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  • Lady Gaga accepts ADL award on behalf of her Born This Way Foundation

    1 day ago

    Pop star Lady Gaga accepted an award from the Anti-Defamation League on behalf of her Born This Way Foundation.

    On Thursday, the ADL announced that Gaga had received its Making a Difference award for “work championing positive social change.”

    “The Foundation shares ADL’s...

  • Obama: I have same high expectations of Israel as I do of U.S.

    1 day ago

    WASHINGTON (JTA) – President Barack Obama has a message for American Jews: I don’t shy away from disagreeing with Israel publicly, because I care about Israel and our shared values.

    The president marked Jewish American Heritage Month with a speech Friday at Washington’s oldest...

  • On Shavuot, remembering the day I almost dropped the Torah

    1 day ago

    On Shavuot, we are reminded that the Torah is a tree of life to which we are to hold fast. But what happens when that hold slips from your grasp?

    It’s a question I found myself asking six weeks before Shavuot, late in the Torah service on the last day of Passover.

    Returning...

  • Rabbinical bias against Ethiopians to be punished, religion minister says

    1 day ago

    Israel’s newly-appointed religious services minister said he would void the marriage authority of municipal rabbinates if they are found to be discriminating against Ethiopian Jews.

    David Azoulay of the Orthodox Shas party spoke Thursday with Army Radio, following the station’s...

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  • Obama: Defending Jews means criticizing Israel

    1 day ago

    Defending Jews from anti-Semitism is necessarily entwined with criticizing some of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, President Barack Obama told a Jewish audience.

    “The rights I insist upon and fight for for all people in the United States compels me to look out for the...

  • For Shavuot, try this easy strawberry rhubarb trifle

    1 day ago

    Forget fancy pastries, cakes or tarts: Trifles are the best dessert you can make for entertaining. They are delicious and look beautiful and impressive, but are actually one of the easiest desserts you can make.

    The first time I made a trifle was actually after a baking mistake....

  • How to build an American shtetl — See: Bloomingburg, N.Y.

    2 days ago

    This is how you launch a Hasidic shtetl in 21st-century America.

    Step 1. Find a place within reasonable distance of Brooklyn where the land is cheap and underdeveloped.

    Step 2. Buy as much property as you can in your target area – if possible, without tipping off locals that...

  • U.S. official in Israel to discuss Mideast nuclear arms ban

    2 days ago

    A senior U.S. official is in Israel to discuss the possibility of a compromise that would keep alive the idea of someday banning nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, U.S. officials and U.N. diplomats said on Thursday.

    Friday is the final day of a...

  • FBI arrests two suspected Islamic State recruits in California

    2 days ago

    The FBI has arrested two men in southern California, one at Los Angeles International Airport, suspected of attempting to travel abroad to join Islamic State, NBC News reported on Thursday.

    NBC, which cited anonymous law enforcement officials, said the two men were unarmed and...

  • Patrick Modiano: In Search of a Father

    2 days ago

    Patrick Modiano: In Search of a Father
    By Elaine Margolin

    Nobel Prize winning author Patrick Modiano is always looking for his dead father.  I am looking for mine.  Perhaps this is what draws me to him.  Both Modiano and I don’t want to find our fathers to tell them we love them...

  • Israeli think tank ponders bilateral relations

    2 days ago

    After President Barack Obama’s March 19 statement that he was going to “reassess” policy options following the pre-election disavowal of a two-state solution by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bar Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) began...

  • My dad was in the Army

    2 days ago

    My dad was like no other. 

    He was an accomplished CPA. That in itself might not seem so unusual, but how many accountants do you know who are also adept at wilderness survival? He could identify all of the animal tracks and scat. He knew the differences between poison ivy and...

  • Heroes to Heroes helps U.S. soldiers heal their psychic wounds

    2 days ago

    With his two kids out of the house, retired Army Sgt. Harrison Manyoma planned to commit suicide on Aug. 10, 2012. But a Jewish mother from New Jersey derailed his plans. 

