Blogs

BLOG Jared and Ivanka do their own thing as observant Jews. And that’s normal.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: (AFP OUT) White House Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Planning Jared Kushner (L) and his wife and President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump walk down the West Wing Colonnade following a bilateral meeting between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump and Abe are expected to discuss many issues, including trade and security ties and will hold a joint press confrence later in the day. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — So apparently Jared and Ivanka play golf on Shabbat. Cue the handwringing. The New York Post reported Wednesday that the president’s Jewish daughter and son-in-law like to hit the links on the holy day, and stay within the bounds of the Sabbath rules by walking the… Read more »

An ode to ‘Girls,’ Lena Dunham and modern Jewish neuroticism

The main cast of "Girls" at a New York Times Times Talks event. From left to right: Allison Williams, Lena Dunham, Zosia Mamet and Jemima Kirke. (Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

(JTA) — The HBO series “Girls” may no longer be the definitive show of the millennial generation — but as it enters its sixth and final season this week, it remains relevant in myriad ways. “Girls” debuted in 2012 — when the Jewish creator and star Lena Dunham was… Read more »

Trump vs. Clinton, Round 2: Iran, Syria, dog whistles and deplorables

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spar fiercely at the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 9, 2016. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did not shake hands, and then they did. The Republican nominee called his rival the devil and said he would jail her. Clinton said that three minutes of a 2005 video in which Trump bragged about committing what constitutes sexual assault “represents exactly… Read more »

Iran becomes an issue in New Jersey race — although both candidates opposed the deal

Rep. Scott Garrett, left, and his challenger in November, Josh Gottheimer (Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Common Sense Media)

(JTA) — The congressional race in New Jersey’s 5th District is a bitter one, pitting a rarity — a hard-line conservative Republican congressman from the Northeast, Scott Garrett — against Josh Gottheimer, a lawyer who was a speechwriter for former President Bill Clinton and an executive at Microsoft. Now the Iran nuclear… Read more »

BLOG The Dallas shooter wanted to stay in this anti-Semitic black militant group

Micah Johnson was reportedly for a short time a member of the New Black Panther Party, a confrontational group that often espouses anti-Semitic ideas. (Facebook)

(JTA) — Investigators may never know with certainty what combination of factors led Micah Xavier Johnson to methodically fire upon police officers in Dallas. Five white officers were killed in the attack, which came during a peaceful rally protesting the shooting deaths of young black men by law enforcement in other cities. Johnson… Read more »

Roman Polanski, 10 other Hollywood Jews open up about surviving Holocaust

French-Polish film director Roman Polanski attending a press conference at the Bonarowski Palace Hotel in Krakow, Poland, Oct. 30, 2015. (Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The Hollywood Reporter is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust with a feature on 11 survivors who went on to careers in American entertainment. The project, released Wednesday morning online and in print, includes emotional, revealing video interviews with all the subjects, including director Roman Polanski and sex… Read more »

Why you won’t find Starbucks in Israel

The Cofix cafe chain in Israel is offering an across-the-board price of 5 shekels (about $1.30) in a bid to shake up the country's coffee scene. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

(JTA) — In Israel, American stores dot shopping malls and McDonald’s branches proliferate. But one chain you won’t see is Starbucks. Starbucks has franchises around the world, but its brief experiment with Israeli stores lasted just two years, from 2001 to 2003. Maybe, as some have suggested, Starbucks pulled… Read more »

Blog: Larry David is spot-on as Bernie Sanders on ‘SNL’

Larry David appearing as presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on "Saturday Night Live," Oct. 17, 2015. (YouTube)

(JTA) — “What’s the deal with emails, anyway?” Sounds like a line on a “Seinfeld” episode (or Modern Seinfeld, anyway). But last night we heard it on the “Saturday Night Live” spoof of the first Democratic debate. The speaker was Bernie Sanders’ doppelganger, “Seinfeld” creator Larry David. David is a… Read more »

