National

New flavors and fresh ideas raise hopes for a revival of Chicago area’s kosher restaurant scene

Chicago's kosher restaurant scene could be getting a boost. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

This city’s kosher restaurant scene has long lagged behind other metropolises like New York and Los Angeles — but changes might be coming. A bold forthcoming restaurant, an authentic taqueria and reports that two established neighborhood eateries are looking to change hands are raising hope for kosher diners who… Read more »

ANALYSIS Draymond Green says his trip to Israel wasn’t about politics. Here’s why Israel’s critics won’t accept that.

Draymond Green, right, shown before a playoff game between his Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston, May 28, 2018. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

NBA star Draymond Green on his recent visit to Israel got to meet the nation’s president and take some shooting practice — with guns, not basketballs — on a military base. Green’s visit, particularly his jovial use of Israeli military weaponry, prompted criticism from notable figures on the American… Read more »

Richard Siegel, educator who co-edited ‘The Jewish Catalog,’ is dead at 70

Richard Siegel worked at the National Foundation for Jewish Culture for 28 years (HUC)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Richard Siegel, an educator who advocated for Jewish culture and arts and co-edited the seminal “Jewish Catalog” series of guides to “do-it-yourself” Judaism, died Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 70 and had been battling cancer for two years, according to a friend and colleague,… Read more »

Sacha Baron Cohen’s newest character is an Israeli gunslinger taking aim at pro-Israel conservatives

Sacha Baron Cohen at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., May 23, 2016. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sacha Baron Cohen is back, and he is taking aim at a strain of “pro-Israel” thought that has both delighted and unsettled many American Jews: the unconditional love engendered by the country among deeply conservative Americans. In “Who is America?,” a show that made its debut… Read more »

Germany increases funding for Shoah survivors

Germany has agreed to increase its funding for social welfare services for Holocaust survivors by $88 million. The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany in its announcement Tuesday said the increase brings global allocations by Germany for 2019 to $564 million. The Claims Conference and representatives of the… Read more »

Museum seeks former Intrepid crew members

Aug. 16 will mark the 75th anniversary of the commissioning of the USS Intrepid, the World War II-era Essex class aircraft carrier that is now home to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.  To mark the occasion, the museum is putting out a coast-to-coast… Read more »

How Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could affect issues that matter to Jews

Brett Kavanaugh at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., the day after he was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, July 10, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, a Republican establishment favorite who has worked in the George W. Bush administration, has triggered reactions from Jewish groups ranging from furious to relieved. Progressive groups raised flags about the pick, saying Kavanaugh’s record shows he would… Read more »

An all-female Orthodox ambulance corps gets a film of their own

Rachel Freier, center, is the protagonist of "93Queen." (Julieta Cervantes)

(JTA) — Like many heavily Orthodox sections of Brooklyn, Borough Park has been served for decades by an all-male volunteer ambulance corps called Hatzalah. The corps caters to a religious Jewish community with particular needs and customs — including one custom that can increase the tension for patients in already… Read more »

In Jerusalem, Ruth Bader Ginsburg celebrates her commitment to tikkun olam

Benjamin Friedenberg, an Israeli filmmaker, interviews Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, July 5, 2018. (Natasha Kuperman)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg described how grateful she was for her Jewish heritage during a screening of a new documentary film about her life and career at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. “The demand for justice, peace and enlightenment runs through Jewish history and tradition,” she… Read more »

Retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Jewish legacy

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is shown at a White House ceremony, April 10, 2017. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Not an hour after Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement as associate justice on the Supreme Court, the National Council of Jewish Women tweeted its dismay. “Justice Kennedy’s retirement could drastically shift the balance of the Supreme Court, and threaten the very rights and liberties we’ve… Read more »

Orthodox-trained rabbi makes history as head of a mostly Christian theology center

Rabbi Daniel Lehmann will be the first rabbi to lead the Graduate Theological Union based in Northern California. (Daniel Kates/Hebrew College)

SAN FRANCISCO (J. The Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — Breaking religious barriers is nothing new for Rabbi Daniel Lehmann. Ordained at New York’s Yeshiva University, the flagship of Modern Orthodoxy, he most recently was president of Hebrew College near Boston, which is devoted to pluralistic Jewish… Read more »

Did Jared Kushner’s interview with a Palestinian paper hurt his peace plan’s chances?

Jared Kushner during a Cabinet meeting at the White House, May 9, 2018. (Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Saying a U.S. plan for Middle East peace would be released “soon,” Jared Kushner sharply criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in what appeared to be an intentional gambit to drive a wedge between the Palestinian people and their leadership. Whether that strategy will bring… Read more »

Home cooking classes where Israel and Jewish culture are always on the menu

From left to right: Jen Binford, Rachel Brown and Gabby Nordell cooking for Passover at a Mevashlim B’Ivrit class in Boise, Idaho. (Courtesy of Efi Asaf)

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) – In the compact, open kitchen of the apartment here that Dalit Gvirtsman shares with her husband, about a dozen women are jostling for space. One is chopping tomatoes, another is sauteing onions and another is squeezing a few dollops of honey into cooked egg noodles.… Read more »

OP-ED US immigration policies are straight out of the Bible — the story of Sodom

Illegal migrants seen in a jail at the Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, June 17, 2018. (U.S. Border Patrol/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Last week, I visited McAllen, Texas, with a group of clergy — including 10 rabbis — to bear witness to the situation on the border, where new policies are forcing the detention and separation of families and the refusal to hear asylum claims from victims… Read more »

Detention facilities or ‘concentration camps’? A debate on names invokes the Nazis.

Children and workers at a tent encampment built recently near the Tornillo Port of Entry in Tornillo, Texas, June 19, 2018. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending his administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents who were detained as they attempted to enter the United States. WASHINGTON (JTA) — Simmering beneath the heated debate over whether Holocaust references are appropriate in the debate over… Read more »

Meet the millennial Mexican-American Jewish woman running for office on the southern border

Alma Hernandez, a Mexican-American Jew and daughter of immigrants, is running for the Arizona House of Representatives and founded a progressive Jewish group in Tucson. (Courtesy of Hernandez)

(JTA) — Less than one day after Alma Hernandez began a Jewish fundraiser for migrants on the southern border, she had an SUV full of food, diapers and hygienic products ready to donate. Hernandez loaded the vehicle with goods bought with donations on Wednesday afternoon. The following day she… Read more »

These Jewish Arizona activists are fighting against family separation on the border

Alma Hernandez, a Mexican-American Jew and daughter of immigrants, is running for the Arizona House of Representatives and founded a progressive Jewish group in Tucson. (Courtesy of Hernandez)

(JTA) — When Mary McCabe explains America’s immigration courts to children who have been separated from their parents, she tries to make it interactive. She draws a sketch of a courtroom and asks kids to identify the figures in the room — like the judge or the lawyers —… Read more »

These Dutch Holocaust survivors have been madly in love for 70 years

Meijer and Tedje van der Sluis during filming in Amsterdam of a 2018 documentary film about their marriage. (Merlijn Doomernik)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — More than 70 years have passed since Meijer van der Sluis first laid eyes on the love of his life. He was at a home for child survivors of the Holocaust, and he opened the door for her. He still remembers her short haircut and exactly… Read more »