    Judy Schaffer started Heroes to Heroes after meeting wounded war veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center...

  • A German Jew who served the U.S. at Utah Beach

    2 days ago

    “Col. James Van Fleet took me aside and said, ‘Bodlander, since you speak both French and German, I want you on my boat when we go ashore. And, incidentally, I will be the first person to step onto land; you’ll be the second,’ ” Walter Bodlander said in a recent interview.

    ...
  • Moving and Shaking: Celebrate Israel Festival

    2 days ago

    Finished projects in the festival’s arts and crafts area. Photo by Siara Groch

    Israeli Scouts parade with American and Israeli flags during the May 17 Celebrate Israel Festival, organized by the Israeli-American Council. Photo courtesy of IAC

    Miri Shepher, chair of the...

  • Arms open wide to embrace everything Israel

    2 days ago

    The smell of schnitzel was in the air. The sounds of Israeli music and Hebrew were, too. But love … that remained firmly earthbound at the Celebrate Israel Festival, held May 17 at Rancho Park.

    That’s where a giant, 12-foot-tall replica of the Ahava (“love” in Hebrew) sculpture...

  • Talmudic temptation

    2 days ago

    From a glass-enclosed cabinet in her Westchester home office, historical novelist Maggie Anton removed a small clay pot. Indicating the Hebrew characters inscribed on the pot in the same Aramaic text as in the Talmud, she noted the rough outline of a demonic form inside the...

  • A message to centrist American Jews: Time to speak out

    2 days ago

    We’ve just celebrated Israel’s 67th Independence Day —– a remarkable achievement that makes us proud. But more and more American Jews worry that the sharpening divisions in our community are hampering our efforts to help Israel achieve long-term security and peace.

    And...

  • The trauma of privilege

    2 days ago

    I have been in the center of the swirl of awareness about the unintended consequences of affluence and privilege on our children. I meet these youngsters and their families when crisis penetrates the denial system and they arrive at Beit T’Shuvah, the recovery community I founded...

  • Letters to the Editor: Israeli-Americans, Hussein Aboubakr Mansour and Pamela Geller

    2 days ago

    How Jewish Are They?

    There is one question not addressed in the article (“The Israeli-Americans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where They’re Headed, Why They Matter, May 15): How Jewish are they? I didn’t read anything (perhaps I read too fast) about celebrating Jewish holidays,...

  • Obituaries: Week of May 22–28

    2 days ago

    David Allan Ball died April 29 at 74. Survived by wife Marlene; daughters Donna (William) Martensen, Denise Razavi; stepson Kevin (Maria) Berensohn; 3 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; brother Joseph (Cathy). Mount Sinai

    Bernice Bergman died May 4 at 93. Survived by son Sandy...

  • The Holocaust film that is upending the genre – and other Jewish notes from Cannes

    2 days ago

    Given the long and storied history of the Holocaust film genre, it’s unusual for a new movie on the subject to be lauded as innovative.

    But the new film “Son of Saul,” the first by Hungarian director Laszlo Nemes, is being called just that. It’s also become the most widely talked...

  • The authenticity of anonymity, the absurdity of fame

    2 days ago

    It starts with that moon. That haunting, mystical full moon that rises over erev Passover, the brightest of the year. The same moon that accompanied our ancestors as they committed the most courageous, terrifying, faithful act of our history. This was their light. It is our light.

    ...
  • Swiss court orders Israel to pay Iran $1.1 billion

    2 days ago

    A Swiss court has ordered Israel to pay $1.1 billion to Iran over a shah-era oil debt.

    The debt harkens back to a 1968 agreement in which the government-controlled National Iranian Oil Company shipped oil through Israeli ports and sold crude oil to Israel. Under the agreement,...

  • Joe Lieberman: Next U.S. president will bring warmer relations with Israel

    2 days ago

    Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, in an interview with JTA, surmised that the next U.S. administration would be friendlier with Israel than the current one. He also expressed concern over America’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, saying they are “going in a bad direction,” and...

