News

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 »

It’s complicated: Germany and Israel mark golden anniversary as friends

German Chancellor Angela Merkel received the Presidential Medal, Israel's highest honor, from then-President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, Feb. 25, 2014. (Ilia Yeflimovich/Getty Images)German Chancellor Angela Merkel received the Presidential Medal, Israel's highest honor, from then-President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, Feb. 25, 2014. (Ilia Yeflimovich/Getty Images)

BERLIN (JTA) — This month marks 50 years since Israel and West Germany established diplomatic ties. It has been an understandably complex relationship, launched two decades after the Holocaust ended and 14 years after West Germany committed to reparations “both moral and material” for the genocide committed by the… 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 »

Pinning of yellow star on 3-year-old reignites Israeli education debate

(JTA) — On April 19, Keren Zachmi’s daughter returned from her kindergarten near Tel Aviv wearing a yellow patch emblazoned with the word “Jude.” A teacher had put the yellow star on 17 kindergarteners so they would feel like Holocaust victims during Yom Hashoah, Israel’s national Holocaust commemoration day. Appalled,… Read more »

Where is the Jewish aid to Nepal going?

Israeli soldiers establish a field hospital together with the Nepalese army on April 29 in Nepal. (IDF Spokesperson/ Flash90)Israeli soldiers establish a field hospital together with the Nepalese army on April 29 in Nepal. (IDF Spokesperson/ Flash90)

NEW YORK (JTA) – Almost as soon as news of Nepal’s devastating earthquake reached the wider world, Jewish aid groups began mobilizing humanitarian efforts to help the victims. In Israel, that meant dispatching first responders to Nepal; in America, it mostly meant raising and allocating money. How is the… 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 »

Why Ethiopian-Israelis took to Tel Aviv’s streets

Israeli policeman trying to disperse the hundreds of demonstrators in Tel Aviv protesting on behalf of Ethiopian-Israelis, May 3, 2015. (Ben Kelmer/Flash90)Israeli policeman trying to disperse the hundreds of demonstrators in Tel Aviv protesting on behalf of Ethiopian-Israelis, May 3, 2015. (Ben Kelmer/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — A historically disadvantaged black minority is galvanized when one of its members appears to suffer brutality at the hands of police — and the episode is caught on video. Peaceful mass protests devolve into violence. Police crack down in an attempt to control crowds. It’s… 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 »

Op-Ed: What a biblical tale of rape can teach us about Baltimore riots

Protesters marching in Baltimore following the announcement that six city police officers would be indicted in the death of Freddie Gray, May 2, 2015. (Andrew Burton.Getty Images)Protesters marching in Baltimore following the announcement that six city police officers would be indicted in the death of Freddie Gray, May 2, 2015. (Andrew Burton.Getty Images)

GREAT NECK, N.Y. (JTA) — From 2011 through 2014, the City of Baltimore paid nearly $6 million in over 100 judgments and settlements relating to false arrests, unlawful imprisonment and police brutality. Once the justice system takes its course, the family of Freddie Gray may well be added to… Read more »

Jewish-Latino Teen Coalition showcases multiculturalism — at home and in D.C.

Members of Tucson’s Jewish-Latino Teen Coalition meet with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) at his office in Washington, D.C. (L-R) Zakkai Markowitz, Josh McKenna, Ryan Green, Alan Parra, Jared Friedman, Flake, Aida Flores, Itzel Herrera,  Audrey Powers, Dominick Montes (Lisa Kondrat)Members of Tucson’s Jewish-Latino Teen Coalition meet with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) at his office in Washington, D.C. (L-R) Zakkai Markowitz, Josh McKenna, Ryan Green, Alan Parra, Jared Friedman, Flake, Aida Flores, Itzel Herrera, Audrey Powers, Dominick Montes (Lisa Kondrat)

When a group of nine Jewish and Latino teens traveled to Washington, D.C. last month it wasn’t just to see the sights — unless that included visiting congressional offices. Members of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Jewish-Latino Teen Coalition made the trip cross-country to lobby for immigration reform,… Read more »

Jewish Agency exec sees resources but no ‘silver bullet’ for Jewish continuity

Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Board Chair Kathryn L. Unger and Jewish Agency for Israel President and CEO for International Development Misha Galperin at a JFSA council meeting April 22 at the Tucson Jewish Community CenterJewish Federation of Southern Arizona Board Chair Kathryn L. Unger and Jewish Agency for Israel President and CEO for International Development Misha Galperin at a JFSA council meeting April 22 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center

For the last five years, Misha Galperin, Ph.D., has traveled the world on behalf of the Jewish Agency for Israel, where he has been president and CEO for international development. Even before that, while pursuing a career as a psychologist in New York City, he volunteered with the New… Read more »

Tucson synagogue donates to police after stolen objects recovered

Rabbi Yossie Shemtov (left) and Tucson Police detective Scott Ahlskog examine ritual items police recovered after a robbery at Congregation Young Israel-Chabad.Rabbi Yossie Shemtov (left) and Tucson Police detective Scott Ahlskog examine ritual items police recovered after a robbery at Congregation Young Israel-Chabad.

Congregation Young Israel-Chabad will be donating body armor to the Tucson Police Department in appreciation of detectives’ retrieval of some of the silver ornaments stolen from the synagogue on the night of Feb. 22. The gift will be made through the Tucson Police Foundation’s “Adopt-a-Cop” program, using funds that… Read more »

After Nepal quake, Israelis helping survivors

A quake emergency team member walks through debris from one of the UNESCO World Heritage site temples in Basantapur Durbar Square on April 28, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. (Omar Havana/Getty Images)A quake emergency team member walks through debris from one of the UNESCO World Heritage site temples in Basantapur Durbar Square on April 28, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. (Omar Havana/Getty Images)

When the ground began to shake, Inbar Irron was among a dozen Israelis in Nepal who ran outside the building where they had been sitting — and straight into a cloud of dust. When their vision cleared, they saw a devastating scene: Much of the village of Manegau, where… Read more »

IDF doctor to speak on post-traumatic stress

Eyal FruchterEyal Fruchter

Eyal Fruchter, M.D., a retired Israel Defense Forces colonel who served as a military doctor, flight surgeon and military psychiatrist, will lead the keynote session of a conference on “Cause and Effect of Post-Traumatic Stress” on Thursday, May 14 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, presented by the Greater… Read more »

World’s sacred places lure Tucson rabbi on trip of a lifetime

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon at the last stop on his world tour, the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru (Courtesy photo)Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon at the last stop on his world tour, the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru (Courtesy photo)

An intense interest in the world’s sacred places would be natural for any clergy. But Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, senior rabbi at Temple Emanu-El, took it to the next level. He purchased an around-the- world plane ticket and embarked on a whirlwind trip to more than 120 sacred places… 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 Bergen-Belsen memorial, warnings and worry on Holocaust remembrance

German President Joachim Gauck, right, participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on the 70th anniversary of its liberation, April 26, 2015. (Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)German President Joachim Gauck, right, participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on the 70th anniversary of its liberation, April 26, 2015. (Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

LOHHEIDE, Germany (JTA) — At the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, hundreds of survivors, along with their children and grandchildren, stood together last weekend under gray skies on a ground alive with memories doing their part for the future. “I ask young people to please take the right decisions in… 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 »