News

For Italian Jews, the ‘smell of death’ is all around

A cyclist protecting himself from the coronavirus passes in front of a synagogue in Turin, Italy, March 18, 2020. (Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

(JTA) — At least twice a day, Micol Naccache breaks down in tears over what the coronavirus is doing to her city of Milan and its Jewish community. A high school teacher and mother of two, Naccache describes herself as “an optimistic person.” But she is struggling to stay… Read more »

The Bonds of Life: Remembering those we lost to COVID-19

We’re creating space to mourn Jews who are lost to the coronavirus at a time when Jewish mourning practices are nearly impossible to observe. If you’ve lost someone dear to you, we invite you to share their story with us using this form. Maurice Berger, 63, was a noted… Read more »

What Jewish groups want to see in Congress’ $2 trillion pandemic spending bill

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 20: Socially distanced apart, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) attend a meeting with a select group of Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, and Trump administration officials in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. The small group of lawmakers and officials are in negotiations about the phase 3 coronavirus stimulus bill, which leaders say they hope to have passed by Monday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The White House has come to an agreement with Democrats and Republicans on a $2 trillion stimulus package, the biggest in U.S. history, in response to the major economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus. The Senate approved the package, 96-0, at midnight Wednesday. It could undergo… Read more »

‘Painful and deep’: Jewish nonprofits face dire economic prospects during and after coronavirus

The main entrance of the Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center in Denver, July 27, 2018. At the time, the center had staved off financial worries thanks to a newly formed nonprofit that bought its property and infused it with cash to wipe out $14.3 million in debt. (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Some 38,000 people work at Jewish community centers across North America, staffing preschools, camps, gyms, classes, activities for seniors and more. Because of the coronavirus crisis, a lot of them are going to lose their jobs. “The cuts are going to be painful and deep,”… Read more »

The real reasons coronavirus is spreading in my Hasidic community

JERUSALEM (JTA) —  A vicious rumor has been making the rounds: Hasidim are neglecting to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously because we are selfish. But as someone born and bred in the Satmar community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, who now lives in Jerusalem and writes for Yiddish publications, I can… Read more »

Why Jewish communities are keeping mikvahs open amid the coronavirus outbreak — for now

Women's mikvahs in Israel, like this one in the settlement of Alon Shvut, are still open. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

NEW YORK (JTA) — When the rabbis of New Jersey’s suburban Bergen County took the bold step of shutting down almost all facets of communal Jewish life last week, they left the doors of one institution open: the women’s mikvah, or ritual bath. That pattern has been repeated in… Read more »

I’m a pediatrician who sees kids with coronavirus every day. It’s changed my whole way of life.

Health care providers wear protective equipment, like gloves, but some still get the coronavirus. (Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — I am a pediatrician who for 15 years has practiced in a medical office in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We serve the local Hasidic community and see a variety of other patients from Brooklyn, the Lower East Side and Queens. When the coronavirus emerged… Read more »

3 happy Jewish coronavirus stories to finish the week

(JTA) — After a week in which the headlines seemed to grow more grim by the day, it’s worth remembering that even as cities go dark across the globe, the world continues to turn. Babies are born, people are getting married, and thankfully the sun still rises every morning.… Read more »

Handmaker temporarily limits outside visitors

As a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging has canceled all outside programs and events at least through the end of March. Handmaker is also limiting visitation, as per recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the Center for… Read more »

Or Chadash, Temple Emanu-El explore merger

A joint Congregation Or Chadash-Temple Emanu-El ‘100 Menorah Celebration’ Shabbat on Dec. 27 filled the sanctuary at Temple Emanu-El. (Simon Rosenblatt - Facebook)

In an era when non-Orthodox synagogues throughout the country have seen membership decline, two Reform synagogues in Tucson, Temple Emanu-El and Congregation Or Chadash, are considering joining forces. Temple Emanu-El, established in 1910, is the oldest synagogue in Arizona, while Or Chadash is celebrating its 25th year. After more… Read more »

Neo-Nazis target editor of Jewish publication

An Arizona man associated with a neo-Nazi group was among four arrested on Feb. 26 and charged with conspiracy to threaten and intimidate Mala Blomquist, the editor of Arizona Jewish Life, and an unnamed member of the Arizona Association of Black Journalists. All four charged are affiliated with Atomwaffen… Read more »

JFSA, others cancel events, focus on giving, digital resources in face of coronavirus

A view from the lobby of the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy, home of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona (Martha Lochert)

UPDATE: The Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona have created a web page at www.jewishtucson.org/pandemic containing community resources, volunteer opportunities, and a link to donate to the newly created Jewish Community Pandemic Relief Fund, which provides emergency financial assistance and meets critical needs for individuals, families, and… Read more »