National

AIPAC’s plans to ‘come together’ undone by Trump

Lillian Pinkus, AIPAC's first female president in a decade, speaking at the organization's conference in Washington, D.C., March 21, 2016. (Screenshot from YouTube)Lillian Pinkus, AIPAC's first female president in a decade, speaking at the organization's conference in Washington, D.C., March 21, 2016. (Screenshot from YouTube)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Hear out Donald Trump. Ignore Donald Trump. There were two distinct approaches to the Trump moment this week at AIPAC’s annual conference here, and there were mutual warnings that one or the other side would get burned. The burn came fast, and it came to those… Read more »

ANALYSIS: AIPAC and the perils of bipartisanship

AIPAC's annual Policy Conference, held March 20-22, 2016, sprawled
across Washington's downtown convention center, above, and its nearby
basketball arena. (JTA) AIPAC's annual Policy Conference, held March 20-22, 2016, sprawled across Washington's downtown convention center, above, and its nearby basketball arena. (JTA)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — I am trying to imagine a conversation between Donald Trump’s people and a delegation of Reform rabbis and lay leaders. Rabbi Jonah Pesner, the Reform movement’s man in Washington, told me that Trump’s people have agreed to a “staff-to-staff” meeting to discuss Jewish concerns about Trump’s… Read more »

AIPAC activists head to Hill without an Iran agenda

WASHINGTON (JTA) – AIPAC’S smartphone app, downloadable for the expected 18,000 participants at its conference this week, has a nifty little feature for lobbying day, the conference finale on Tuesday when thousands of pro-Israel activists ascend to Capitol Hill. Activists comfortably seated in a Congress member’s office can use the app to call… Read more »

5 things to look out for at the AIPAC confab

  WASHINGTON (JTA) – Here are five things to watch for at this year’s annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is taking place here March 19-22: It’s Yoooooooooge. Organizers are expecting 18,000 activists, 3,000 more than last year, the largest number ever. So large, for… Read more »

JTA: Inside the Jewish life of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland

Judge Merrick Garland at the White House listening to President Barack Obama announce his nomination to the Supreme Court, March 16, 2016. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)Judge Merrick Garland at the White House listening to President Barack Obama announce his nomination to the Supreme Court, March 16, 2016. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Americans have heard a lot about Merrick Garland since President Barack Obama nominated him to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. But there’s a lot we still don’t know. What are his views on abortion? Will the Republican leadership give him a hearing in the Senate? What… Read more »

Bernie Sanders turns down invitation to address AIPAC confab

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Citing his campaign schedule, Bernie Sanders said he would not address AIPAC’s conference next week, making him the only presidential candidate that will not attend the large annual pro-Israel gathering this year. “I would very much have enjoyed speaking at the AIPAC conference,” Sanders said in a… Read more »

How groups plan to protest Trump at AIPAC: Walk out, stay away, study Torah

Donald Trump speaking in West Palm Beach, Florida, March 15, 2016. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)Donald Trump speaking in West Palm Beach, Florida, March 15, 2016. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Walk in wearing stickers. Stay out bearing placards. Get up and walk out when Trump walks in. Just don’t go. Go but don’t clap. Blame AIPAC. Don’t blame AIPAC. And whatever you do, hit the Jewish texts. Donald Trump’s scheduled appearance on Monday at the American Israel Public… Read more »

With Trump’s latest wins, will Jewish conservatives finally embrace him?

Donald Trump speaking at a primary night news conference in Palm Beach, Fla., March 15, 2016. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)Donald Trump speaking at a primary night news conference in Palm Beach, Fla., March 15, 2016. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  By WASHINGTON (JTA) — Has Donald Trump’s time come, and will Jewish political conservatives embrace him? Trump, the real estate magnate and front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, rolled closer to victory on Tuesday with wins in at least three primary states. His strong showing, earning 161 delegates or more depending on… Read more »

Israel emerges as campaign issue ahead of voting in 3 big Jewish states

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaking at a news conference at Temple Beth El in West Palm Beach, Fla., March 11, 2016. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaking at a news conference at Temple Beth El in West Palm Beach, Fla., March 11, 2016. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) – Israel has prominently emerged as a presidential campaign issue ahead of critical primary contests in five states on Tuesday, three of which – Ohio, Illinois and Florida – have substantial Jewish communities. Israel was the subject of a heated exchange in the Republican debate last… Read more »

These may be America’s proudest Shabbos goys

Samir Patel, left, with an associate and his father, right, says he gets about five requests each Saturday to act as a Shabbos goy for Orthodox Jews. (Uriel Heilman)Samir Patel, left, with an associate and his father, right, says he gets about five requests each Saturday to act as a Shabbos goy for Orthodox Jews. (Uriel Heilman)