How the Pew study reveals a gulf between U.S. and Israeli haredi Jews

Haredi Orthodox Jews in Israel viewing the funeral procession of the prominent Rabbi Eliezer Hager in Haifa, July 8, 2015. (Ariel Schalit/AP)

(JTA) — Did we need the Pew Research Center to tell us that American haredim are different than other Jews? It’s no surprise that American haredi Orthodox Jews marry young, have big families, care more about religion and skew further right politically than the rest of the American Jewish community. But… Read more »

The Hamptons Jewish cemetery is so trendy, even non-Jews want in

In the Hamptons, expensive estates like this one are typically more popular than cemetery plots. (YouTube)

(JTA) — Forget sprawling estates and yacht slips, the hottest real estate in the Hamptons might just be a Jewish cemetery. The Shaarey Pardes Accabonac Grove Cemetery, a private plot owned by the Jewish Center of the Hamptons, a Reform synagogue in East Hampton, has become one of the most… Read more »

Heinz no longer qualifies as ketchup in Israel

(JTA) — In the United States, Heinz is nearly synonymous with ketchup, but Israel has kicked the brand out of that category of condiments. Israel’s Health Ministry ruled recently that the Heinz product does not contain enough “tomato solids” to be labeled as ketchup in Israeli stores. It will be… Read more »

Hamas says it has captured an Israeli spy-dolphin

Hamas reportedly claimed to have captured a dolphin equipped with Israeli spying equipment and an arrow shooter. (Wikimedia Commons)

(JTA) — Forget the Iron Dome defense system and the rest of Israel’s formidable military – Hamas is worried about Israeli spy-dolphins. The Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported this week that Hamas captured a dolphin outfitted with Israeli “spying equipment.” Hamas’ naval wing reportedly tracked down the dolphin, which gave itself away through… Read more »

Ben and Jerry support the Iran deal

(JTA) — Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the men behind the iconic Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand, have never shied away from politics. For instance, they recently endorsed fellow Jew Sen. Bernie Sanders for president (and even toyed with the idea of giving the Independent from Vermont his own original… Read more »

Wearing my kippah in Italy — and feeling fine

Diners at a Jewish restaurant in the Ghetto district of Rome, July 20, 2013. JTA's Ben Sales found a thriving Jewish community in the Italian capital. (Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images)

(JTA) — During my four months studying in Italy in the fall of 2007, you could say I had more than my fair share of strange Jewish experiences. Running late for a train one morning in Florence, I decided the best course of action would be to lay tefillin… Read more »

All over the map: Where dozens of local Jewish groups stand on the Iran deal

(JTA) — Across the United States, Jewish community groups have appeared unsure about exactly how to respond to the Iran nuclear deal. Consider Massachusetts. Three groups in the state last month attempted to coordinate a single statement on the Iran nuclear deal now under consideration by Congress. The underlying… Read more »

A tally of how Jewish lawmakers are voting on the Iran deal

(JTA) — There are 28 Jewish members of Congress: 26 Democrats, one independent who caucuses with the Democrats and one Republican. Nine of them are senators and 19 are representatives. Nine back the Iran deal, seven oppose it and 12 are undecided. The positions of Jewish lawmakers are being watched as Congress decides… Read more »

NPR’s Nina Totenberg reclaims dad’s stolen violin, now worth millions

From left, Jill Totenberg, Nina Totenberg and Amy Totenberg viewing their father's Stadivarius violin, which was stolen after a concert 35 years ago, at an FBI news conference in New York City announcing the recovery of the violin, Aug. 6, 2015. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Jewish violin virtuoso Roman Totenberg enjoyed a long life, making it to the ripe old age of 101. But that wasn’t quite long enough to be reunited with the prized instrument that was stolen from him in 1980. The FBI officially announced Thursday that it had recovered Totenberg’s… Read more »

Get your kosher dogs at Dodger Stadium!

(JTA) — The Los Angeles Dodgers may never achieve the lore of their brethren in Brooklyn, but now at least they’ve brought a bit of Brooklyn to the West Coast — in the form of hot dogs. Earlier this week, Dodger Stadium opened its first kosher hot dog stand,… Read more »