National

Sackler family-owned Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy

(JTA) — The Sackler family-owned Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy as part of a tentative $12 billion settlement with dozens of state and local governments that filed lawsuits accusing the company of fueling and profiting from the opioid epidemic. The company’s board met Sunday evening to approve the move,… Read more »

A Guatemalan asylum seeker is being sheltered in a Washington state synagogue

Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia, Wash., is the only synagogue in the United States known to be sheltering an undocumented immigrant. (Rabbi Seth Goldstein)

(JTA) — In a few weeks, the congregants at Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia, Washington, will gather for Yom Kippur services, where a line in the traditional liturgy declares, “My house will be a house of prayer for all nations.” In this synagogue’s case, that will literally be true.… Read more »

How should Jews treat each other? Jewish thinkers have come up with a plan.

Jeiwsh thought leaders and activists from around the world present the Declaration of Our Common Destiny to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Sept. 10, 2019. (Avishag Shaar-Yashuv)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Despite our differences, Jews around the world have remained bound together by a shared history, by the Torah and by our core values, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told Jewish thinkers from around the world. The 30 scholars and activists met this week in Jerusalem to hammer… Read more »

In new book, Obama speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz goes on a Jewish journey

For Sarah Hurwitz, an introductory course launched an exploration of Judaism. (Random House)

When Sarah Hurwitz was working as a senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama, and later as head speechwriter for Michelle Obama, she often was assumed to be a good source of knowledge about Judaism. Except Hurwitz wasn’t. She had grown up nominally Reform. And after her bat mitzvah, Hurwitz… Read more »

NJ councilman uses term ‘Jew us down’ to criticize developers

(JTA) — A city councilman in Paterson, New Jersey, used the term “Jew us down” at a public meeting to criticize developers looking to buy land for less money. Colleagues of Michael Jackson condemned his use of the term, calling it “highly insensitive,” “reprehensible” and “totally inappropriate.” Councilman Al… Read more »

Mayim Bialik to write and direct her first feature film

(JTA) — Popular Jewish actress Mayim Bialik will write and direct a feature film based on her own experiences. The comedy-drama titled “As Sick As They Made Us,” which will deal with mental illness, will be Bialik’s screenwriting and directing debut. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.… Read more »

Rabbi suffering from ALS makes cross-country trip for son’s bar mitzvah

(JTA) — A Southern California father of seven suffering from ALS made the cross-country trip to be at his son’s bar mitzvah with family and friends in his hometown of Brooklyn. Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz, 47, of West Hollywood, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s… Read more »

What does John Bolton’s departure mean for Israel?

National Security Adviser John Bolton arrives at his news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Aug. 28, 2019. (STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Benjamin Netanyahu had quite a Tuesday. One week before Israelis go to the polls in their country’s second election this year, the Israeli prime minister went on live television with a promise that if re-elected, he is prepared to annex sensitive areas of the West Bank… Read more »

Trump fires John Bolton, national security adviser close to Israel

National Security Advisor John Bolton answers journalists' questions after his meeting with Belarus' president in Minsk, Aug. 29, 2019. (Sergei Gapon/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump fired John Bolton, his national security adviser and one of the administration officials seen as closest to the views of Israel’s government. “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” Trump said Tuesday on… Read more »

In Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn, a spate of assaults feels all too familiar

Women and children wait at a crosswalk in the Orthodox neighborhood of Borough Park, Brooklyn, Sept. 3, 2019. (Ben Sales)

NEW YORK (JTA) — As he talks about the recent string of attacks on Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, Yosef Rapaport points to a small scar above his right eye. It’s the remnant of an anti-Semitic attack he experienced 50 years ago as a teenager in Montreal. “For those of… Read more »

Sackler family in talks to give up ownership of Purdue Pharma under proposed opioid settlement

A view of Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Conn., owned by the Sackler family. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The Sackler family would give up ownership of Purdue Pharma and pay $3 billion of its own money to settle thousands of state and federal lawsuits over its role in fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic. The settlement, according to a tentative negotiated agreement described to NBC and… Read more »

Jewish socialist philosopher who met with Hamas is running for president

(JTA) — A Jewish socialist philosopher who met with the leader of Hamas is running for president. On Wednesday, Jerome Segal announced that he would run as the nominee of the Bread and Roses Party he founded last year. The party supports wealth redistribution, as well as guaranteed employment… Read more »

Back from the brink, Hadassah banks on bipartisanship in attracting new members

Hadassah CEO Janice Weinman speaks at the group's national convention in New York, July 18, 2019. (Hadassah)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A decade after the Bernie Madoff debacle — one so serious that Hadassah officials refuse to even utter the Ponzi schemer’s name — the women’s Zionist organization is back. The finances are robust — 2017 tax returns show $108 million in assets — and a staff… Read more »