NEW YORK (JTA) – For Samir Patel, the term “goy” is no slur. It’s a point of pride. Patel is a manager of Suhag Wine & Liquors, a family-owned business in the heavily Orthodox neighborhood of Kew Gardens Hills, in Queens. He’s a Hindu immigrant from India, but the vast majority… Read more »

With Michigan upset, Bernie Sanders shows he can compete in big state primaries

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders acknowledging supporters at a campaign rally in Miami, March 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders acknowledging supporters at a campaign rally in Miami, March 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

ANALYSIS WASHINGTON (JTA) – Can Bernie Sanders actually win it? With his surprising victory in the Michigan primary by 2 percentage points on Tuesday — after trailing Hillary Clinton by double digits in the polls — the possibility has inched a little closer to reality. To be sure, Sanders still trails… Read more »

Biden, Netanyahu condemn Abbas for silence over terror attacks

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, March 9, 2016. (Hillel Maeir/TPS)U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, March 9, 2016. (Hillel Maeir/TPS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a much-anticipated press conference with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday afternoon, March 9, in which the two criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his failure to denounce the wave of terror. Following Netanyahu’s statement, Biden stated his disapproval of Abbas’ failure… Read more »

To understand the American Jews who support Trump, read this

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Concord, N.C., March 7, 2016. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Concord, N.C., March 7, 2016. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) – America’s political system is broken, and the last thing the country needs is another career politician at the helm. With money more than ever a corrupting influence in politics, the White House should be occupied by someone who isn’t beholden to well-funded lobbyists or super… Read more »

In Flint crisis, Jews pitching in with corned beef, Dr. Brown’s — and water

Volunteers loading cases of free water into waiting vehicles at a water distribution center in Flint, Mich., March 5, 2016. (Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images)Volunteers loading cases of free water into waiting vehicles at a water distribution center in Flint, Mich., March 5, 2016. (Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images)

FLINT, Mich. (JTA) – At 86, Jeanne Aaronson is blind and lives alone, but she has seen a lot over the years. She lived in Flint when it was a manufacturing powerhouse, a center of the automotive business and a symbol of American industrial might and ingenuity. She lived… Read more »

American business student killed in mass stabbing in Tel Aviv

(JTA) — A 29-year-old American business school student was killed in a stabbing attack in the Jaffa area of Tel Aviv. Taylor Force, a student at the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management, was on a school trip to Israel when he was killed Tuesday evening, the university said. As… Read more »

Prospect of Trump nomination poses dilemma for Jewish Republicans

Donald Trump arriving at a rally at Radford University in Virginia, Feb. 29, 2016. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images)Donald Trump arriving at a rally at Radford University in Virginia, Feb. 29, 2016. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Many Jewish Republicans look increasingly likely to face a dilemma in November unimaginable just a year ago: loyalty to party or community. Donald Trump’s surging candidacy has sent shivers through the ranks of the Republican elite and created deep anxiety among Jewish Republicans, some of whom… Read more »

Obama weighs in on BDS settlement fight — but battle likely won’t end there

President Barack Obama signing the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015 at an Oval Office ceremony, Feb. 24, 2016. (Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)President Barack Obama signing the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015 at an Oval Office ceremony, Feb. 24, 2016. (Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The controversy over whether laws protecting Israel from boycotts should include West Bank settlements found its way into a presidential signing statement last week, but President Barack Obama’s decision to ignore a trade law’s requirement to oppose boycotts of Israeli settlements likely won’t settle the argument.… Read more »

Anti-BDS laws gain momentum across US, but some say they go too far

Muslim students at an anti-Israel protest at the University of California, Irvine in 2006. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)Muslim students at an anti-Israel protest at the University of California, Irvine in 2006. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Nearly half the states in the country are considering legislation aimed at countering the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement. But critics say some bills are cause for concern, either because they seek to legitimize Israeli settlements or go so far in punishing boycott supporters they… Read more »

Nevada Jewish vote in question due to Shabbat date, caucus confusion

Volunteers working the phones at a suburban Las Vegas office of the Hillary Clinton campaign while watching a debate between Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Feb. 11, 2016. (Ron Kampeas)Volunteers working the phones at a suburban Las Vegas office of the Hillary Clinton campaign while watching a debate between Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Feb. 11, 2016. (Ron Kampeas)

LAS VEGAS (JTA) – Jewish voters in Nevada suffer the same affliction as anyone else ahead of caucuses in the presidential race: No one is quite sure how the damn system works. “A big part of what we do is to educate people about what a caucus is,” said… Read more »