National

OP-ED Why Trump dominated Jewish coverage of the 2016 campaign

Donald Trump speaks with reporters following the first presidential debate, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Sept. 26, 2016. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)Donald Trump speaks with reporters following the first presidential debate, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Sept. 26, 2016. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — On Monday, one day before Election Day, I received a call from a reader. She identified herself as a Reform Jew, 46, from Chicago. She had praise for JTA and our daily newsletter, but also a complaint: Our emphasis on the Trump campaign, including charges over… Read more »

Will Obama launch a lame-duck Israel surprise? Not likely.

President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office, July 15, 2016. (Pete Souza/ official White House photo)President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office, July 15, 2016. (Pete Souza/ official White House photo)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – It started several months ago in anxious whispers among pro-Israel leaders. Now it has burst into the open in full-page ads in The New York Times and op-eds in The Wall Street Journal: Does Barack Obama have a lame-duck surprise in store for Israel? Or, as… Read more »

At Jewish colleges, student voters take a dim view of 2016 campaign

Jacob Silberstein called his first presidential campaign "underwhelming. (Ben Sales)Jacob Silberstein called his first presidential campaign "underwhelming. (Ben Sales)

NEW YORK (JTA) – Jacob Silberstein used one word to describe the first presidential campaign he’s experienced as a voter: “underwhelming.” Like many of his classmates at List College, a joint program here between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Silberstein voted for Hillary Clinton. He… Read more »

Brexit-like Trump victory? Could happen, British Jews warn

Protestors march at a rally in London, July 2, 2016. (Isabel Infantes/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)Protestors march at a rally in London, July 2, 2016. (Isabel Infantes/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

(JTA) – If you’re a Jewish-American liberal who believes that Donald Trump could never become president, British Jews have one word of warning: Brexit. Following the shocking referendum vote in June favoring a British exit from the European Union, many British Jews now believe that their liberal circles and cosmopolitan lifestyles… Read more »

FIRST PERSON Fear and loathing, but mostly loathing, on the campaign trail

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the second presidential debate, at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 9, 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the second presidential debate, at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 9, 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — Some of us are voting for Trump. Most of us are voting for Clinton. But we Jews are all afraid. There are the scandals, yes. There are emails and sexual assault allegations and emails and fraud and racism and anti-Semitism and emails. There are issues like… Read more »

Anti-Semitism unleashed by Trump followers chills Jewish voters

Bend the Arc protesters demonstrate outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City, Sept. 29, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)Bend the Arc protesters demonstrate outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City, Sept. 29, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Pieties? Out. Passports? In. Paranoia? On its way. Jewish Americans have never been ones to sit out an election, whether it comes to voting, political fundraising or dinner table punditry. But even for a community grown used to the political fray, the 2016 campaign was different.… Read more »

With 6 days to vote, top Trump advisers release detailed Israel plan

Jason Dov Greenblatt, seen at Trump world headquarters in Manhattan, is one of Donald Trump's two key Israel advisers along with being his top real estate attorney. (Uriel Heilman)Jason Dov Greenblatt, seen at Trump world headquarters in Manhattan, is one of Donald Trump's two key Israel advisers along with being his top real estate attorney. (Uriel Heilman)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Less than a week before the presidential election, Donald Trump’s two top Israel advisers released a detailed plan that pledges assistance to Israel beyond current levels but stops short of pledging to kill the Iran nuclear deal. The 16-point plan, which was posted Wednesday on the Medium publishing platform… Read more »

BLOG Cubs fans, like the Jews, now face the challenge of success

Chicago Cubs fans cheer after their team defeats the Cleveland Indians, 9-3, to win Game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Nov. 1, 2016. The Cubs would go on to win the Series for the first time since 1908. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)Chicago Cubs fans cheer after their team defeats the Cleveland Indians, 9-3, to win Game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Nov. 1, 2016. The Cubs would go on to win the Series for the first time since 1908. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — For years, I’ve told anyone who would listen that the Cubs were the team of the Jews. I’ve written two blog posts about it during the past month alone. Long suffering. Faithful. Bound to tradition. Hoping for redemption, to no avail. It was all there. Until… Read more »

The House elections: Doubling the Memphis contingent and other Jewish takes

Jacky Rosen speaks to campaign volunteers at the Nevada Democrats' field office in southwest Las Vegas, Oct. 18, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)Jacky Rosen speaks to campaign volunteers at the Nevada Democrats' field office in southwest Las Vegas, Oct. 18, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – California condors? I’ll show you rarities: Jewish congressmen from Memphis and Jewish Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. And both demographics may be set to double in population – to two. Seven Jews either running for open seats or challenging incumbents in Congress have a shot at… Read more »

World Series ignites old passions in American Jews living in the West Bank

From left, Doug Mandel, Iris Mandel and Mitch Mandel at their house in the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron, Oct. 28, 2016. (Andrew Tobin)From left, Doug Mandel, Iris Mandel and Mitch Mandel at their house in the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron, Oct. 28, 2016. (Andrew Tobin)

