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  • Apartment firebombed in Jewish neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem

    8 hours ago

    An apartment in a Jewish neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem was firebombed.

    A Molotov cocktail caused the balcony of an apartment in Armon HaNatziv to catch fire on Saturday night. There were no injuries reported.

    Israel Police and Border Patrol units searched the nearby...

  • Israel shuts Gaza border crossing following Palestinian rioting

    8 hours ago

    The Israeli military closed a border crossing with Gaza following riots by Palestinian demonstrators there.

    The protesters threw rocks at Israeli troops and rioted on Sunday afternoon at the Erez crossing, an Israel Defense Forces spokesman told Israeli media, and the troops...

  • Firebomb attack wounds Israeli father and daughter in West Bank

    2 days ago

    A firebomb attack on a car in the West Bank left an 11-year-old Israeli girl severely burned and her father injured on Thursday, the Israeli military said.

    The Israeli military said the suspected Palestinian attack was near the Ma'ale Shomron Jewish settlement, north of the West...

  • Sondheim’s Freudian ‘Woods’

    2 days ago

    The movie version of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway classic Into the Woods, which opened in theaters yesterday, is much more than several interwoven, fractured fairy tales. It’s a thicket of symbols and themes that draw directly on the ideas and Weltanschauung of Sigmund Freud.

    The...

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  • Argentina’s president adopts Jewish godson

    3 days ago

    Argentina’s president has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history.

    President Christina Fernandez described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family.

    He was adopted as a godson under...

  • Israeli girl, 11, seriously injured in West Bank firebomb attack

    3 days ago

    An 11-year-old girl was seriously injured when a firebomb hit their car in the northern West Bank.

    The girl, Ayala Shapira, was taken to a Tel Aviv hospital with third-degree burns over 50 percent of her body, including her face and upper body following the Thursday evening...

  • U.S. agency pays Alan Gross in contract settlement

    3 days ago

    The U.S. Agency for International Development has reportedly paid Alan Gross $3.2 million as part of a settlement of with his employer, Development Alternatives.

    The settlement, announced Tuesday in a statement by USAID, aimed to resolve claims pending before the Civilian Board...

  • Ex-envoy Michael Oren announces Knesset run

    3 days ago

    Michael Oren, the former Israeli envoy to the United States, will run in Israel’s upcoming elections.

    Oren was presented Wednesday as a candidate for the new political party Kulanu, headed by former Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon, who left the Likud Party in 2013. Kahlon...

  • Israel returns bodies of Har Nof terrorists

    3 days ago

    Israel returned the bodies of two terrorists who killed five worshippers in an attack on a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.

    The bodies were transferred to their families on Thursday, more than a month after attack during morning worship services at Bnei Torah...

  • New construction approved in East Jerusalem

    3 days ago

    Israeli authorities approved hundreds of new homes in Jewish neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem.

    The approvals were issued Wednesday for the neighborhoods of Ramot and Har Homa, though reports varied on the number of units approved.

    The Times of Israel reported that 243 new...

  • On homosexuality, top YU rabbi just doesn’t get it

    3 days ago

    Yeshiva University Rosh Yeshiva and modern Orthodox godol (great) Rabbi Mordechai Willig’s recent comments about the changeability of homosexuality (tinyurl.com/RavWillig, 30 minutes in) demand a response.

    I have great respect for Rav Willig. He spoke at my yeshiva, and he has...

  • The Great Leonard Beerman z”l: Inspiration through Word and Deed

    3 days ago

    This week witnessed the passing of two towering giants who left a profound mark on Los Angeles, but who served as proud citizens of the world: Rabbi Harold Schulweis z”l and Rabbi Leonard Beerman z”l. Rabbi Schulweis transformed Valley Beth Shalom into a unique center of learning...

