National

At Jews for Bernie event, anger boils over at Sanders campaign

Phil Aroneanu, New York state director of the Sanders campaign, speaks at a Jews for Bernie event in Manhattan, April 10, 2016. (Uriel Heilman)Phil Aroneanu, New York state director of the Sanders campaign, speaks at a Jews for Bernie event in Manhattan, April 10, 2016. (Uriel Heilman)

NEW YORK (JTA) – It might have been the last place you’d expect anger to erupt against the Bernie Sanders campaign. But at a Jews for Bernie brunch in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood on Sunday, the frustration seemed to boil over when some silver-haired Jewish supporters of Sanders began deriding… Read more »

This new Jewish deli is the coolest restaurant in New York City

Rapper Action Bronson, left, chowing down on some Frankel's fare with the Frankel brothers, Zach, right, and Alex. (Screenshot from Instagram)Rapper Action Bronson, left, chowing down on some Frankel's fare with the Frankel brothers, Zach, right, and Alex. (Screenshot from Instagram)

NEW YORK (JTA) — The scene could easily have been mistaken for a rock concert at one of Brooklyn’s countless music halls.Smartly dressed 20- and 30-somethings crammed into a small corner building. The overflow crowd, clad in skinny jeans and black beanies, spilled onto the sidewalk, where they drank coffee… Read more »

The time Hillary Clinton came to the rabbi’s family seder – and stayed for hours

Bob and Helene Fine meeting President Bill Clinton at the White House in December 2000, a few months after hosting first lady Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea for Passover seder. (Courtesy of Bob Fine)Bob and Helene Fine meeting President Bill Clinton at the White House in December 2000, a few months after hosting first lady Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea for Passover seder. (Courtesy of Bob Fine)

NEW YORK (JTA) – How was Helene and Bob Fine’s family seder in 2000 different from every other Passover night? First lady Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea came. (President Bill Clinton would have joined, too, if not for Yasser Arafat, but we’ll get to that.) This was no… Read more »

Debra Messing, matzah baking, bashert making — what to expect ahead of the New York primary

Campaigning in New York, clockwise from left: Donald Trump greeting the crowd in Bethpage, Long Island, April 6, 2016 (Washington Post via Getty Images); a sign at a Bernie Sanders event in Brooklyn, March 31, 2016 (D Dipasupil/WireImage/Getty Images); Ted Cruz signing an autograph in the Bronx, April 6, 2016 (Bryan Thomas/Getty Images); Hillary Clinton swiping a MetroCard at a Bronx subway, April 7, 2016 (Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images).Campaigning in New York, clockwise from left: Donald Trump greeting the crowd in Bethpage, Long Island, April 6, 2016 (Washington Post via Getty Images); a sign at a Bernie Sanders event in Brooklyn, March 31, 2016 (D Dipasupil/WireImage/Getty Images); Ted Cruz signing an autograph in the Bronx, April 6, 2016 (Bryan Thomas/Getty Images); Hillary Clinton swiping a MetroCard at a Bronx subway, April 7, 2016 (Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images).

WASHINGTON (JTA) – For the first time in decades New York, politically, is about to live up to its “make it here, make it anywhere” promise. The vast state and its huge Jewish community –nearly 2 million, or just under 10 percent of the population — have not figured… Read more »

Even Orthodox Jews starting to wrestle with transgender issues

Participants in the San Francisco Pride Parade showing their Jewish and Israeli pride, too, June 30, 2014. (Wikimedia Commons)Participants in the San Francisco Pride Parade showing their Jewish and Israeli pride, too, June 30, 2014. (Wikimedia Commons)

NEW YORK (JTA) – Here’s a riddle: If a transgender Jew shows up at an Orthodox synagogue, on which side of the mechitzah barrier separating the sexes should the person be seated? That’s an easy one compared to more complex Jewish legal questions raised by people who don’t identify… Read more »

Op-Ed: It’s time to allow Conservative rabbis to officiate at interfaith weddings

Seymour RosenbloomSeymour Rosenbloom

ELKINS PARK, Pa. (JTA) — The Conservative movement’s leadership must drop its ban on Conservative rabbis officiating at interfaith weddings — before it’s too late. The Rabbinical Assembly’s unequivocal rule is that a Conservative rabbi may not officiate at an intermarriage. But after 42 years as an active rabbi, during which… Read more »

The 25 most influential people on ‘Jewish Twitter’

Clockwise, starting from top left, Benjamin Netanyahu, HAIM, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Lena Dunham. (Getty Images)Clockwise, starting from top left, Benjamin Netanyahu, HAIM, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Lena Dunham. (Getty Images)

(JTA) — Ten years ago this week, Twitter was born. Never ones to miss a good conversation, Jews quickly adopted the social network, and they haven’t stopped kibitzing since. To celebrate the birth of this post-modern Talmud, we’ve updated JTA’s 2009 list of the “100 Most Influential Jewish Twitterers” (which helped a young woman… Read more »

Op-Ed: Muslim textbooks in North America teach tolerance — and demonize Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — It might appear churlish to criticize the teaching of Islamic studies in America. After all, “Between Sharia and Democracy: Islamic Education in North America,” a just-released study by Impact-SE, finds that the most widely used Islamic textbooks published in the United States are generally free of imagery and… Read more »

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 »