  • Obama: Disagreeing with Israel is necessary to defend it

    2 days ago

    Open disagreement with Israel on some of its policies is a necessary component of the U.S. defense of Israel in the international community, President Barack Obama said.

    Obama, in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg posted Thursday on The Atlantic’s website, singled out Israeli...

  • On Shavuot, reopening the book

    2 days ago

    On Shavuot, which this year falls on May 23, we celebrate the day that we received the Torah on Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. Think about that. Every year, we celebrate receiving the exact same book, or, more precisely, re-receiving the exact same Torah. But if I possess...

  • Ancient Jerusalem aqueduct discovered during sewer work

    2 days ago

    A section of Jerusalem’s lower aqueduct, which brought water to the city more than 2,000 years ago, was uncovered during sewer work.

    The aqueduct, which was excavated by the Israel Antiquities Authority, was found in the Umm Tuba neighborhood, near Har Homa. It begins near...

  • Univ. of California alumni call for steps to curb campus anti-Semitism

    2 days ago

    More than 500 alumni of the University of California called on the system’s president and Board of Regents to address the “rising tide of anti-Jewish bigotry at the UC.”

    The alumni wrote in the open letter published Wednesday in the Daily Bruin, the student newspaper of the...

  • Osama bin Laden’s reading list included book by Holocaust denier

    2 days ago

    Osama bin Laden had books by conspiracy theorists and one by a Holocaust denier in his Pakistan compound raided by Navy SEALs four years ago.

    They were among the details on hundreds of letters, books, magazine articles, reports and other materials found in the al-Qaeda founder’s...

  • Netanyahu renews support for two-state solution with Palestinians

    2 days ago

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renewed his commitment on Wednesday to a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after backtracking on that pledge during a heated campaign for a March election.

    Speaking as he met with European Union foreign policy chief...

  • Bamidbar: Centering in the Wilderness

    2 days ago

    This article originally appeared on Neesh Noosh.

    Bamidbar is both the name of the fourth book of the Torah (referred to in English as Book of Numbers) and this week’s portion. After receiving the 10 Commandments at Mount Sinai, Bamidbar/Numbers tells the Israelites journey...

  • White House assures Israel on nuclear conference

    2 days ago

    The United States will ensure that any text coming out of a conference reviewing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty meets Israel’s interests, the White House said.

    Suggestions to the contrary are “offensive,” the White House said in an email sent to JTA on Thursday.

    Israeli...

  • Lieberman calls two-state supporters ‘autistic’

    2 days ago

    Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s former foreign minister, called supporters of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict “autistic.”

    Lieberman, who heads the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, made his remarks Thursday in an interview with Israel Radio.

    “Anyone who...

  • Islamic State says in full control of Syria’s Palmyra after westward advance

    2 days ago

    Islamic State fighters tightened their grip on the historic city of Palmyra in Syria, days after capturing a provincial capital in neighboring Iraq, suggesting the growing momentum of the group which a monitor says now holds half of Syrian territory.

    The twin successes pile...

  • Around-the-clock cleanup effort under way on oil-fouled California beach

    3 days ago

    Santa Barbara-- Cleanup teams labored on Thursday for a third day to remove patches of crude petroleum that stained a California beach and fouled offshore waters from a pipeline rupture that may rank as the biggest oil spill to hit the Santa Barbara coastline in more than four...

  • Houthis launch assault on critical media in Yemen

    3 days ago

    This story originally appeared on themedialine.org.

    An atmosphere of intimidation is silencing Yemen’s journalists. At least 100 media outlets have closed out of fear that they will be targeted by Houthi fighters who are waging a campaign to mute criticism of the Shi’ite Islamist...

  • Hebrew word of the week: avaTiyyiaH

    3 days ago

    One of the most popular summer fruits in modern Israel, watermelon appears only once in the Bible, as the favorite fruit of the slaves in Egypt, which they missed a lot in the Sinai Desert, where their throat “was dried away,” (Numbers 11:5-6).

