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A memorial display paying tribute to the three murdered Israeli teens at Camp Solomon Schechter in Olympia, Wash. (Josh Niehaus)
A memorial display paying tribute to the three murdered Israeli teens at Camp Solomon Schechter in Olympia, Wash. (Josh Niehaus)

Jewish summer camps grappling with murders of Israeli teens

(JTA) — On the morning of June 30, the children began arriving at Camp Solomon Schechter in Olympia, Wash., ready for a fun-filled summer. But shortly before the first little feet descended the bus steps, the sleepaway camp’s Israeli counselors learned from back home about the discovery of the bodies of three teens kidnapped in […]

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After coaching Maccabi Tel Aviv to a European Championship, David Blatt appears headed to the NBA. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
After coaching Maccabi Tel Aviv to a European Championship, David Blatt appears headed to the NBA. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

David Blatt riding Tel Aviv’s Euro title to NBA dream job

  LOS ANGELES (JTA) — In 1981, David Blatt moved to Israel in pursuit of a path of lifelong worship — to play professional basketball.Now, more than 30 years later, Blatt is leaving Israel to make a different, and totally unprecedented, form of aliyah — to leave the ranks of Israeli basketball to coach in the NBA. On June 20, […]

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Members of the Aitz Hayim Center for Jewish Living in Glencoe, Ill., show U.S. and Israeli colors at the 2012 Fourth of July parade in nearby Highland Park. (Todd Jacobs)
Members of the Aitz Hayim Center for Jewish Living in Glencoe, Ill., show U.S. and Israeli colors at the 2012 Fourth of July parade in nearby Highland Park. (Todd Jacobs)

Kabbalat Kaboom: Celebrating the Fourth on a Friday

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Part “God Bless America,” part “Shabbat Shalom,” the Fourth of July this year falls on a Friday. In this land of religious freedom, how do we plan to observe both? As the sun sets over the “fruited plain,” will we be lighting Shabbat candles and fireworks? How will the Sabbath Queen […]

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"America's Got Talent" contestant Josh Orlian cracked up the show's judges with raunchy jokes. (Via YouTube)
"America's Got Talent" contestant Josh Orlian cracked up the show's judges with raunchy jokes. (Via YouTube)

Orthodox school not amused by student’s raunchy ‘America’s Got Talent’ routine

NEW YORK (JTA) — Josh Orlian cracked up the judges on “America’s Got Talent,” but his Orthodox day school wasn’t laughing. The 12-year-old kippah-wearing comic made his national television debut with a raunchyroutine packed with sexual innuendo. The show’s celebrity judges and studio audience seemed both stunned and entertained by the pre-bar-mitzvah-age cut-up’s dirty jokes. While […]

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Bride Katka Reszke and groom Slawomir Grunberg, made their wedding a celebration of Polish Jewish revival, June 22, 2014. (Ruth Ellen Gruber)
Bride Katka Reszke and groom Slawomir Grunberg, made their wedding a celebration of Polish Jewish revival, June 22, 2014. (Ruth Ellen Gruber)

In Polish city, a wedding celebrates Jewish rediscovery and revival

WROCLAW, Poland (JTA) — When Katka Reszke and Slawomir Grunberg tied the knot at the historic White Stork synagogue in this southwestern Polish city, they were determined that the occasion would be more than just a wedding. They wanted it to be a symbol of how thousands of Polish Jews — like themselves — have […]

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Activists aiming to steer Israeli government funding to non-Orthodox

TEL AVIV (JTA) — At 3:30 Shavuot morning, more than 100 people are seated on folding chairs singing in Yiddish as men walk around with shots of vodka and cups of coffee. Up front, a man in a black frock coat and black hat is belting out the notes, his eyes closed. Except for the […]

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Seth Galena and Hindy Poupko, at his right shoulder, celebrate the birth of their son Akiva at his bris, June 15, 2014. (Piha Studio)
Seth Galena and Hindy Poupko, at his right shoulder, celebrate the birth of their son Akiva at his bris, June 15, 2014. (Piha Studio)

After losing Ayelet, Galenas find joy with new baby, thanks to NIH breakthrough

NEW YORK (JTA) – Even before their daughter, Ayelet Galena, was diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disease called dyskeratosis congenita around her first birthday, parents Hindy Poupko and Seth Galena knew they wanted to have more children. But once the diagnosis arrived, the couple had a dilemma: There was a fair chance their next […]

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Misha Gurbachov, deputy director of the Jewish Community of Chisinau, and Limmud Maldova co-organizer Julia Seinman in Chisinau, May 23, 2014. (George Omen/Limmud FSU(
Misha Gurbachov, deputy director of the Jewish Community of Chisinau, and Limmud Maldova co-organizer Julia Seinman in Chisinau, May 23, 2014. (George Omen/Limmud FSU(

For Moldova’s impoverished Jews, Limmud conference is big deal

CHISINAU, Moldova (JTA) — Standing opposite the house at Romana Street 13 in the Moldovan capital, a group of tourists is struggling to hear Irina Shihova’s account of the horrors that transpired here more than a century ago, but her voice is drowned out by a pop song playing on a nearby boombox. Ignoring the […]

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A "Bot-Mitzvah" depicted on the TV show "Futurama." (Via Hulu)
A "Bot-Mitzvah" depicted on the TV show "Futurama." (Via Hulu)

Should robots count in a minyan? Rabbi talks Turing test

NEW YORK (JTA) — Robots can hold a conversation, but should they count in a minyan? A chatbot at Britain’s University of Reading was heralded this week as passing the Turing test, showing a conversational ability that managed to fool people into thinking it was human. Using the fictional identity of a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy […]

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Left to right, Mariano Schlez and Paola Salem, with Damian Beker and Maxi Klein, organized efforts to bring together Jewish Soccer fans at the World Cup's seven sites in Brazil. (Courtesy Paola Salem)
Left to right, Mariano Schlez and Paola Salem, with Damian Beker and Maxi Klein, organized efforts to bring together Jewish Soccer fans at the World Cup's seven sites in Brazil. (Courtesy Paola Salem)

At World Cup, Argentina couple kicking Jewishness into high gear

(JTA) – When Argentina plays its opening-round matches in the World Cup, Mariano Schlez of Buenos Aires will be screaming his support from the stands. But taking in his home country’s matches in Brazil isn’t all that will be occupying Schlez for the first fortnight of the monthlong soccer spectacle. Also filling his calendar are […]

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