JTA (83)

Bernie Sanders declares 'victory' in withdrawal of GOP health bill, Reform movement urges expanding coverage

— Sen. Bernie Sanders applauded the pulling of a Republican bill meant to repeal the Affordable Care Act, while the Reform movement's Religious Action Center urged expanding health care coverage. Sanders, Ind.-Vt., called it “a major victory” after House Speaker Paul Ryan, ...

Bernie Sanders calls withdrawal of GOP health bill 'victory,' Reform movement urges expanding coverage

— Sen. Bernie Sanders applauded the pulling of a Republican bill meant to repeal the Affordable Care Act, while the Reform movement's Religious Action Center urged expanding health care coverage. Sanders, Ind.-Vt., called it “a major victory” after House Speaker Paul Ryan, ...

Overwhelming majority of House Democrats urge Trump to preserve 'two states'

WASHINGTON – The overwhelming majority of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives urged President Donald Trump to reaffirm the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as U.S. policy. With 187 of 193 voting Democrats signing, the letter to Trump released Friday is a pointed ...

Ohio State Hillel is anti-BDS, not anti-LGBT

, Last week, Ohio State University Hillel was accused of being anti-LGBT because it was forced to disassociate with a Jewish LGBT campus group, B'nai Keshet, after the group decided to co-sponsor a fundraiser for queer refugees with Jewish Voice for Peace. I was shocked to hear this accusation and ...

New York man admits he groped woman on Israel-New Jersey flight

— A New York man is facing up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to inappropriately touching the woman sitting next to him on a flight from Israel to Newark, New Jersey. Yoel Oberlander, 36, who is a registered sex offender, pleaded guilty to the charge of assault with intent to commit...

Frankfurt Jewish group severs ties with German city's Chabad over 'disrespect' and 'insults'

BERLIN , The umbrella group representing the Jewish community of Frankfurt is distancing itself from the city's Chabad-Lubavitch chapter following a series of alleged instances of “disrespect” shown against local non-Chabad rabbis. In an open letter published March 20, the Jewish ...

Jewish groups offer mixed responses to David Friedman's confirmation as Israel envoy

— Jewish groups offered varied reactions, including disappointment, tepid congratulations and enthusiasm, to the confirmation of David Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel. On Thursday the U.S Senate confirmed Friedman, a longtime lawyer of President Donald Trump who outraged some Jewish ...

This 90-year-old German rabbi is now a movie star

BERLIN , For many Germans, Rabbi William “Willy” Wolff is the first Jewish religious leader they have ever met. And he's the perfect man for the job. Diminutive, with a disarming chuckle and twinkling eyes, Wolff, who turned 90 in February, effortlessly breaks down that uniquely German ...

UN committee chief backs Argentina's proposed revamp for anti-terror law

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina , Argentina's proposed update of its 10-year-old anti-terrorism law received the support of a United Nations committee leader after earlier gaining the backing of the Jewish community. Jean-Paul Laborde, who heads the Executive Directorate of the U.N. Security Council's ...

Freemasons boss assaulted in suspected anti-Semitic incident in Paris

PARIS , A leader of the Freemasons in France said he was assaulted on the street by a woman carrying a hammer who called him a Jew. Christophe Habas, the master of the Grand Orient of France, suffered superficial wounds in the incident Wednesday night as he was walking to a metro station in...

NY federation calls Republican health care bill 'potentially disastrous'

NEW YORK , New York's Jewish federation sent a letter to Congress members in the state opposing the Republican health care bill because of its potential negative impact on poor people. The letter sent Wednesday by Eric Goldstein, the CEO of the UJA-Federation of New York, opposes provisions in the ...

Bipartisan bill in House and Senate targets settlement boycotters with fines

WASHINGTON , A bipartisan slate of U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill that would extend fines on companies that comply with the Arab League boycott of Israel to those complying with a U.N.-designated boycotts of settlements. The Israel Anti-Boycott act initiated Thursday in the House of ...

