National

In S. Carolina, kosher-vegetarian dining hall seeks to bring diverse populations to the table

Dara Rosenblatt, Jewish sudent life program coordinator at the College of Charleston, at an Israel fest celebration on campus, April 23, 2015. (Ruth Ellen Gruber)Dara Rosenblatt, Jewish sudent life program coordinator at the College of Charleston, at an Israel fest celebration on campus, April 23, 2015. (Ruth Ellen Gruber)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (JTA) – Renowned for its gracious architecture and signature Southern charm, Charleston is increasingly celebrated as a foodie heaven. The trouble is, in a city whose culinary specialties embrace (and glorify) oysters, she-crab soup, and shrimp and grits, the burgeoning restaurant scene is nearly off limits to… Read more »

At JTS, Cardinal Dolan says Catholic-Jewish relations are strong

NEW YORK (JTA) — A half-century ago this year, the Catholic Church issued a landmark document that decried anti-Semitism and asserted that Jews could not be blamed for killing Jesus. The effect: Long-fraught relations between Catholics and Jews were dramatically improved. To mark 50 years since the detente, New… Read more »

Can Netanyahu make new narrow coalition work?

Jewish Home's Ayelet shaked discussing budgets for Israeli settlements at a meeting of the State Control Committee at the Knesset in Jerusalem, Nov. 10, 2014. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)Jewish Home's Ayelet shaked discussing budgets for Israeli settlements at a meeting of the State Control Committee at the Knesset in Jerusalem, Nov. 10, 2014. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) – Seven weeks after he won reelection, Benjamin Netanyahu finally secured a fourth term as prime minister. With 90 minutes to go until a Wednesday night deadline to form a governing coalition, Netanyahu concluded an agreement with the religious, pro-settler Jewish Home party that gives him… Read more »

How Jews are trying to make things better after Baltimore

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism legislative assistants at a rally May 1 in Baltimore. (Courtesy of Religious Action Center)Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism legislative assistants at a rally May 1 in Baltimore. (Courtesy of Religious Action Center)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – From roundtable discussions to protests and prayers to candid talk with law enforcement officials, American Jewish communities are joining in the debate about community policing in the wake of several high-profile deaths of unarmed black men while in police custody. Officials were short on specifics, but… Read more »

In time for Mother’s Day, ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ author celebrates book’s 25th birthday

The book jacket of the new edition of"Heather Has Two Mommies," which features new color illustrations by Laura Cornell. (Courtesy of Candlewick Press)The book jacket of the new edition of"Heather Has Two Mommies," which features new color illustrations by Laura Cornell. (Courtesy of Candlewick Press)

(JTA) — Leslea Newman’s iconic picture book “Heather Has Two Mommies” had a simple beginning. A woman approached Newman on the street in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she lived at the time, and said her family needed a book to which her daughter could relate. Meaning that she wanted to… Read more »

Amid the violence: Background on Baltimore’s Jews

Volunteers cleaning up in Baltimore following disturbances the previous evening, April 28, 2015. (Melissa Gerr/Baltimore Jewish Times)Volunteers cleaning up in Baltimore following disturbances the previous evening, April 28, 2015. (Melissa Gerr/Baltimore Jewish Times)

(JTA) — The April 19 death of an African-American resident of Baltimore, Freddie Gray, while in police custody triggered a wave of protests in the city and shined a light on its history of police brutality and racial and economic disparities. On Monday, the protests turned violent, giving way to… Read more »

At Jewish Republican confab, Sheldon Adelson looms large

LAS VEGAS (JTA) – “It’s so noisy,” Kenny says. Yes, it’s noisy. This is Vegas. The Venetian. The casino floor. The bikinis, the brides-to-be, the blonde with the “I’m 21, bitches” T-shirt. The whoops, the hissing, the groans, the bells. This is Las Vegas, where Sheldon Adelson, who owns… Read more »

Recycling toilet water and 4 other Israeli answers to California’s drought

A faucet and toilets are seen in a classroom in the ecological village in Nitzana, Israel. Students there learn about desalination and  how to save water. (Chen Leopold/Flash 90)A faucet and toilets are seen in a classroom in the ecological village in Nitzana, Israel. Students there learn about desalination and how to save water. (Chen Leopold/Flash 90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — For help facing its worst drought in centuries, California should look to a country that beat its own chronic water shortage: Israel. Until a few years ago, Israel’s wells seemed like they were always running dry. TV commercials urged Israelis to conserve water. Newspapers tracked… Read more »

Who are the Republican candidates’ Jewish donors?

