Israel

Undeterred by COVID-19, couple plans Israeli wedding in less than 24 hours

Nina Abrahams and Amit Bigler are married after completely changing their wedding plans due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Nadav C.J.)

Nina Abrahams and Amit Bigler knew the coronavirus pandemic would have an impact on their wedding, which was already taking place in Israel, far from their home in New York. But they didn’t expect to have their guest list whittle down from 330 to about 20 — and for those… Read more »

Stop using Israel as an excuse not to support Black Lives Matter

A Black Lives Matter protester raises his fist during a march to honor George Floyd in New York City, May 31, 2020. (John Moore/Getty Images)

This story originally appeared on Alma. Take a moment and remember where you were when you first heard about the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. I was in Tel Aviv getting ready to go to the movies after Havdalah. I didn’t end up going —… Read more »

Trump authorizes sanctions against International Criminal Court and blasts its investigation of Israel

(JTA) — President Donald Trump authorized sanctions against the International Criminal Court should it pursue cases against U.S. citizens and cited what he said was its anti-Israel bias. In an executive order issued Thursday, Trump approved economic sanctions and travel restrictions against ICC workers directly involved in investigating American… Read more »

In a dramatic shift, AIPAC gives lawmakers a green light to criticize Israel over annexation

People gather to stage a demonstration to protest against the annexation plan of the Jordan Valley, located in the occupied West Bank and illegal Jewish settlements in West Bank, Tel Aviv, Israel on June 6, 2020. (Nir Keidar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The leading pro-Israel lobby in the United States is telling lawmakers that they are free to criticize Israel’s looming annexation plans — just as long as the criticism stops there. Two sources — a congressional aide and a donor — say the American Israel Public Affairs… Read more »

Hundreds of Israelis, angry with police violence at home, protest the George Floyd killing in Tel Aviv

Israeli protesters compare police violence against African Americans to the killing of Ethiopian Jews, June 2, 2020. (Sam Sokol)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — As Kielahtiel Barton stood across from the former American embassy here, on a sidewalk next to a downtown beach, a large crowd around her chanted slogans calling for racial equality. “Why am I here? I’m black as hell and my skin color is the first… Read more »

As colleges go virtual, students instead are heading to Israel on gap year programs

Year Course students this spring wear masks while volunteering. (Courtesy of Year Course)

(JTA) — Hadara Bilsky thought she’d spend her first semester of college making friends in her dorm, having discussions with professors and students in class, and attending Shabbat services at Hillel. Now the 18-year-old isn’t sure if any of that will happen. Emory University, her school of choice, has… Read more »

Amid pandemic, Jewish groups get creative for Shavuot festivities

Health care staff at Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital participate in the Days of Gratitude project, holding up signs in Hebrew and Arabic reading "Thank you for taking care of yourself," "Thank you for coming to work" and Thank you for your dedication." (Courtesy of M2)

When Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly during a 2015 vacation to Mexico, Sandberg found solace in Jewish tradition. “One of the ways you find strength is to remember what is still good in your life,” Sandberg said. During the coronavirus crisis, actress, scientist and author… Read more »

Joe Biden to Jewish donors: ‘I do not support annexation,’ will reverse Trump policies on Israel and the Palestinians

Joe Biden speaks at a coronavirus virtual town hall from his home in Wilmington, Del., April 08, 2020. (Screengrab from JoeBiden.com via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Joe Biden said that as president he would reverse Trump administration policies that have led to Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank. “I do not support annexation,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee told Jewish donors on Tuesday during a fundraising webinar. “I’m going… Read more »

Most Israelis infected with COVID-19 had strain that originated in US

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Most Israelis who had the COVID-19 virus were infected with a strain that originated in the United States. About 70% of the infected patients were infected by Americans visiting Israel or by Israelis who brought the virus back with them from the United States, according to… Read more »