This Canadian model is a comedy sensation in Israel

TEL AVIV – Renny Grinshpan is a Canadian Israeli with shaky Hebrew. Yet in the past several months, she has become famous in this country for her comedic commentary on Israeli culture. Millions watch her Facebook videos , and she is recognized on the street. Renny, can I get you something?' a ...

In second week of U.S.-Israel talks, Trump 'concerns' on settlements remain

WASHINGTON , After a lengthy session of U.S.-Israel talks, Israeli negotiators said they would take into account Trump administration “concerns” about settlement building, a sign that the issue continues to dog relations between the countries. The joint statement released Thursday night ...

Bomb threat suspect, named Michael Kaydar, used Bitcoin, Google Voice

, The Israeli-American suspected of perpetrating more than 100 bomb threats against Jewish institutions used technologies including Google Voice, a call forwarding service, and Bitcoin, a digital currency, to make the threats. According to an article in The Daily Beast, the 19-year-old suspect's ...

Haim Saban, getting Hollywood star, decries Trump's travel ban

WASHINGTON , Haim Saban, speaking at the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, related his immigrant story and decried the Trump administration's immigration policies. The Israeli-American entertainment mogul, 62, posed for photos Wednesday at the newly imprinted star, which was ...

Rasmea Odeh, Palestinian woman imprisoned in Israel for terror attack, takes US plea deal

— A Palestinian woman who had not told U.S. immigration authorities that she had been imprisoned in Israel for two terror attacks accepted a plea bargain that forces her to leave the country. Rasmea Odeh, 69, would not spend time in U.S. prison or detention but would lose her U.S. citizenship, ...

Senate introduces bipartisan bill with new Iran sanctions on eve of AIPAC conference

WASHINGTON , A bipartisan slate of senators has introduced new sanctions targeting Iran for its missile testing and destabilizing actions days before AIPAC's national conference. The Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017 was introduced Thursday by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the ...

Israeli police officer suspended after attacking Palestinian truck driver over fender bender

JERUSALEM , An Israel Police officer was suspended after being caught on video assaulting a Palestinian truck driver two days after a fender bender. The truck driver said he hit the police officer's parked car on Tuesday, but did not leave his insurance information. He said he knew that security ...

French Jews imagine life under President Marine Le Pen

PARIS , Like many Jews in France, Ludwig Fineltain is hoping against hope that Marine Le Pen will not be elected president of the country five weeks from now. At the moment, the head of the far-right National Front party is leading in the polls with 26 percent of the vote. But Fineltain, ...

Is Trump owed an apology after the JCC bomb threat arrest? Is anybody?

NEW YORK , Literally within seconds of the news of the arrest in Israel of an Israeli-American teenager for the bulk of the JCC bomb threats, Twitter lit up with Jewish anxiety. “ fear the inevitable backlash from haters who we whipped a frenzy for our own nefarious political aims” is ...

Deeply divided Senate confirms David Friedman as envoy to Israel

WASHINGTON , The U.S. Senate confirmed David Friedman, a confidante of President Donald Trump who outraged some Jewish groups with his broadsides against liberal Jews, as ambassador to Israel. The 52-46 vote on Thursday afternoon hewed mostly to party lines. Only two Democrats , Sens. Robert ...

Jewish bomb threat suspect undermines groups' narrative on anti-Semitism

NEW YORK , Many Jewish groups blamed white supremacists, emboldened by Donald Trump's campaign, for the bomb threats that have plagued Jewish institutions since the beginning of this year. It appears the groups were wrong. The news that one Jewish teen , an Israeli, no less , was behind most of the ...

UN secretary-general reaffirms ancient Jewish ties to Jerusalem

WASHINGTON , U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated his recognition of ancient Jewish ties to Jerusalem during a meeting with World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder. A statement Wednesday by the WJC said Lauder and Guterres met earlier in the week in New York, and that Guterres ...