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Election Day is 19 months away, but the campaign already has begun. Aside from Democrat Hillary Clinton, three Republican candidates with reasonable chances at the nomination have declared and several others are on the cusp. The Republican Party says it’s been making inroads with Jewish voters, who… Read more »

Stanford student accuses group of anti-Semitic question

(J. weekly via JTA) — A junior at Stanford University who is running for the student senate says she faced anti-Semitic questioning from a student group whose endorsement she was seeking. During a March 13 interview in front of eight members of the university’s Students of Color Coalition, Molly… Read more »

Clinton weighs loyalty to Obama with distinctions on Israel issues

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Hillary Clinton does not appear until 90 seconds into the two-minute video rolling out her campaign. No one among the bright and diverse array of everyday Americans in that video mentions foreign policy. Or Barack Obama. Jewish Democrats say the video released this weekend is emblematic… Read more »

Competing views of Iran deal highlight challenges ahead

President Barack Obama has said that Iran should be granted sanctions relief only once it begins to implement a nuclear accord. (Chip Semodevilla/Getty Images)President Barack Obama has said that Iran should be granted sanctions relief only once it begins to implement a nuclear accord. (Chip Semodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Now that the outline for an Iran nuclear agreement has been released — or, more precisely, two outlines, one by Iran, the other by the Obama administration — major gaps have emerged that will need to be resolved ahead of a June 30 deadline for a… Read more »

Obama and Netanyahu dig in for fight over Iran deal

(JTA) — For President Obama, the framework agreement reached Thursday with Iran is a “historic understanding” that does more to roll back Tehran’s nuclear program than any possible alternative and avoids the risk of a destructive war in the Middle East. But to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it’s… Read more »

Pew study: Muslims to overtake American Jews by 2050

American Muslims are expected to be more numerous than American Jews by the year 2035, according to a new study. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)American Muslims are expected to be more numerous than American Jews by the year 2035, according to a new study. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) – In 20 years, there will be more Muslims in North America than Jews, according to a new Pew Research Center report. The report, which was released Thursday, also found that more American Jews are leaving Judaism than non-Jews are joining the Jewish people. According to… Read more »

Riskin’s Haman remark reflects broad Israeli distrust of Obama

TEL AVIV (JTA) — For years, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has compared Iran to the biblical Persia, the ancient kingdom where the Jewish people were nearly annihilated through the evil designs of the arch-villain Haman. But when an American-born rabbi, widely seen as a religious moderate who… Read more »

Some of Lincoln’s best friends were Jews

The cover of "Lincoln and the Jews: A History," by Jonathan Sarna and Benjamin Shapell. (Courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books)The cover of "Lincoln and the Jews: A History," by Jonathan Sarna and Benjamin Shapell. (Courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books)

(JTA) – A whopping 16,000 books have been written about President Abraham Lincoln. But a new book and an exhibit at the New York Historical Society tell a previously untold story about Lincoln: his relationships with Jews. Benjamin Shapell has been collecting documents relating to Lincoln and the Jews… Read more »

Meet Ruth Porat, Google’s new CFO

Ruth Porat, who will join Google as its chief financial officer, with the former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, left, and former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank at a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution in Washington, March 2, 2015. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Ruth Porat, who will join Google as its chief financial officer, with the former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, left, and former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank at a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution in Washington, March 2, 2015. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(JTA) — To the business press, the symbolism of Ruth Porat’s move from her position as chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley to her newly announced perch as Google’s CFO of the future couldn’t be more obvious — it represents a shift in power from Wall Street to Silicon… Read more »

J Street U students describe emotional, polarized Israel climate on campus

J Street U studentsparticipating in a protestagainst Hillel International on the sidelines of the J Street conference in Washington, March 23, 2015. (Moshe Zusman)J Street U studentsparticipating in a protestagainst Hillel International on the sidelines of the J Street conference in Washington, March 23, 2015. (Moshe Zusman)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — At noon Monday, several hundred students marched through the bright March sunshine from the J Street conference at the Washington Convention Center for a protest. “This is not a march!” organizers pleaded as the orderly group moved south from the Carnegie Library to the headquarters of… Read more »