National

Author of Black Lives Matter position on Israel defends ‘genocide’ claim

The Jewish community in New York holding a rally for the Black Lives Matter movement outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, July 28, 2016. (Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)The Jewish community in New York holding a rally for the Black Lives Matter movement outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, July 28, 2016. (Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — The co-author of the Black Lives Matter platform passage accusing Israel of “genocide” defended the term, saying Israel’s actions fit in its wider definition. Ben Ndugga-Kabuye co-authored the statement along with Rachel Gilmer, the former board member of a Zionist youth group. Ndugga-Kabuye told JTA… Read more »

To name or not to name: Jewish organizations grapple with the Trump question

Former members of the U.S. military carrying boxes with more than 100,000 signatures requesting that Sen. John McCain and other Republican leaders withdraw their endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump following a press conference in Washington, D.C., Aug. 4, 2016. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
 (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)Former members of the U.S. military carrying boxes with more than 100,000 signatures requesting that Sen. John McCain and other Republican leaders withdraw their endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump following a press conference in Washington, D.C., Aug. 4, 2016. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — “This condemnation is against you personally,” the Jewish War Veterans said earlier this week, concluding its message to Donald Trump. “You, Mr. Trump, deserve our contempt.” If the sign-off to the statement condemning the Republican nominee for his attacks on the Muslim parents of a soldier killed in action… Read more »

Uneasy Republicans and confident Democrats diverge on ‘Jewish’ issues

Donald Trump speaking on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 21, 2016 (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Donald Trump speaking on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 21, 2016 (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

NEW YORK  (JTA) — It’s never been easy for Jewish Republicans. Jews have broken overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates since Woodrow Wilson. Despite rising American Jewish affluence, usually a harbinger of conservative voting patterns, a plurality self-defines as liberal. Republican Jews have poured millions into upping their share of the Jewish… Read more »

2016 Olympics: 7 Jewish American Olympians to watch in Rio

Aly Raisman competes in the floor exercise at the 2016 U.S. Women's Gymnastics Olympic Trials in San Jose, Calif., July 10, 2016. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)Aly Raisman competes in the floor exercise at the 2016 U.S. Women's Gymnastics Olympic Trials in San Jose, Calif., July 10, 2016. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(JTA) — There are athletes, and then there are Olympic athletes. And then there are Jewish Olympic athletes. When the 2016 Summer Olympics open Friday, we’ll of course be cheering the American athletes — all 555 of them — and we’ll be rooting for Israel, too, which this year is… Read more »

5 Jewish things to expect from Hillary Clinton tonight

Hillary Clinton arrives on stage during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 27, 2016. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images)Hillary Clinton arrives on stage during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 27, 2016. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA (JTA) — After Tim Kaine, Biden, Bloomberg, Bernie, Bill and both Obamas, it’s finally Hillary’s turn. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, will close out a Democratic National Convention centered on highlighting America’s diversity, touting her qualifications and bashing her Republican opponent, Donald Trump. Clinton’s address will be… Read more »

Democrats scramble for a unique message that appeals to Jewish millennials

Shabbos Kestenbaum, 17, attending a breakfast for the Virginia delegation to the Democratic National Convention, July 26, 2016. (Ron Kampeas)Shabbos Kestenbaum, 17, attending a breakfast for the Virginia delegation to the Democratic National Convention, July 26, 2016. (Ron Kampeas)

PHILADELPHIA (JTA) — Amanda Renteria, the national political director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, was running through the campaign’s messages for minorities and women: immigration for Hispanics, land use for Native Americans, various policies for defending children and women. She didn’t mention Jews in her briefing Tuesday morning for specialty media, and there’s… Read more »

Democrats seek unity on Israel, but cracks begin to show

Florida State Sen. Dwight Bullard, wearing a Palestinian kaffiyeh, or headscarf, said Palestinians should have the right to citizenship in Israel. He visited the West Bank and Israel in May as part of a delegation from the Black Lives Matter movement. (Ben Sales)Florida State Sen. Dwight Bullard, wearing a Palestinian kaffiyeh, or headscarf, said Palestinians should have the right to citizenship in Israel. He visited the West Bank and Israel in May as part of a delegation from the Black Lives Matter movement. (Ben Sales)

PHILADELPHIA (JTA) — The Democratic Party has spent the first couple days of its convention projecting unity on issues from fighting racism to fair trade. But fissures are showing here on one issue that Democrats have long been united on: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Their party, which has long commanded… Read more »

Bernie Sanders wants his delegates to back Clinton. They’re not listening.

Bernie Sanders supporters gathering at City Hall in downtown Philadelphia on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, July 25, 2016. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Bernie Sanders supporters gathering at City Hall in downtown Philadelphia on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, July 25, 2016. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA (JTA) — Bernie Sanders’ delegates are going to raise hell on the floor of the Democratic National Convention, his own wishes be damned. “Change that’s worth a damn always comes from the bottom up, not from the top,” said Norman Solomon, coordinator of the Bernie Delegates Network, an… Read more »

ANALYSIS After playing anti-Semitism card against Trump, Wasserman Schultz sunk by aides’ anti-Bernie emails

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, speaking to a reporter before the Democratic Party debate in Manchester, N.H., Dec. 19, 2015. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, speaking to a reporter before the Democratic Party debate in Manchester, N.H., Dec. 19, 2015. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Just last week, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was playing the anti-Semitism card against Donald Trump. But in a startling turnaround, on the eve of her own party’s convention, it’s the South Florida congresswoman who is out as chair of the Democratic National Committee — over a… Read more »

