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Campaign Seeks to Turn Kosher Foods Mainstream

By Stuart Elliott

The leading marketer of kosher foods, Manischewitz, is expanding efforts to reach mainstream shoppers with what the company is calling its first campaign aimed at the general market as well as at consumers who traditionally buy kosher products for religious reasons.

The multimillion-dollar campaign, now under way, carries the theme “Simply Manischewitz.” It includes online advertising, at and Web sites like; ads in a general-market publication, Cooking Light magazine; ads sent to consumers as e-mail messages; and a cook-off with prizes provided by a mainstay brand, General Electric.

The campaign is being created for Manischewitz, part of the RAB Food Group, by Joseph Jacobs Advertising in New York, the Manischewitz agency for three decades, and IMC, an interactive agency in Holmdel, N.J. The goal is to encourage consumers to ask grocers and other retailers to stock Manischewitz items not in the smaller kosher sections of stores, but in the more heavily trafficked aisles devoted to broad product categories like soup, crackers, noodles, sauces and candy.

Kenneth Lay, Former Chief of Enron, Dies at 64

By Jeremy W. Peters and Simon Romero

Kenneth L. Lay, the former chairman and chief executive of Enron who was convicted of fraud and conspiracy in the giant energy company’s collapse, died Wednesday at his home in Aspen, Colo. He was 64.

A spokeswoman for the Lay family, Kelly L. Kimberly, confirmed reports of Lay’s death but declined to discuss specifics. In a prepared statement, Kimberly said: “Ken Lay passed away early this morning in Aspen. The Lays have a very large family with whom they need to communicate. And out of respect for the family, we will release further details at a later time.”

Lay was convicted in May on six counts of fraud and conspiracy and four counts of bank fraud, and was free on a $5 million bond while awaiting his sentencing, which was scheduled for this fall.

Each count carried a maximum sentence of 5 to 10 years, so he faced the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.

Israelis and Palestinians Fight Fiercely in Gaza

By Steven Erlanger and Greg Myre

Israeli troops and Palestinian militants waged their most intense battles Thursday since Israel re-entered the Gaza Strip last week to secure the release of a captured soldier and stop rocket fire into Israel.

At least 12 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were killed in sometimes fierce fighting involving shootouts, artillery fire and airstrikes. Most of the deaths were in northern Gaza, although two Palestinian militants were killed in southern Gaza.

After days of sporadic clashes, Israeli forces pushed further into northern Gaza, moving south from the destroyed former Israeli settlements to the outskirts of Beit Lahiya, in the northwestern corner of Gaza, where Palestinian fighters had been preparing earth barricades, explosive charges and shooting positions.

Israel’s defense minister, Amir Peretz, said that although Israel pulled out of Gaza last year, “no one should see that as a guarantee that we cannot reach territory in which we feel we have no choice but to operate.”

Heavy fighting erupted in and around Beit Lahiya, especially in the western neighborhoods of Atatrah and Salatin, closer to the sea.