 KARNEI SHOMRON, West Bank (JTA) — The Chicago Cubs are facing the Cleveland Indians in a historic World Series, and most of Israel could not care less. This Jewish settlement is different. The Neve Aliza neighborhood of Karnei Shomron is overwhelmingly American. Among the some 200 families from the… Read more »

Election 2016: The top Jewish moments of a delirious campaign

Sen. Bernie Sanders waves in Concord on the day of the primary elections in New Hampshire, Feb. 9, 2016. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)Sen. Bernie Sanders waves in Concord on the day of the primary elections in New Hampshire, Feb. 9, 2016. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(JTA) — This presidential campaign has made Jewish history, for reasons good and bad. Bernie Sanders became the first Jewish candidate to win a U.S. presidential primary, and the families of both presidential nominees had strong Jewish ties. But the campaign also saw heated debate on Israel and Iran and a troubling rise… Read more »

The Jewish vote: Senate races to watch

Russ Feingold, left, is trying to take back the Wisconsin Senate seat he lost to Ron Johnson in 2010. (Darren Hauck/Getty Images)Russ Feingold, left, is trying to take back the Wisconsin Senate seat he lost to Ron Johnson in 2010. (Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Hillary vs. Donald is sucking all the air out of the room. Consider: The first woman major party nominee battling a reality TV star. The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, bragging in a 2005 video about sexual assault, then denying it when a dozen women corroborate his braggadacio. The… Read more »

OP-ED Why a rabbi under the chuppah may boost Jewish engagement in intermarried homes

Intermarried couples whose weddings were officiated by Jewish clergy as the only officiant are more highly engaged in Jewish life than other intermarried couples, a new study has found. (Ashley Novack)Intermarried couples whose weddings were officiated by Jewish clergy as the only officiant are more highly engaged in Jewish life than other intermarried couples, a new study has found. (Ashley Novack)

WALTHAM, Mass. (JTA) — At a summit meeting held last week at the National Museum of American Jewish History, several hundred communal professionals, rabbis, scholars, philanthropists and young intermarried couples gathered to discuss engagement of interfaith families in Jewish life. There is widespread communal agreement that intermarriage has reshaped the… Read more »

OP-ED In breast cancer testing, knowledge is power — and potentially distressing

Women representing Sharsheret, a support group for Jewish breast and ovarian cancer patients and their families. (Sharsheret/Facebook)Women representing Sharsheret, a support group for Jewish breast and ovarian cancer patients and their families. (Sharsheret/Facebook)

(JTA) — Five years ago, on a whim, Cindy, a 27-year-old Jewish woman, decided to pursue genetic testing through an online laboratory. She wasn’t expecting any surprises because she had no family history of cancer or increased risk factors. She was young and living a healthy lifestyle. But Cindy’s… Read more »

Ari Shavit scandal shines a focus on organizations’ sexual assault policies

Ari Shavit, left, and Danielle Berrin (Shavit photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Berrin photo: Facebook)Ari Shavit, left, and Danielle Berrin (Shavit photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Berrin photo: Facebook)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Hillel International’s swift decision to cancel a campus tour featuring Israeli journalist Ari Shavit has prompted other organizations to consider similar policies on speakers and sexual assault. On Thursday, following allegations that Shavit sexually assaulted a reporter, Hillel nixed a speaking tour featuring Shavit scheduled for later… Read more »

A Brooklyn judge becomes America’s first Hasidic woman to serve in public office

Rachel Freier in her Borough Park law office with, from left to right, nephew Shmuel Freier, husband David Freier and son Mayer Freier. (Andrew Katz)Rachel Freier in her Borough Park law office with, from left to right, nephew Shmuel Freier, husband David Freier and son Mayer Freier. (Andrew Katz)

  (JTA) — For much of her adult life, Rachel Freier has been a trailblazer in her Hasidic Brooklyn community of Borough Park: a lawyer, an advocate for higher education, the founder of an all-female ambulance service and of a nonprofit to aid underprivileged mothers during the Gulf War. Now… Read more »

Black rabbinical student leads ‘Army of Moms’ in fighting Chicago gun violence

'I was always taught that Jews were survivors,' says Tamar Manasseh. 'Black people were never taught that we were survivors.' (Courtesy of Manasseh)'I was always taught that Jews were survivors,' says Tamar Manasseh. 'Black people were never taught that we were survivors.' (Courtesy of Manasseh)

CHICAGO (JTA) — The same week Tamar Manasseh’s African-American son was going to become a bar mitzvah, gang violence killed two 13-year-old black boys who were also from Chicago’s South Side. As she picked out the bar mitzvah suit for her son, Manasseh couldn’t shake the image of the slain boys’… Read more »