  • Don’t blame the USY’ers – blame the adults

    4 days ago

    On Monday, the international board of United Synagogue Youth (USY) voted to junk the Conservative teen group’s requirement that its top leaders date only Jews. Instead, the leaders are supposed to “strive” to “model healthy Jewish dating choices” (whatever that means). A number of...

  • Equality in the United States? Progress in principle, but not in practice

    4 days ago

    The cases of black men being killed by police officers throughout the country and police officers being killed last week in New York have shined a powerful light on the racial tensions still existent in American society.

    These cases have only widened the already large divide...

  • Haredi circumcision practice infects New York baby with herpes

    4 days ago

    A controversial circumcision practice has led to the infection of a New York City baby with neonatal herpes, according to the city’s health department.

    The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced Tuesday in a press release that the case was reported in...

  • 30 senior Israeli officials detained in corruption sweep

    4 days ago

    Israeli police have detained 30 senior officials accused of corruption, including Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirshenbaum.

    The officials, who where detained Wednesday morning after a yearlong investigation, also include a former government minister and senior officials in...

  • Hamas commander killed; IDF soldier seriously injured in clash near Gaza border

    4 days ago

    Israeli forces shot dead a member of Hamas's armed wing after a firefight erupted along the border with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday and an Israeli soldier was wounded, Gaza hospital officials and the Israeli army said.

    The military said in a statement that a routine patrol on the...

  • Founding Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple, Leonard I. Beerman, dies at 93

    4 days ago

    Rabbi Leonard Beerman, founding rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple, renown for his unremitting pacifism and for speaking out against injustice, died on Dec. 24 at the age of 93.

    Beerman grew the congregation of Leo Baeck Temple from a small community of 28 members when he arrived in 1949...

  • Sony Pictures puts ‘The Interview’ back in theaters

    5 days ago

    Sony Pictures said on Tuesday it will release "The Interview" to a limited number of theaters on Dec. 25, less than a week after it canceled the comedy's release following a devastating cyberattack blamed on North Korea.

    [ROB ESHMAN: How to hack the Sony hackers]

    The decision...

  • Economic issues whip up Israelis in chocolate pudding election

    6 days ago

    Israel's high cost of living is set to dominate a March 17 election that could shake up Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition, with voter anger symbolized by an overpriced dessert.

    In a country where the influence of small parties makes elections notoriously hard to...

  • Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis: Why Ferguson matters to Jews, and what makes a rabbi's life well-lived

    1 week ago

    From a poem by Rabbi Schulweis:

    For Those Beloved Who Survive Me

    Mourning by Harold M. Schulweis

    Mourn me not with tears, ashes or sackcloth.
    Nor dwell in darkness, sadness or remorse.
    Remember that I love you, and wish for you a life of song.
    My immortality, if there be...

  • Israel destroys Gaza cement factory in retaliation for rocket attack

    1 week ago

    Israel destroyed what the military said was a cement factory in Gaza following the firing of a rocket from Gaza that damaged agricultural fields in a southern Israeli kibbutz.

    The Israeli Air Force destroyed the factory on Saturday in response to the rocket...

  • North Korea denies hacking Sony, U.S. stands by its assertion

    1 week ago

    North Korea said on Saturday U.S. accusations that it was involved in a cyberattack on Sony Pictures were "groundless slander" and that it wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the United States.

    An unnamed spokesman of the North's foreign ministry said there would...

  • Judaism is the particular language through which Jews address humanity

    1 week ago

    RABBI HAROLD M. SCHULWEIS was the spiritual leader of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, and author of many books, including For Those Who Cant Believe, In Gods Mirror, Evil and the Morality of God, and Approaches to the Philosophy of Religion. He was the founding chairman...

  • Israel bombs Gaza militant base after rocket hits southern Israel

    1 week ago

     Israeli aircraft bombed a Hamas militant base in the Gaza Strip on Friday for the first time since the end of a war in the territory, in response to a rocket that militants launched earlier in the day, the army said.