    The famous French medieval...

  • A Lollipop for E.P.

    3 days ago

    Stuck a Chupa Chup into the ground

    Beside the grave of Ezra Pound

    Then jumped aboard the vaporetto

    To lose myself in the Jewish ghetto

    Looking for the synagogue

    That kept moving in the Venice fog

    Like an apparition in the crowd

    Where Jews were sometimes allowed.


    Joshua Weiner is the author of three books of poetry; his most recent book is “The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish.”  He lives in Washington, D.C.

  • Israel ranked as 7th best country for gay men

    3 days ago

    Israel is the world’s seventh-best country for gay men, according to a poll of 115,000 gay men in 127 countries.

    The Gay Happiness Index, a collaboration of the gay dating network Planet Romeo and researchers from Germany’s Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, named Iceland...

  • U.S. approves sale of $1.87 billion in munitions to Israel

    3 days ago

    The U.S. State Department this week approved the sale of $1.87 billion in munitions and precision guidance kits to Israel to improve the capability of existing systems and make it easier for U.S. and Israeli military forces to work together.

    The Pentagon's Defense Security...

  • One year after attack, Brussels Jewish museum is drawing crowds

    3 days ago

    Although they now have to pass through a metal detector flanked by three armed soldiers, visitors to Brussels’ Jewish museum seem undeterred by the security arrangements that were introduced there last year, after the slaying of four people, allegedly by an Islamist fanatic.

    ...
  • Netanyahu tells EU’s chief diplomat he is committed to two-state solution

    3 days ago

     Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the European Union’s top diplomat that he was committed to finding a two-state solution with the Palestinians, as long as they recognize the Jewish state.

    “I don’t support a one-state solution – I don’t believe that’s a solution at...

  • Are entertainers and sports heroes emblematic of Jewish American heritage?

    3 days ago

    The 10th Jewish American Heritage Month is nearing its final week, with President Barack Obama set to mark the occasion with a speech at a Washington synagogue, and the celebration raises an interesting question:

    What is it about Jews and entertainment?

    That is, why does the...

  • 2 ex-Madoff employees avoid jail time

    3 days ago

    Two former employees of Bernard Madoff who helped him carry out his $17 billion Ponzi scheme have avoided prison sentences.

    Eric Lipkin, a payroll clerk and assistant to Madoff’s chief financial officer, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to two years of...

  • Franklin Graham wants Ginsburg and Kagan — and all the Supremes — to think as he does

    3 days ago

    The Washington PostRaw Story and other outlets are reporting on preacher Franklin Graham’s appeal to followers to pray that the eyes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg “be opened to the truth of Scripture” when she considers the gay marriage case currently under consideration by the Supreme...

  • Racism in Israeli soccer? Join the (reprehensible) club

    3 days ago

    When delegates from FIFA’s 209 member states vote next week on a motion to suspend Israel from international soccer, they’ll base their decision on three Palestinian claims:

    • That Israel unjustly restricts Palestinian soccer players’ travel
    • That Israel fields teams in West...
  • Chief rabbi: Rabbinate should be consulted on Knesset bills

    3 days ago

    The Israeli government should consult with the Chief Rabbinate on every proposed bill, the Ashkenazi chief rabbi said.

    “I call on the justice minister to establish that for every bill that the government submits, just as it seeks the professional opinion of relevant ministries on...

  • Missionaries invade 2015 Israel festival in Los Angeles

    3 days ago

    I have attended Jewish/Israeli festivals in Los Angeles for almost 30 years.

    What I witnessed this year was unprecedented.

    Dozens of missionaries descended on —– or invaded — the Celebrate Israel Festival in ways that I never thought possible.

    Based on the number of...

  • Haredi papers welcome Israel’s women ministers — without first names or faces

    3 days ago

    Another group of women in powerful positions, another haredi Orthodox paper erasing them. Here we go again.

    After each new Israeli government is sworn in, its ministers pose for a group photo with the president. This year’s photo, taken yesterday, features Israel’s three...

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