OP-ED While Israel tarries on pluralism, the Diaspora may be running out of patience

Orthodox Jews try to prevent a group of Conservative and Reform rabbis and Women of the Wall members from bringing Torah scrolls into the Western Wall compound in Jerusalem, Nov. 2, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)Orthodox Jews try to prevent a group of Conservative and Reform rabbis and Women of the Wall members from bringing Torah scrolls into the Western Wall compound in Jerusalem, Nov. 2, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Like many of my friends, I grew up in the United States with a strong affinity for Israel. As a child we saved money to buy trees, learned Israeli songs, studied Hebrew, visited Israel and marched in Israeli Independence Day parades. I recall well that my parents encouraged me to give part of my bar mitzvah… Read more »

Betsy DeVos, Trump pick for education, pleases Orthodox, spooks church-state separationists

Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence outside the clubhouse at Trump International Golf Club in Bedminster Township, N.J., Nov. 19, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence outside the clubhouse at Trump International Golf Club in Bedminster Township, N.J., Nov. 19, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Add sweeping school reforms – and with them, funding for private schools that Orthodox groups embrace and secular Jewish groups fear — to the campaign promises that Donald Trump plans to fulfill. Last week, just before Thanksgiving, the president-elect named Betsy DeVos, a billionaire education reform activist… Read more »

John Kerry: There are ‘things we can do’ to preserve two-state solution

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks at the Women's Foreign Policy Group Conference in Washington, D.C., Nov. 29, 2016. (State Department)U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks at the Women's Foreign Policy Group Conference in Washington, D.C., Nov. 29, 2016. (State Department)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry signaled in a speech that the Obama administration was still considering action on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in its final days, although it might fall short of a direct intervention on the issue. There’s no way to “force-feed” peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Kerry said… Read more »

How Israel is courting tourists from India and China

The Israeli government launches several initiatives to promote Israel as a destination for tourists from India and China. (Itamar Grinberg, Israeli Ministry of Tourism)The Israeli government launches several initiatives to promote Israel as a destination for tourists from India and China. (Itamar Grinberg, Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — When Bollywood star and Indian fashion icon Sonam Kapoor appeared on the cover of the June-July issue of Harper’s Bazaar Bride, India, she did so wearing a sheer pink confection and a radiant smile. Behind her sprawled the Old City of Jerusalem.  It wasn’t happenstance.… Read more »

Culture Shuk doorway to Jewish education

Rabbi Stephanie Aaron teaches at the Jewish Culture Shuk Nov 20.Rabbi Stephanie Aaron teaches at the Jewish Culture Shuk Nov 20.

Tucson’s Jewish Culture Shuk, a night of classes and discussions led by local rabbis and Jewish educators, is something Debbie Gubernick looks forward to every year. Gubernick, founder of Agents of STEAM, a local organization that helps facilitate events and literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, has attended… Read more »

Tucson artists’ menorahs on display at Park Place Mall exhibit

Stoneware menorah by Julie Szerina Stein.Stoneware menorah by Julie Szerina Stein.

Visitors to the Park Place Mall will be able to see a collection of menorahs through Dec. 31. The mall contacted the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona last year to ensure that there would be Hanukkah decorations amongst the Christmas decorations displayed at the mall during the winter holiday… Read more »

NPR’s Liasson examines media, divisive election at JFSA event

Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for NPR, speaks at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s “Together” event on Nov. 16 at Congregation Anshei Israel. (Martha Lochert)Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for NPR, speaks at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s “Together” event on Nov. 16 at Congregation Anshei Israel. (Martha Lochert)

Historical rules work until they stop working, Mara Liasson, an award-winning political correspondent for National Public Radio, told about 1,000 people who crowded Congregation Anshei Israel on Nov. 16 for the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s 2017 Community Campaign kickoff. President-elect Donald Trump proved that he could break all… Read more »

Why Jews in France might give right-wing populist Francois Fillon a chance

Francois Fillon, in a 2008 photo, is the front-runner to become French president in next year's elections. (Wikimedia Commons)Francois Fillon, in a 2008 photo, is the front-runner to become French president in next year's elections. (Wikimedia Commons)

(JTA) — If the French right-wing politician Francois Fillon is elected president next year, it won’t be for his skills at promoting interfaith dialogue. The secularist candidate widely favored to win the election in May managed to enrage many Jews, Muslims and even Catholics with a single explosive statement… Read more »

With the wildfires tamed, Israelis seek answers

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the scene of a fire in Zichron Yaakov, in northern Israel, Nov. 23, 2016. (Emil Salman/Pool)Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the scene of a fire in Zichron Yaakov, in northern Israel, Nov. 23, 2016. (Emil Salman/Pool)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – As the wildfires that raged across this country for nearly a week were subdued Sunday, Israelis surveyed the devastation in search of answers. The fires, which continued to flare Sunday evening, consumed as many as 32,000 acres of forest and brush across the country – an area more… Read more »


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