has struggled to attract large numbers of visitors, despite its location near other tourist sites like the Statue of Liberty and the ferry to Ellis Island.

The Folksbiene, founded in 1915, has an audience of about 30,000 patrons each year, but lacks a permanent performance venue. Under the partnership agreement, it will be able to use the museum’s 375-seat auditorium for approximately 16 weeks each year.

Under the agreement, the two institutions will work together on programming but maintain separate boards and budgets.

4 senators urge Obama not to impose peace conditions on Israel
WASHINGTON (JTA) – Four senators sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him not to bypass direct negotiations and impose conditions on Israel in an effort to create a two-state solution.

The senators — Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) — wrote in a letter Monday that while they are committed to a two-state solution that would keep Israel secure and ensure economic opportunity for the Palestinians, they are against efforts to let the United Nations and other international bodies impose the terms.

“The United States has been a stalwart defender of Israel against discriminatory actions at the United Nations,” the senators wrote. “We must remain firm in opposing actions that are designed to circumvent direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Using the United Nations to push Israel and the Palestinians to accept terms defined by others will only ensure that the parties themselves are not committed to observing these provisions,” they wrote.

“Our longstanding commitment to Israel transcends any one leader or government,” the senators added, referencing the cool relationship between Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. “We must make clear our willingness to use our veto power to block such efforts at the UN Security Council and our continuing defense of Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council and other agencies where Israel is under constant assault.”

Cardin is a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Collins and Warner are on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Wicker is co-chairman of the United States Helsinki Commission.

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