Israel

Abbas ends Palestinians’ agreements with Israel, including security cooperation

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared an end to all agreements with Israel, including security cooperation, effectively turning over to Israel’s government the running of the entire West Bank. “The Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the… Read more »

Senate legislation would expand COVID-19 projects with Israel to lessen dependence on China

(JTA) — The Senate has introduced legislation to enhance partnerships between American and Israeli companies on COVID-19 projects, thus lessening U.S. dependence on China for life-saving medications and treatments. The bipartisan legislation was introduced on Wednesday as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on a whirlwind eight-hour visit to Israel, criticized… Read more »

‘The entire system got confused’: Israeli schools reopen, but many parents aren’t sending their kids back

Israeli first- to third-graders social distance and bring doctor's notes at the entrance to their Jerusalem school, May 3, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — On the first day that Israel’s schools reopened nine weeks after closing to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Kalanit Taub’s 8-year-old daughter stayed home. As a third-grader, her classes were among the first wave of those to resume. But her 10-year-old brother’s classes hadn’t yet… Read more »

Israeli soldier seriously injured in West Bank car-ramming attack

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli soldier was seriously injured in a car-ramming attack Thursday in the West Bank as violence there escalates. Israeli troops shot the Palestinian driver as he “drove quickly toward IDF soldiers next to a military post” in an apparent deliberate attack, the Israel Defense Forces… Read more »

Parents of teen terror victim name their new baby girl

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The parents of Rina Shnerb, 17, Israel’s only terrorism fatality in the last year, named their new baby daughter eight months after her sister’s death. Rabbi Eitan and Shira Shnerb of Lod, in central Israel, named their newborn Tiferet, which means “glory,” on Wednesday in an… Read more »

No time for a breather: A nurse’s account of Israel’s first coronavirus death and life inside a COVID-19 ward

Nurse Rachel Gemara wears a hazmat suit in the coronavirus ward at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. (Courtesy of Gemara)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Nearly six weeks have passed since Arie Even, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor, died of the coronavirus. It happened at the end of Shabbat dinner on a Friday night in March at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Even drew headlines as Israel’s first COVID-19 fatality.… Read more »

Virtual Yom Hazikaron commemoration for Southern Arizona planned

The Weintraub Israel Center and the Tucson Jewish Community Center will host a virtual event for Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s memorial day, on Monday, April 27 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. All those in Tucson and beyond are invited to gather as a community to honor the memory of Israel’s fallen… Read more »

Jerusalem’s Old City, virtual reality edition: A game brings quarantined people around the world into the holy neighborhood

A scene from “The Holy City,” an immersive virtual reality experience that takes users into Jerusalem's Old City. (Nimrod Shanit/Blimey)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — This time of year — the convergence of Passover, Easter and Ramadan — is peak tourism time for this city. This year is the first time since 1992 that all three festivals fall in the same month. But traveling as a tourist to Jerusalem right now… Read more »

Israel is suffering from coronavirus. Haredim have been made scapegoats

A haredi Orthodox man wearing a protective mask crosses a street in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak amid the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis, April 6, 2020. (Photo: Menahem Kahana / AFP via Getty Images)

After the deluge of negative headlines over the last several weeks, when COVID-19 is finally beaten back, it will be the scenes of police cordoning off Bnei Brak like a medieval plague city that will define the corona crisis for most Israelis and international observers. These media attacks, which… Read more »

To give my Israeli synagogue a chance of surviving the pandemic, I had to quit my job as rabbi

Rabbi Mikie Goldstein at Kehillat Adat Shalom-EmanuelRabbi Mikie Goldstein at Kehillat Adat Shalom-Emanuel in Rehovot. (Facebook / JTA Montage)

REHOVOT, Israel (JTA) — To help my kehillah survive the coronavirus pandemic, I had to do something dramatic and counterintuitive: step away from being its official rabbi. Our faith communities need spiritual leaders in these trying times more than ever. But as a non-Orthodox rabbi in Israel, I am largely… Read more »