Why Jewish organizations are mostly playing it safe on issues like gun control and refugees

Participants in the National Walkout to protest gun violence marching toward the U.S. Capitol, April 20, 2018. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — As Senate Republicans worked to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last summer, the American Jewish establishment sent an unequivocal message: Kill the bill. “The Senate’s ‘Better Care Reconciliation Act’ would be devastating for millions of Americans and irreparably harmful to Jewish social service agencies that care for some of our community’s most vulnerable… Read more »

Will Europe’s Jews stop wearing kippahs? Most already have.

A man wearing a kippah at a gathering in Berlin to protest anti-Semitism, April 25, 2018. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — The debate about wearing a kippah in Western Europe returned only a decade or so ago, but it has nonetheless come to follow a rigid pattern even in that short period of time. The cycle – there have been dozens of such cases — begins with… Read more »

Does Natalie Portman’s snub of Netanyahu make her the face of liberal Zionism?

Natalie Portman speaking at the Environmental Media Association's 27th Annual EMA Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., Sept. 23, 2017. (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Natalie Portman’s statement explaining why she declined to attend an award ceremony in Israel in her honor was a pointed rebuke, and of a particular individual. “I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu,” she said of the Israeli prime minister. But it also… Read more »

‘Disobedience’ is an accurate portrayal of lesbian love — and the Orthodox Jewish community

From left: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola in "Disobedience." (Agatha A. Nitecka/Bleecker Street)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Sebastian Lelio, the director who recently won the Academy Award for best foreign film for “A Fantastic Woman,” grew up Catholic in Chile knowing almost nothing about observant Jews. So when the Jewish actress Rachel Weisz approached him a couple of years ago and suggested… Read more »

A Montreal pilgrimage in the footsteps of Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen's grave, next to three generations of his family, in the Congregation Shaar Hashomayim cemetery in Montreal. (Ben Harris)

MONTREAL (JTA) — Just inside the gate of the Shaar Hashomayim synagogue off Boulevard du Mont Royal, a gravestone bears an unusual Star of David, the sharp angles of its two opposing triangles — one reaching heavenward, the other aimed at the earth — softened into the shape of… Read more »

In Krakow, Jews celebrate their community’s ‘revival’ amid rising xenophobia

A participant at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Jewish Community Center in Krakow blows a shofar, April 22, 2018. (Jakub Wlodek)

KRAKOW, Poland (JTA) — At one of Poland’s plushest synagogues, leaders of this city’s small but vibrant Jewish community welcomed visitors from around the world to a celebration of what the hosts call their minority’s “revival” in this country. The occasion for the party Sunday at Tempel Synagogue was… Read more »

‘Three Billboards’-style campaign against anti-Semitism in Labour Party fails to sway Brits

Van-mounted billboards in central London were the latest escalation in British Jews' publicized row with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. (Courtesy of Jonathan Hoffman)

LONDON (JTA) — Keith Walker was having a sandwich in Parliament Square when he saw something that made him sit up straight and cut short his lunch. What did the 42-year-old activist for disabled people’s rights find so fascinating? It was three billboards on wheels that circled around the… Read more »

New sculpture honors Federation donors, symbolizes mission

‘Flame’ by local artist Tidhar Ozeri overlooks the Jane and Rabbi Lee Kivel Promenade between the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Tucson Jewish Community Center. (Ronen More)

A new glass and metal sculpture, “Flame” by Tidhar Ozeri, was installed late last month outside the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy. The new work is part of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s intention to use architectural elements and art in the new building to reinforce… Read more »

Annual awards will celebrate Federation, agency volunteers

Howard Schwartz, left, and Deborah Oseran

The Jewish Community Awards Celebration and Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona annual meeting will be held Thursday, May 10 at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. New this year, the evening will include special recognition awards honoring outstanding lay or professional leaders from each of the Federation’s… Read more »

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