Donald Trump Jr.’s call for school choice splits Jewish groups

Donald Trump Jr. gesturing to the crowd after delivering a speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 19, 2016. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)Donald Trump Jr. gesturing to the crowd after delivering a speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 19, 2016. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (JTA) — An issue of historical concern to American Jews drew waves of applause when Donald Trump Jr. preached about it Tuesday night from the stage of the Republican National Convention. It wasn’t Israel, Iran or the fight against anti-Semitism. It was a call for the government to… Read more »

At GOP convention, Jewish delegates cite Israel and style in backing Trump

Marc Zell, vice president of Republicans Overseas, opposed Trump as recently as May. But Trump's pro-Israel stance has changed his mind. (Ben Sales)Marc Zell, vice president of Republicans Overseas, opposed Trump as recently as May. But Trump's pro-Israel stance has changed his mind. (Ben Sales)

CLEVELAND (JTA) — On the day Donald Trump wrapped up the Republican primaries, Marc Zell was ready to resign his position as vice president of Republicans Overseas, the party’s expatriate group. Zell, who lives in Israel, was put off by Trump’s inconsistent statements regarding the country. In particular, he… Read more »

Analysis: Jewish Republicans wonder how to vouch for Trump when he won’t help out

Jason Dov Greenblatt, Donald Trump's top real estate lawyer and an Orthodox Jew, is one of three members on the Republican nominee's Israel Advisory Committee. (Uriel Heilman)Jason Dov Greenblatt, Donald Trump's top real estate lawyer and an Orthodox Jew, is one of three members on the Republican nominee's Israel Advisory Committee. (Uriel Heilman)

CLEVELAND (JTA) – Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency rolled out its Israel Advisory Committee last week — no one noticed. Blame the unrelenting news cycle, if you will: July 14 was the day of the hideous mass killing in Nice, France. But also, his Israel Advisory Committee consists of… Read more »

What was Ruth Bader Ginsburg thinking in criticizing Donald Trump?

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at The Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2015. (Chris Kleponis/AFP/Getty Images)Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at The Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2015. (Chris Kleponis/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — What was RBG thinking? U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg launched a broadside against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump over the the last week, calling him unfit for office. She subsequently apologized, but not before voices on the right and left criticized her for seeming to compromise the… Read more »

Republican convention will be short on Jews, long on mystery

Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland is decorated to welcome the Republican National Convention, July 11, 2016. (Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland is decorated to welcome the Republican National Convention, July 11, 2016. (Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – They’re elusive, but show up in the right place at the right time — and you might find one! No, we’re not talking about the latest iteration of Pokemon Go. This is about tracking prominent Jewish GOPers and Jewish organizational representatives attending the Republican National Convention next… Read more »

After Elie Wiesel, can anyone unite American Jews?

Elie Wiesel arriving for a roundtable discussion on the Iran nuclear deal on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., March 2, 2015. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) Elie Wiesel arriving for a roundtable discussion on the Iran nuclear deal on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., March 2, 2015. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Being an American Jew, more than anything else, means remembering the Holocaust. That’s what nearly three quarters of Jewish Americans said, according to the Pew Research Center’s landmark 2013 study on American Jewry. Asked to pick attributes “essential” to being Jewish, more Jews said Holocaust remembrance than leading an ethical… Read more »

Wedding of lesbian firebrands, both 76, is a celebration of Jewish and ‘Aquarian’ traditions

At 76, longtime activists Shoshana Dembitz, seated, center left, and Abigail Grafton, seated, center right, married in El Cerrito, Calif., on June 27, 2016. The ceremony was officiated by Rabbi Diane Elliot, seated left, and her husband, Rabbi Burt Jacobson. (Lea Delson)At 76, longtime activists Shoshana Dembitz, seated, center left, and Abigail Grafton, seated, center right, married in El Cerrito, Calif., on June 27, 2016. The ceremony was officiated by Rabbi Diane Elliot, seated left, and her husband, Rabbi Burt Jacobson. (Lea Delson)

  BERKELEY, Calif. (JTA) – When Shoshana Dembitz and Abigail Grafton first met, they spent several long moments gazing into each others’ eyes. But this wasn’t a love-at-first-sight occurrence. Rather, the two were attending a Shabbat service in which participants were split into pairs to look into each others’… Read more »

BLOG 7 Elie Wiesel books that show the range of his influence

Elie Wiesel, the author of over 50 books, in the study of his New York City home, Oct. 14, 1986. (Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images)Elie Wiesel, the author of over 50 books, in the study of his New York City home, Oct. 14, 1986. (Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — Most people know Elie Wiesel as the author of “Night,” one of the first published autobiographical accounts of what life was like inside Nazi concentration camps. The book, which helped shape the American understanding of the effects of the Holocaust, has since become a staple on high… Read more »

Elie Wiesel gave the Holocaust a face and the world a conscience

Elie Wiesel poses with students in Tucson on March 1, 1993, when he gave the concluding lecture in the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s “Discovery IV” series. Over the years Wiesel visited Tucson several times, including in 2005, when he gave the inaugural University of Arizona Presidential Lecture, speaking on “Confronting Fanaticism: Building Moral Unity in a Diverse Society.”Elie Wiesel poses with students in Tucson on March 1, 1993, when he gave the concluding lecture in the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s “Discovery IV” series. Over the years Wiesel visited Tucson several times, including in 2005, when he gave the inaugural University of Arizona Presidential Lecture, speaking on “Confronting Fanaticism: Building Moral Unity in a Diverse Society.”

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate who became a leading icon of Holocaust remembrance and a global symbol of conscience, died on Saturday at 87. His death was the result of natural causes, the World Jewish Congress said in a statement. A philosopher, professor… Read more »