National

Lack of peace with Israel is Palestinian’s fault, U.S. ambassador says after terror attack

Rabbi Raziel Shevach, right, shown with his family, was killed in a shooting near Nablus in the northern West Bank. (Facebook)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The U.S. ambassador to Israel blamed the Palestinians for the lack of peace with Israel in the aftermath of a shooting in the West Bank that killed an Israeli man. David Friedman tweeted Wednesday morning, as the Israeli military expanded its search for the killer or killers, including… Read more »

Steve Bannon, facing heat for ‘Fire and Fury’ quotes, leaves Breitbart News

Stephen Bannon at a White House news conference, Feb. 16, 2017. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Steve Bannon, the former top strategic adviser to President Donald Trump, is leaving his powerful perch at Breitbart News. Breitbart News in a statement Tuesday said Bannon is a “valued part of our legacy,” but various media, including The New York Times, said he was ousted… Read more »

Delta employees detail a pattern of anti-Semitic abuse at airline

Two Delta Connection passenger jets at LaGuardia Airport in New York, October 2017. (Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — It wasn’t long after Nahum Amir began working for Delta Airlines as a mechanic that he says his manager started calling him “the Jewish guy.” Then Amir says the manager accused him and other Jews of “killing kids in Gaza.” During the same period, Yaron… Read more »

OP-ED The underwhelming fact that Jared Kushner has ties with Israeli businesses

Jared Kushner at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C., July 31, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — On Season 3 of “The West Wing,” a bomb goes off outside a cafe on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, killing two American students. “What were they doing there?” asks C.J., the White House press secretary. C.J.’s question always struck me as the prime example of… Read more »

A Rust Belt synagogue ‘runs out of people’ and gathers to bury its past

Congregants from Temple Hadar Israel in New Castle, Pa., gather at the local Tifereth Israel cemetery to bury ritual objects from their defunct synagogue, Dec. 31, 2017. (Alanna E. Cooper)

  NEW CASTLE, Pa. (JTA) — It was a frigid 10 degrees on Sunday, the last day of 2017, but some 20 people gathered at Congregation Tifereth Israel’s cemetery in this city of 22,000 on the Ohio border. A blue tent and folding chairs had been set up for… Read more »

Why Trump’s Middle East negotiator is beating expectations

Jason Greenblatt, in gray shirt, visits the Nahal Oz military base near the Gaza border, Aug. 30, 2017. (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s chief Israeli-Palestinian negotiator, has an office just around the corner from the White House. On his computer monitor is a Post-it note, inscribed with a quote from former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo: “At the end of the day, a peace agreement… Read more »

How Sholom Rubashkin’s supporters got Trump to commute his sentence

Sholom Rubashkin, seen in Postville, Iowa, in December 2004, served eight years of a 27-year prison term for bank fraud. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Why did President Donald Trump commute the sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, the former CEO of an Iowa kosher meat plant sentenced to 27 years in prison for bank fraud? The official line is that the bipartisan support for Rubashkin’s cause made cutting short his sentence a… Read more »

Mormons are baptizing Holocaust victims, Lubavitcher rebbe and celebrities, researcher says

The historic Salt Lake Temple and the world headquarters of the Mormon church in Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 14, 2015. (George Frey/Getty Images)

(JTA) — A researcher says Mormons have posthumously baptized the late Lubavitcher rebbe, the grandparents of Carrie Fisher and Steven Spielberg, and hundreds of Holocaust victims, violating an agreement to halt the practice. Helen Radkey, a Salt Lake City-based independent researcher who has been looking into the Mormon practice… Read more »

The top 10 moments that mattered to Jews in 2017

From a wave of bomb threats to JCCs and a neo-Nazi in Charlottesville and to Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, 2017 was not a quiet year for Jews. (JTA collage)

  (JTA) — The past year was not a quiet one, to say the least. From the tumultuous first year of Donald Trump’s presidency to a wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers to the flood of high-profile sexual harassment allegations, Jews — like so many others —… Read more »

In Tucson and beyond, b’nai mitzvah kids already are Jewish philanthropists

Pictured, Brenda Landau, right, with seventh graders at the Or Chadash annual meeting on May 9, 2016. Landau and her son Matt Landau are the Noah Cohen Memorial Philanthropy Program advisors.

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — Lyla Maymon and Jane Shvartzman went to interview officials last year at the Larkin Street Youth, a San Francisco organization fighting homelessness among young people, to see if their programs were worthy of a philanthropic grant. Maymon and Shvartzman asked all the right questions, like… Read more »

Why Jewish day schools are breathing a little easier on tax bill

An illustrative photo of students at a Jewish day school. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Lawmakers finalizing the proposed tax overhaul reportedly have removed a provision that had sent shivers through the graduate student and Jewish day school communities. The House version of the reform bill, which was drafted by the Republican leadership, had removed the qualified tuition credit. The credit… Read more »

Israelis are flocking to this Silicon Valley community center

Children participate in a Yom Kippur event at the Palo Alto JCC, October 2017. (Ilyanne Photographic Art)

PALO ALTO, Calif. (JTA) — With a foot in the tech world and another in Jewish culture, the JCC in Palo Alto has transformed itself into a hub for local Israeli expatriates. Located on a sprawling 8.5-acre campus, the place known formally as the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center… Read more »

Congress will miss its deadline to reimpose sanctions on Iran deal. What happens next?

Activists in front of the White House protest President Donald Trump's decision to decertify the Iran deal, Oct. 12, 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two months ago, President Donald Trump triggered a deadline about to come due on the Iran nuclear deal by decertifying Iran’s compliance. That meant Congress had 60 days to reimpose sanctions. Sixty days later — on Dec. 12 — Congress is not about to reimpose… Read more »

Debates with Israel weigh on Reform movement’s largest-ever gathering

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, addresses delegates at its 2017 biennial in Boston, Dec. 7, 2017. (Courtesy of the Union for Reform Judaism)

BOSTON (JTA) – President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel became an unexpected agenda item as 6,000 members of the Reform movement from across North America gathered here for their four-day convention. Addressing the Union for Reform Judaism’s 2017 biennial on Friday, Sen. Elizabeth… Read more »

Al Franken’s resignation pains his Jewish fans in Minnesota

Sen. Al Franken at a Capitol Hill committee hearing on hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, Nov. 14, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — It’s a shame Al Franken has to go, Minnesota Jews say. But he has to go. That’s the feeling Minnesota Jewish leaders expressed a day after the Democratic senator announced he would resign his seat in the coming weeks following a string of sexual harassment allegations… Read more »

Trump’s Jerusalem announcement is a big deal — but won’t actually change much

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, Feb. 15, 2017. (Andrew Harrer/Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — In announcing U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, President Donald Trump spoke loud and clear — except when he didn’t. That’s not to say that Israel and many of its supporters weren’t thrilled with what many called the “long overdue” acknowledgement by the United States… Read more »