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Religion & Jewish Life

Mikvah immersion is required for Orthodox and Conservative conversions and strongly recommended for Reform conversions. (Mayyim Hayyim/Tom Kates)
Mikvah immersion is required for Orthodox and Conservative conversions and strongly recommended for Reform conversions. (Mayyim Hayyim/Tom Kates)

Conversion to Judaism: denomination by denomination

(This is part of a special JTA report on conversion in America. Read our other pieces about who’s converting to Judaism in the AJP category Religion and Jewish Life, and about the 10 questions about Jewish conversion you want to know but are afraid to ask.) ORTHODOX Number of converts: Unknown. Over the last seven […]

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The New Israel Fund says it is getting more aggressive in combating xenophobia and ultrantionalism. This anti-Arab graffiti reads "Arabs=Thieves. No Coexistence" is seen spray-painted on a stone wall surrounding a house in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sharafat, Feb. 18, 2014. (FLASH90)
The New Israel Fund says it is getting more aggressive in combating xenophobia and ultrantionalism. This anti-Arab graffiti reads "Arabs=Thieves. No Coexistence" is seen spray-painted on a stone wall surrounding a house in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sharafat, Feb. 18, 2014. (FLASH90)

New NIF campaign adopts tools of the right

WASHINGTON (JTA) – In a strategic shift, the New Israel Fund is arming itself with a set of sharp political tools and picking a fight. Its target: Israel’s political right. Its weapons: Opposition research, media monitoring, and staking its claims to patriotism and Zionism. If NIF’s dramatic language, outlined in a Sept. 18 release, and […]

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A rendering of the Menorah Center in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, which is said to be the largest Jewish community center in Europe. (Jewish Community of Dneproperovsk)
A rendering of the Menorah Center in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, which is said to be the largest Jewish community center in Europe. (Jewish Community of Dneproperovsk)

Giant Ukraine JCC provides shelter from the storm — in style

DNEPROPETROVSK, Ukraine (JTA) — Five months into the war that turned him into a refugee in his own country, Jacob Virin has already attended 20 Jewish weddings — including those of his son and two other relatives — at the $100 million JCC of Dnepropetrovsk. Towering over the skyline of this industrial metropolis, the 22-story […]

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LeBron James, shown at the Cleveland Cavaliers' media day in suburban Cleveland on Sept. 26, 2014, will make his return to his hometown team with a preseason game against Maccabi Tel Aviv. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)
LeBron James, shown at the Cleveland Cavaliers' media day in suburban Cleveland on Sept. 26, 2014, will make his return to his hometown team with a preseason game against Maccabi Tel Aviv. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

LeBron circus, ex-coach’s NBA debut make Maccabi Tel Aviv a sideshow vs. Cavs

TEL AVIV (JTA) – The carnival’s coming to Cleveland, and the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team has a front-row seat. In fact, the 2014 Euroleague and Israel Super Basketball League champions will be participating. On Sunday, Tel Aviv will present the inaugural challenge for NBA superstar LeBron James as he returns to his hometown Cavaliers […]

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El Al faces uproar over haredim’s refusal to sit near women

TEL AVIV (JTA) — For approximately a half hour at the beginning of her El Al Israel Airlines flight last week from New York to Tel Aviv, Elana Sztokman watched as the haredi Orthodox man seated next to her rushed up and down the aisle searching for someone willing to switch seats so he wouldn’t […]

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Op-Ed: Lower the age for Birthright

SALEM, Mass. (JTA) — Every fall, Jewish teens arrive on college campuses unprepared, uninformed and unable to cope with the hostility and antagonism against Israel and Jews that they find there. While Birthright Israel does a commendable job of bolstering Jewish student pride and community, the program could have a much greater impact if the […]

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At the Bonnyton Gold Club restaurant, "pies and mince" have replaced traidtional Jewish staples. (Ben Sales)
At the Bonnyton Gold Club restaurant, "pies and mince" have replaced traidtional Jewish staples. (Ben Sales)

At Scotland’s Jewish golf club, the menu is just one sign of changing character

EAGLESHAM, Scotland (JTA) — As teenagers in the 1960s, Lewis Geneen and Colin Black liked to spend their summer Sundays playing rounds at the Bonnyton Golf Club course, breaking only for a lunch of fish and borscht. Sitting atop a hill on the outskirts of Glasgow, Bonnyton was then a social hub of the local […]

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Israel's Andy Ram sprawled on the court following his five-set doubles victory with partner Yoni Erlich, holding racket, against Argentina in a Davis Cup match in Sunrise, Fla., Sept. 13, 2014. (Andrea Eidman)
Israel's Andy Ram sprawled on the court following his five-set doubles victory with partner Yoni Erlich, holding racket, against Argentina in a Davis Cup match in Sunrise, Fla., Sept. 13, 2014. (Andrea Eidman)

For Israeli tennis ace Andy Ram and ‘home’ crowd in Fla., a finale to remember

SUNRISE, Fla. (JTA) – It wasn’t Tel Aviv, but thousands of people chanting his name at a Davis Cup match following a grueling victory was a pretty good way for Israel’s Andy Ram to leave the game oftennis to which he had devoted more than half his life. Ram, 34, and his longtime doubles partner, Yoni […]

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Exterior shot of the $351 million Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg. (Flickr)
Exterior shot of the $351 million Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg. (Flickr)

At Canada’s new human rights museum, should the Holocaust get special treatment?

TORONTO (JTA) — On the fourth floor of the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights, visitors will find a gallery called “Examining the Holocaust,” which is devoted entirely to the story and lessons of the Shoah. On the same floor, in a smaller, adjacent space, a gallery called “Breaking the Silence” examines a cluster of […]

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A U.S. Army casket team lays to rest Pfc. Bernard Gavrin at Arlington National Cemetery while Rabbi Marvin Bash looks on, Sept. 12, 2014. (Ron Kampeas)
A U.S. Army casket team lays to rest Pfc. Bernard Gavrin at Arlington National Cemetery while Rabbi Marvin Bash looks on, Sept. 12, 2014. (Ron Kampeas)

70 years on, a missing private comes home

ARLINGTON, Va. (JTA) — The scene at Arlington National Cemetery last Friday was not quite routine, but nor was it unusual: A clergyman said a prayer, an army NCO handed Bernard Gavrin’s closest living relative a folded U.S. flag, and a volunteer — one of the “Arlington Ladies” who attend to the needs of grieving […]

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