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Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog speaking in the Knesset in Jerusalem at a memorial ceremony for Yitzhak Rabin, Nov. 5, 2014. Herzog is faring well in the polls since new elections were called in December. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog speaking in the Knesset in Jerusalem at a memorial ceremony for Yitzhak Rabin, Nov. 5, 2014. Herzog is faring well in the polls since new elections were called in December. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Will U.S. Jewish groups pivot left if Herzog wins?

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Come early next year, there might be yet another world capital that opposes Israeli settlement expansion and sees Benjamin Netanyahu as principally responsible for Israel’s isolation: Jerusalem. Isaac Herzog, the Labor Party leader, is faring well in the polls since Netanyahu called for new elections earlier this month and the Knesset dissolved […]

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Jake Rubin, the director of the University of Virginia Hillel, on Dec. 4, 2014 in front of the Hillel building in the vRugby Road neighborhood of Charlottesville, Va. (Ron Kampeas)
Jake Rubin, the director of the University of Virginia Hillel, on Dec. 4, 2014 in front of the Hillel building in the vRugby Road neighborhood of Charlottesville, Va. (Ron Kampeas)

Highlighting campus sexual assault, Jewish groups have taken a lead

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (JTA) – Jewish campus groups were ready for the painful national dialogue that took place in the wake of murky rape allegations at the University of Virginia. That’s because organizations like Hillel and historically Jewish Greek houses such as Alpha Epsilon Pi, Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Delta Tau had been having the […]

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Is she Jewish? Rabbinate says yes, Israel says no

TEL AVIV (JTA) — In 2012, Anna Varsanyi was married in an Orthodox Jewish ceremony conducted through Israel’s Chief Rabbinate. Two years later, the Hungarian immigrant has made a life in Israel, settling with her husband in the central city of Modiin and working a desk job in a hospital. She is weeks away from […]

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Yashar Lachayal's Leon Blankrot, in black, handing out aid packages with cold-weather gear to an all-Druze Israeli army unit, Nov. 28, 2014. (Courtesy Yashar Lachayal)
Yashar Lachayal's Leon Blankrot, in black, handing out aid packages with cold-weather gear to an all-Druze Israeli army unit, Nov. 28, 2014. (Courtesy Yashar Lachayal)

For Americans aiding Israeli soldiers, rules of engagement vary

(JTA) — When the season’s first snowstorm descended on Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights a few weeks ago, it didn’t take long before M, a career sergeant in the Israel Defense Forces, received a phone call from Leon Blankrot. “What do you need to keep warm?” asked Blankrot, executive director of Yashar Lachayal, an […]

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Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni has joined forces with Isaac Herzog of Labor to form a joint slate in the upcoming Israeli elections. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni has joined forces with Isaac Herzog of Labor to form a joint slate in the upcoming Israeli elections. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Is Livni’s move to team with Labor one of principle or opportunism?

TEL AVIV (JTA) — In the latest episode of the satirical show “State of the Nation,” the zingers aimed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu weren’t coming from the comedians. Tzipi Livni, who until last month was Netanyahu’s justice minister, called the prime minister a “zero” on the program Saturday night and promised to “take […]

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Members of the Lugansk Jewish community standing in front of their synagogue's Torah ark, Dec. 11, 2014. (Cnaan Liphshiz)
Members of the Lugansk Jewish community standing in front of their synagogue's Torah ark, Dec. 11, 2014. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

In Lugansk, an icy Ukraine winter tests a war-torn community

LUGANSK, Ukraine (JTA) — In an unheated synagogue with no running water, a dozen Jews are trying to keep warm as temperatures here veer toward the single digits. Not moving too much helps keep the warmth under their thick coats, they say, a technique developed as the group gathered at least once a week to […]

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Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum, Kavana (Andy Ahlstrom)
Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum, Kavana (Andy Ahlstrom)

Female rabbis at forefront of pioneering prayer communities

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — A decade ago in Los Angeles, two organizations opened their doors with a call to prayer — or they would have if they had any doors to open. Ikar, led by Rabbi Sharon Brous, and Nashuva, led by Rabbi Naomi Levy, were conceived separately. But when they launched in 2004, both […]

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Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish men during prayer at 770 Eastern Parkway, the headquarters of Chabad in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2013. (Mendy Hechtman/FLASH90)
Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish men during prayer at 770 Eastern Parkway, the headquarters of Chabad in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2013. (Mendy Hechtman/FLASH90)

Knife attack at Chabad headquarters in New York raises security questions

NEW YORK (The Jewish Week via JTA) — Just three weeks after terrorists killed four worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue, a man entered a Brooklyn shul and stabbed a 22-year-old Israeli student. New York police officers fatally shot the 49-year-old assailant, who reportedly shouted “Kill the Jews.” At a press conference Tuesday, New York City […]

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Op-Ed: Heaven save us from a holy war

This week we have learned that Adam Everett Livvix, a 30-year-old from Texas, was arrested in Israel for allegedly plotting to attack the Dome of the Rock with explosives. Thanks to the collaboration between Israeli security agencies and the FBI, an incident of colossal implications was prevented. The Palestinians, however, believe that danger to Haram […]

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Israeli group aims to help Arabs — and contain them

LOD, Israel (JTA) — He says he’s a leader of a “Zionist settlement” movement, but Raz Sofer’s home is no West Bank outpost. Sofer, 25, is the manager of a 100-member student village in this mixed Jewish-Arab city in central Israel. The village, comprised of several apartment complexes, offers students cheap rent in exchange for […]

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