Trump adviser Jason Greenblatt did not request settlement freeze, Prime Minister's Office says

JERUSALEM , The Prime Minister's Office has denied Israeli media reports that Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump's adviser on international relations, asked for a settlement freeze during meetings in Israel. The reports concerning Mr. Greenblatt's visit to Israel and any purported U.S. demands ...

Jewish groups, including those targeted, welcome arrest of bomb threat suspect

, Organizations targeted by recent bomb threats and other U.S. Jewish groups welcomed news of the arrest of a suspect, an Israeli with American citizenship who reportedly is Jewish. The Anti-Defamation League, whose headquarters in New York and at least three satellite offices across the country ...

6 decades after synagogue bombing, Atlanta Jews feel threats again

ATLANTA , When Janice Rothschild Blumberg first heard that a bomb threat had hit an Atlanta Jewish center, she had only one thought: It's happening all over again.' Blumberg, 93, remembers her shock in 1958 when white supremacists bombed her synagogue, then called the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation ...

US Holocaust Museum to award Angela Merkel with top honor named for Elie Wiesel

WASHINGTON , The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will bestow its highest honor, the Elie Wiesel Award, on German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her work advancing Holocaust awareness. “Chancellor Merkel has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to making the preservation of Holocaust memory a ...

9 Venezuelan converts arrive in Israel to start aliyah process

JERUSALEM – Nine Venezuelan converts arrived in Israel for the purpose of aliyah after their initial request was denied. The Venezuelans, five adults and four children, arrived without fanfare on Thursday morning, Haaretz reported. The Ministry of the Interior, which claimed the Venezuelans' ...

Jeff Sessions: JCC bomb threat probe spanned multiple continents

Jeff Sessions: JCC bomb threat probe spanned multiple continents WASHINGTON , Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the arrest in Israel of a teenager allegedly responsible for more than 100 bomb threats against U.S. Jewish institutions was the culmination of an investigation spanning multiple ...

Venezuela expresses 'desire' to re-establish diplomatic ties with Israel

RIO DE JANEIRO – Venezuela's foreign minister expressed to his country's chief rabbi “the desire to establish full relations with the State of Israel” eight years after the South American nation expelled its Israeli ambassador. “We suggested to start with a period of courtship, ...

Jewish groups urge Congress to preserve anti-Semitism monitor

WASHINGTON , Jewish defense groups urged Congress to preserve the State Department's anti-Semitism monitor. Representatives of the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Secure Community Network testified Wednesday before the human rights ...

Barry Shrage, longtime CEO of Boston Jewish federation, announces retirement

, Barry Shrage, the longtime president and CEO of the Boston-area Jewish federation, announced that he will resign effective next year. Shrage, 69, who has helmed the Combined Jewish Philanthropies for three decades, made the announcement in a letter Wednesday to the local Jewish community , the ...

Jewish countertenor, 23, wins prestigious Metropolitan Opera award

NEW YORK — A 23-year-old Jewish singer won a prominent competition held by the Metropolitan Opera. Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, a countertenor from Brooklyn, was one of six winners among the nine finalists who performed at the National Council Auditions Grand Finals at Lincoln Center on Sunday. The ...

Netanyahu praises China upon completing state visit there

JERUSALEM , Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walked the Great Wall of China at the end of a state visit to China. During the visit, which ended Wednesday, the University of Haifa signed an agreement with the Hangzhou Wahaha Group, a Chinese conglomerate, and the Institute of Automation at ...

Richard Gere on channeling his 'inner schlub' in new movie

— Richard Gere is sexy, suave, tough. He's been the star of a constellation of films, from “American Gigolo” to “Pretty Woman,” “An Officer and a Gentleman” to “Primal Fear.” At 67, the onetime People magazine Sexiest Man of the Year still has the ...

Israel, British Jewry offer condolences in wake of deadly London attacks

, At least two civilians and a police officer were killed in a car-ramming and knife attack outside the houses of Parliament in London. British authorities are calling the attack a “terrorist incident” as they continue to investigate the motive in the Wednesday afternoon attack. More ...