    The bombs struck in the Khan Younis area in the southern Gaza...

  • What Pakistan wants: its people or terrorists

    1 week ago

    Museum of death

    Rows and rows of men stood in straight lines, hands folded in front of their chests, offering a Namaz-e-Janaza (prayer before burial) on Wednesday.  Some held their chests tighter as if to push back something that wanted to burst out; a howl, or a murmur or an...

  • A military miracle: Chanukah care for U.S. armed forces personnel

    1 week ago

    On Chanukah, Jews around the world pay tribute to the Maccabees, a small band of Jewish soldiers who pulled off an improbable military victory.

    Members of the Israel Defense Forces carry on that legacy today, and for Hanukkah, they too are recognized alongside their Maccabean...

  • Behind every great ‘Serial’ podcast host, a Jewish studies professor

    1 week ago

    No spoilers here about the “Serial” season finale, but I will say this much: The episode ends with … a special thanks to a certain Jewish studies professor.

    That would be Benjamin Schreier, the interim director of the Jewish studies program at Penn State and the husband of...

  • Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis: The First 80 Years [DOCUMENTARY]

    1 week ago

    Rabbi Harold Schulweis, regarded as the most influential synagogue leader of his generation, died at his home after a long struggle with heart disease. He was 89.

    Read his full obituary here.

  • A rabbi’s rabbi: Harold M. Schulweis, an appreciation

    1 week ago

    It was the summer of 1974 when I arrived in Los Angeles. A friend told me about a rabbi in the San Fernando Valley who was transforming his synagogue into one of the most dynamic congregations in the city, if not the country. “There are a thousand people every Friday night,” he...

  • U.S. blames N.Korea for Sony cyberattack, vows ‘consequences’

    1 week ago

    The U.S. government on Friday blamed North Korea for a devastating cyberattack against Sony Pictures, calling it an unacceptable act of intimidation and vowing to impose "costs and consequences" on those responsible.

    It was the first time the United States had directly accused...

  • For North Korea’s cyber army, long-term target may be telecoms, utility grids

    1 week ago

    The hacking attack on Sony Pictures may have been a practice run for North Korea's elite cyber-army in a long-term goal of being able to cripple telecoms and energy grids in rival nations, defectors from the isolated state said.

    Non-conventional capabilities like cyber-warfare...

  • FBI deeply concerned about destructive nature of Sony hack

    1 week ago

    Following is the full text of the FBI's statement on Friday on the recent cyberattack against the Hollywood move studio Sony Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp. :

    "Today, the FBI would like to provide an update on the status of our investigation into the cyber attack targeting Sony...

  • For Cuban Jews in America, rapprochement with Castro regime a perilous choice

    1 week ago

    For many Cuban Jews – the majority of whom now live in the United States – it has been a bittersweet week.

    Like countless Jews around the world, they cheered the release of Alan Gross, the American Jewish telecommunications contractor who had been held in a Cuban prison for the...

  • Gaza rocket hits Israeli kibbutz

    1 week ago

    A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in a kibbutz near the Gaza border, but did not cause casualties or damage.

    The rocket that exploded Friday morning was the third that Palestinian terrorists have fired at Israel since the end of Israel’s 50-day assault on Hamas in Gaza,...

  • The Jewish community remembers Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis

    1 week ago

    [Do you have a photo or memory of Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis you'd like to share? Send an email here.]


    Harold Schulweis had a fertile mind and a capacious heart.  His sympathies ranged as widely as his intellect.  Every Rabbi knew, coming to him for advice, that you would walk...

  • ‘What have blacks ever done for Jews?’:  Answering the question

    1 week ago

    Except for the absence of Ramadan which is half a year away, this season’s  convergence of Christmas and Hanukkah with Kwanzaa (meaning “first fruits of the harvest” in Swahili) makes it such a great time to invoke the ecumenical spirit—especially among African Americans and Jews....

  • God Goes Hollywood in Exodus: Gods and Kings

    1 week ago

    Spoiler alert: Morgan Freeman does not play God in Exodus: Gods and Kings.  And this is only one of the many courageous risks that director Ridley Scott took in bringing the story of Moses to life in the just released movie. Instead of trying to depict the literal text of the Bible...

  • Biden at Chanukah candle-lighting: Jewish heritage is American heritage

    1 week ago

    Jewish notions of religious freedom so informed the American ethos that it “is fair to say that Jewish heritage is American heritage,” Vice President Joe Biden said at a menorah-lighting in front of the White House.

    Biden, attending the Dec. 16 event organized by American Friends...

  • Poll: Most Israelis see a crisis in U.S.-Israel ties

    1 week ago

    The majority of Israelis believe there is a crisis in U.S.-Israel ties and that the Netanyahu government has harmed the relationship, according to a new poll.

    A poll commissioned by J Street, the liberal U.S. Jewish Middle East policy group, and released on Dec. 15, found that...

  • Joint U.S.-Israel missile defense system fails interception test

    1 week ago

    Israel’s Arrow 3 interceptor missile defense system failed its first live interception test.

    A senior Israeli Defense Ministry official told the Associated Press that a Dec. 16 exercise to test the advanced system developed with the United States was unsuccessful.

    In the...

  • North American immigration to Israel rose 7 percent in 2014

    1 week ago

    Immigration to Israel from North America rose 7 percent in 2014 over the previous year to 3,762 olim from the United States and Canada, according to Nefesh B’Nefesh.

    The immigrants came on 17 special aliyah flights from North America, sponsored by facilitated by Nefesh B’Nefesh...

  • Gross’ release, and changes in diplomatic ties, signals new day for Cuban Jews

    1 week ago

    Alan Gross was imprisoned while trying to connect Cuba’s isolated Jewish community to the wider world. The deal that got him released five years later may do just that and much more.

    Gross’ flight home to suburban Washington on Wednesday with his wife, Judy, was part of a...

  • In U.S. relations with Israel, context is key

    2 weeks ago

    The strain in United States-Israel ties is a live issue in the Israel election campaign — and rightfully so. But if you glance at U.S. and Israeli media during the last couple of months, you’d think the relations have never been worse. Jeffrey Goldberg’s article in The Atlantic,...

  • A Moses named Christian and a Pharaoh named Turturro

    2 weeks ago

    Generally speaking, Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” is more biblically respectful than Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah,” which saw Russell Crowe performing a well-paid infomercial for Al Gore’s environmentalism. 

    Yet “Exodus” has been swarmed by critics accusing it of unchecked...

  • A Jewish artist whose work is at heart of Our Lady Cathedral

    2 weeks ago

    When Simon Toparovsky makes the rounds at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral downtown, he gets the rock-star treatment — handshakes and embraces from complete strangers who approach him to engage in conversation, pose for a photograph and tell him his artistic creations are amazing,...

  • U.S. to announce that North Korea behind Sony hack

    2 weeks ago

    U.S. investigators have determined that NorthKorea was behind a cyber attack on Sony Corp's computers, U.S. government sources said on Wednesday.

    One of the sources described the attack as "state-sponsored" and several sources said that North Korea was the government involved.

    ...
  • Despite artistic and political license, ‘Exodus’ connects to contemporary Jews

    2 weeks ago

    If you are going to see “Exodus: Gods and Kings” because it depicts an iconic cultural narrative that you want to better understand, I would caution against relying on director Ridley Scott’s version.  

    This epic adventure does offer an unparalleled work of digital art that...

  • Norman Lear: ‘That’s Not the American Way’

    2 weeks ago

    Following is an excerpt from Norman Lear’s autobiography, “Even This I Get to Experience”:

    The biggest next after my decade in network television was socio-political. It had begun brewing in me years earlier with the proliferation of fundamentalist TV ministries that perverted...

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