Posts By AZ Jewish Post

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 »

Op-Ed: When Israel turns its back on pluralism

(New Jersey Jewish News via JTA) — This past week was exhausting, but not in the way I’ve become accustomed to as the father of three children in a demanding profession. It began with the uplifting gala of the Masorti Foundation and a conference celebrating 30 years of women’s… Read more »

Mother’s Day gifts from mom that money can’t buy

Edmon J. Rodman shared his mother's taste for Impressionist art, thus the purchase of this umbrella as a Mother's Day gift. (Edmon J. Rodman)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — What gifts do our mothers give us? Not the kind we see in the mirror. Like me, you’ve probably already accounted for where your eye color, nose shape and eyebrows that seem too close to each other come from. I’m talking inner gifts, those money… 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)

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)

(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)

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 »

Op-Ed: After Baltimore, reflecting on the chasm between black and white

Police subduing an injured demonstrator during the July 1967 race riots in Newark, N.J. (Three Lions/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The Newark riots of 1967 have shaped the imagination of the New York-New Jersey area for over 40 years — probably more than they shaped the actual political and social landscape of Newark and its suburbs. The riots often are held up as a pivotal moment in… 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)

(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)

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 »

Op-Ed: Why doesn’t the world care about Palestinian refugees in Syria?

Palestinian refugees in the Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, Syria, awaiting food aid from the United Nations, Jan. 31, 2004. (United Nations Relief and Works Agency via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — It’s happening again — Palestinian refugees are caught between warring factions in the Middle East and the world is reacting too slowly to their plight. In earlier times, Palestinian refugees found themselves in the crosshairs at the Sabra and Shatila camps, when Lebanese Phalangists massacred… Read more »

Op-Ed: Why more American Jews are voting Republican

WASHINGTON (JTA) — America has good allies all around the world, but there is no greater ally than Israel, a beacon of democracy, freedom and liberty in a part of the world filled with darkness. However, the Obama administration continues to create more and more daylight between itself and… Read more »

Children of Bergen-Belsen survivors gather to warn: Never forget

HANOVER, Germany (JTA) — Seventy years after the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp by British troops, some 100 people personally touched by the history returned to the site to share their memories and warn against forgetting. Among them were children born at a displaced persons camp for survivors less than two miles… Read more »

Why last week’s Women of the Wall drama was a big deal — and why it wasn’t

Women of the "Women of the Wall" organization dance with a Torah scroll as they attend their montly prayer services at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, April 20, 2015. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) —A man was trampled. A raucous protest broke out, restrained only by police. The Western Wall’s mechitza — a partition between men and women considered sacrosanct — was breached by those who ostensibly care about it most. The brouhaha that erupted last week at Women of the Wall’s monthly service… Read more »

In aftermath of Nepal quake, Israelis sending help and looking for their own

A statue of the Buddha surrounded by debris from a collapsed temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal, April 26, 2015. (Omar Havana/Getty Images)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — 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,… Read more »