These two non-Jews are stars of Yiddish theater

NEW YORK — Veteran actor Shane Baker has performed in three productions of “God of Vengeance,” Sholem Asch's Yiddish classic about a brothel-owning family and their daughter's lesbian relationship. Currently playing to sold-out audiences at New York's Theatre at St. Clement's Church, ...

The last Passover countdown checklist you will ever need

, The 30-day period between Purim and Passover is often fraught, especially for Jews , especially if, against all sound advice, they insist on hosting a Passover seder. To ease the challenging process of planning and preparing the festive meal, we offer this handy Passover countdown checklist: 30 ...

$1 million in security grants available for New Jersey institutions

, Nonprofit organizations and religious institutions determined to be at high risk of terrorist attack in nine New Jersey counties can apply for $1 million in security grants, Gov. Chris Christie announced. Unfortunately, as incidents in the past few weeks have shown, every area of New Jersey is ...

Upstate NY man charged with spray-painting hate graffiti on his own home

, A man in upstate New York has been charged with spray-painting swastikas and hate messages on his own home. Jewish leaders in Schenectady also say that Andrew King, who was interviewed last month by the local media in front of his defaced home wearing a kippah, is not Jewish. He tried to ...

New campaign aims to help fund efforts to solve murder of Jewish DNC staffer

, The family of Seth Rich, a Jewish Democratic National Committee staffer killed near his Washington, D.C., home last summer, has launched a crowdfunding campaign in an effort to fund efforts to solve the case. The GoFundMe campaign as of Wednesday, three days after its launch, had raised ...

Netanyahu support for Trump's wall triggers wave of online anti-Semitism in Mexico

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina , The support expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January for President Donald Trump wanting to build a wall separating the United States and Mexico has triggered an alarming' wave of anti-Semitism online, according to an Argentine Jewish watchdog. A ...

Jewish teen network donates more than $1 million

, Jewish teens in a program for budding philanthropists donated more than $1 million during the 2015-16 school year, with nearly two-thirds going to Jewish organizations. The donations, which were given to 300 recipients, came from about 1,700 teens organized in 50 groups known as “teen ...

Jessica Biel discovers that she's a little bit Jewish

— The celebrities who appear on genealogy shows are almost invariably in for a surprise, like a criminal in their family tree or a British royal in their web of relatives. Some, like Dustin Hoffman — who broke down in tears on Finding Your Roots' last year — delve into their Jewish ancestry ...

Australia finds no evidence its World Vision funds went to Hamas

, An Australian government investigation found no evidence that funds it gave to the US-based Christian charity World Vision International were diverted to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The Australian government suspended some funding to World Vision last year after Israeli allegations that a senior ...

Hundreds of liquor bottles from WWI British soldiers uncovered in central Israel

JERUSALEM , Hundreds of liquor bottles whose contents were consumed by British soldiers during World War I were uncovered near Ramla in central Israel. The bottles were excavated by the Israel Antiquities Authority in preparation for the construction of a new highway, the IAA announced Wednesday. ...

Jewish groups quarrel over memorial service at pro-BDS group's conference

— An Israel advocacy group criticized a pro-BDS group for denying its request to hold a memorial event for Israeli terror victims at its conference. Jewish Voice for Peace, which is organizing the confab, said however that it had already planned its own general memorial event. The Israel ...

Preparing for Passover in Ukraine's last shtetl

BERSHAD, Ukraine , At first glance, this drab town 160 miles south of Kiev seems nearly identical to the settlements that dot the poverty-stricken district of Vinnitsa. Shrouded in a seemingly permanent cloud of smoke from wood fires — still the standard means of heating here , Bershad, ...

AIPAC 2017 preview: Seeking a bipartisan spirit in an extremely polarized capital

WASHINGTON – Maintaining Iran sanctions, crushing BDS and ensuring aid to Israel are high on the agenda, of course. But the overarching message at this year's conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is, if you want a break from polarization, come join us. This is an ...