Pope Francis.
Pope Francis waves after his general audience in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, September 18, 2013. Photo by AFP
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Israeli ministers are due to decide whether the government should support a proposal to give municipal rabbis authority over conversion to Judaism, in a step meant to make it easier for non-Jews to convert and take some power away from the hardline ultra-Orthodox rabbis who currently control much of the conversion process in Israel.

Former anti-Semitic Hungarian leader Csanad Szegedi, who was no. 2 in the far-right Jobbik party, now keeps Shabbat - after discovering he is Jewish.

The announcement made six days ago that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would arrive in Rome to sit with Pope Francis has turned into a diplomatic embarrassment for Israel, after it emerged that the meeting was never scheduled to take place.

Hamas Islamists in the Gaza Strip claimed responsibility for a tunnel that Israel said was found beneath the heavily fortified Israel-Gaza frontier. Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the Islamist group's military wing, said the tunnel had been dug in an effort to try and force Israel to release some of the thousands of prisoners it holds in its jails.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan put pressure on Ismail Haniyeh, the Palestinian prime minister in Gaza, not to present a clear plan for reconciliation with Fatah and strengthening relations with Egypt. 

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation has approved an amendment letting the Israel Defense Forces call up reservists six times a year, not three, drawing the wrath of reservist groups.

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg becomes the first recipient of the $1 million "Jewish Nobel Prize." The Genesis prize aims to honor individuals "whose values and achievement s will inspire the next generation of Jews," according to The New York Times.

The Dallas Mavericks' Gal Mekel, the second Israeli ever to play in the NBA, shines in preseason tour de force. Playing 21 minutes, Mekel finished with seven points and six assists, helping the Mavericks cruise to an 89-93 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats.