News

A new Torah scroll symbolizes a Liberal Jewish revival in the Czech Republic

David Maxa delivers a sermon during Shabbat services at Prague's Spanish Synagogue during the European Union of Progressive Judaism's biennial, April 2018. (Courtesy of Maxa)

PRAGUE (JTA) — A new Torah scroll is being used in this historic city by one of its two Reform Jewish congregations to welcome the High Holidays and the series of solemn and joyous celebrations that conclude with, what else, Simchat Torah — the rejoicing of the Torah. But it’s… Read more »

Ari Fuld, American expat slain in West Bank, remembered as a combative activist and caring friend

Ari Fuld, shown at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, worked at a nonprofit that provides food and supplies to Israeli soldiers. (Facebook)

(JTA) — When Ari Fuld first approached him, Josh Weixelbaum was a 20-year-old soldier visiting friends in the West Bank settlement of Efrat. Fuld had heard Weixelbaum speaking English, so he introduced himself and asked Weixelbaum about his time in the army. Fuld soon learned that Weixelbaum, an American… Read more »

10th Annual Multi-faith Pride Service planned

The Multi-faith Pride Inclusion Project and the Colby Olsen Foundation will present the 10th Annual Multi-faith Pride Service, “Our Brighter Future,” on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. at Rincon Community Church, 122 N. Craycroft Road. Guest speakers will include Kelly Fryer, gubernatorial candidate in the Democratic primary and… Read more »

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: How an encounter between Jews and Palestinians underlines the promise and failures of Oslo

The Palestinian side of the separation wall in Bethlehem has graffiti in Arabic and English, but not Hebrew, June 25, 2018. (Ron Kampeas)

(JTA) — The wall separating Bethlehem from Israel-controlled territory is silent and noisy at once, like the breakdown in conversation between Israelis and Palestinians that helped kill the Oslo peace accords. It was only this year — in June, almost 25 years since the launch of the accords that… Read more »

How a rabbi got caught up in a Belgian spy scandal

(JTA) — Moshe Aryeh Friedman may be mild-mannered, but the Antwerp rabbi certainly has a knack for publicity. An anti-Zionist activist from New York, Friedman, 47, has been accused — falsely, he has said — of denying the Holocaust during a 2006 conference organized by then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad… Read more »

Israel ‘almost touched’ peace: A director’s take on the making of HBO’s ‘The Oslo Diaries’

A scene from "The Oslo Diaries" showing Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat after they were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in the Norwegian capital. (Saar Yaacov)

(JTA) — On Sept. 13, 1993, exactly 25 years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat were captured shaking hands in a historic ceremony in Washington, D.C., hosted by President Bill Clinton. The leaders agreed to set up a framework, now known as Oslo Accord… Read more »

OP-ED Young activists learned the wrong lessons from the Oslo Accords

Members of the Peace Now movement demonstrate outside the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in Jerusalem, July11, 2000. (Brian Hendler/Newsmakers/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (JTA) — This summer, America’s Jewish youth rebelled. Or at least a very small minority of them did. But through orchestrated stunts and aggressive marketing, they garnered the headlines they sought. These youth are demanding that Israel end its “occupation,” presumably of the West Bank. They are… Read more »

Why Stephen Miller’s childhood rabbi singled him out in his Rosh Hashanah sermon

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - APRIL 18: White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller arrives before the start of a news conference by President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hold a news conference at Mar-a-Lago resort on April 18, 2018 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The two leaders are meeting for a multi-day working meeting where they are discussing world events. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels didn’t mince words when he criticized Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump and a former congregant of his Southern California synagogue, in his Rosh Hashanah sermon. “Honestly, Mr. Miller, you’ve set back the Jewish contribution to making the world spiritually whole… Read more »

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan says she had ‘a very strange Jewish upbringing’

Elena Kagan, left, speaking with journalist Dahlia Lithwick at the Hannah Senesh Community Day School in Brooklyn, Sept. 12, 2018. (Matthew Sussman for Hannah Senesh Community Day School)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, appearing at a Jewish day school in Brooklyn, spoke about her Jewish background and how her family jumped from synagogue to synagogue. “I had a very strange Jewish upbringing actually,” Kagan, 58, told journalist Dahlia Lithwick, who moderated the Wednesday… Read more »

How a Herman Wouk novel shaped the debate over removing an unfit president

Humphrey Bogart speaking to Fred MacMurray and the rest of his men in a scene from the film 'The Caine Mutiny', 1954. (Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — It’s hard to follow the news these last weeks without running into a reference to the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provides for the removal from office of a president unfit to serve. Questions about Donald Trump’s capacity to govern arise in “Fear,” Bob… Read more »

Oslo failed. Long live Oslo.

From left to right: Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin in 1994 after winning the Nobel Peace Prize for their roles in the Oslo Accords. (Wikimedia Commons)

NEW YORK (JTA) — It has become conventional wisdom in certain circles that the Oslo agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, which was signed 25 years ago Sept. 13 on the White House lawn, was simply a failure. There is no doubt that the great hopes of Israeli-Palestinian peace and… Read more »

Educator to speak on ‘transformative power of community’

Sarah Shulkind, Ph.D., will speak at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy Annual Welcome on Oct. 4.

Sarah Shulkind, Ph.D., head of the Alice and Nahum Lainer School in Los Angeles, will be the guest speaker at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy Annual Welcome next month. Entitled “Many Voices Impacting as One,” the event will celebrate 10 years of the Mitzvah Magic program… Read more »

Tucsonan inducted as AEPi supreme master

Tucsonan Jeffrey H. Jacobson speaks at Alpha Epsilon Pi's 105th International Convention Banquet in Phoenix, Aug. 11.

Jeffrey H. Jacobson, a Tucson attorney, became the 74th supreme master at Alpha Epsilon Pi’s 105th International Convention in Phoenix in August. “AEPi has been everything to me. From my Jewish identity to friendships and relationships to my leadership skills and my desire to give back to the community.… Read more »

At L.A. games, Maccabi USA team taps local youth for 2019 Pan Am Games

Tucsonan Cody Blumenthal heads for the basket in a tied match at the Maccabi Games in Los Angeles in August.

Cody Blumenthal and Gabe Green were among 2,600 athletes at the largest annual JCC Maccabi Games this summer, representing the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Blumenthal participated in 16 and under basketball while Green vied in 14 and under soccer at the Aug. 5-10 games in Orange County, California. Josh… Read more »

Hadassah Southern Arizona fashion show will be celebration of diversity

Models for Hadassah Southern Arizona’s fashion show on Oct. 21 will include Tucsonan Talya Simha Fanger-Vexler.

Hadassah Southern Arizona is hosting a luncheon fashion show called “Walkin’ and Rollin’ Down the Runway” next month. It will be held on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 11:15 a.m. at the Country Club of La Cholla, 8700 N. La Cholla Blvd. Committee member Anne Lowe says the fashion show… Read more »

Trump administration to close PLO office in Washington

The Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington D.C. “We have permitted the PLO office to conduct operations that support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a previous waiver in November 2017,”… Read more »

SodaStream is behind this 20-foot Statue of Liberty replica drowning in plastic bottles

This SodaStream display was set up in New York City to raise awareness of the negative consequences of one-use plastic bottles, Sept. 5, 2018. (Josefin Dolsten)

By Josefin Dolsten NEW YORK (JTA) — Tourists and locals wandering around Flatiron Plaza in downtown Manhattan were met with an unusual sight: a 20-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty standing in a steel cage filled with empty plastic bottles and metal cans. On the other side of… Read more »