National

Israeli company that produces water from air launches first pilot program in Florida

Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III, second from left, Water-Gen USA President Yehuda Kaploun and Lior Haiat, consul general to Israel in Miami, toasting Water-Gen in Miami Gardens, Fla., June 20, 2017. (Courtesy of Mendy Studio)

(JTA) — Large parts of Florida are suffering from severe drought, and hurricane season threatens to make things worse. Enter Water-Gen, an Israeli company whose technology captures humidity to extract drinking water from the air. On Monday, the South Florida city of Miami Gardens announced it was launching a pilot program with the… Read more »

Jon Ossoff’s secret weapon in tight Georgia race: Jewish moms and daughters

Jon Ossoff speaking to volunteers and supporters at a campaign office in Marietta, Ga., April 18, 2017. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (JTA) — Clad in knee-length, loose fitting shorts, wicking T-shirts, baseball caps and sensible shoes, they cluster and clutch water bottles and exchange war stories awaiting the candidate’s arrival. Some bring their daughters — almost always their daughters. Sons exist, if a reporter probes, but it… Read more »

This 136-year-old Jewish agency for refugees has a new mission in the Trump era: Fighting back

Activist Michele Freed, center, with other young professionals in front of the White House, March 1, 2017. (Katie Jett Walls)

NEW YORK (JTA) — On Jan. 27, President Donald Trump made Mark Hetfield’s job impossible. Hetfield is the president and CEO of HIAS, an organization that resettles refugees in the United States. A week into his presidency, Trump issued an executive order barring refugees from entering the country, leaving… Read more »

Michael Steinhardt thinks American Jews need to stop focusing on religion

Michael Steinhardt in New York, April 12, 2012. (Scott Eells/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

  Mt. Kisco, N.Y. (JTA) — Michael Steinhardt has poured millions of dollars into ventures for American Jews. But he’s no fan of American Judaism. The hedge-fund billionaire turned mega-philanthropist is best known as the founder of Birthright Israel, the 10-day free trip to Israel for Jewish young adults.… Read more »

Citizen historians can help U.S. Holocaust museum

What did American newspapers report about Nazi persecution during the 1930s and ’40s? The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., has launched the History Unfolded project to seek answers to that question. The project asks students, teachers and history buffs throughout the United States what was possible… Read more »

Arab countries are turning on Qatar. What does it mean for Israel?

President Donald Trump meets with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani at a bilateral meeting at a hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2017. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Five Arab nations cut ties with Qatar on Monday, escalating a long-simmering competition for preeminence in the region into actions that could set the stage for war. Saudi Arabia, which is leading the charge, has cut off Qatar’s only land crossing – and what one Saudi-friendly… Read more »

ANALYSIS Trump’s post-London attack tweets are chilling — and counter-productive

President Donald Trump speaks at the Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., June 4, 2017. (Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images)

  BOCA RATON, Florida (JTA) — In popular myth, South Florida was ground zero of the Great Email Explosion of 2008. That was the year your great-uncle or long-lost cousin couldn’t resist passing on rumors, hoaxes and conspiracy theories about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, the true causes… Read more »

Trump’s Hebrew translator lets the president’s words speak for themselves

President Donald Trump speaks at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, May 23, 2017. (Issac Harari/Flash90)

  SAN FRANCISCO (J. The Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — A San Francisco teacher hired to translate into Hebrew President Trump’s “not very eloquent” (as she puts it) speeches last week in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem said she isn’t proud to be working for this administration and… Read more »

Jared Kushner: What you need to know about the scandal engulfing Donald Trump’s son-in-law

Jared Kushner at a luncheon with President Mauricio Macri of Argentina at the White House, April 27, 2017. (Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — Jared Kushner was once hailed as the key to Donald Trump’s surprise election victory. Now Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser is at the center of the biggest controversy plaguing the administration: its ties to Russia. Kushner is facing heat following reports of two meetings with figures… Read more »

Trump wants to sell lots of weapons to Saudi Arabia. Why are Israel (and its friends) keeping quiet?

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, second from right, at the inauguration ceremony of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2017. (Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Royal Council/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The year was 1981 and the director of AIPAC was calling for a “showdown” with the Reagan administration, saying “This country is being held hostage to the whims of the Saudis.” At issue was the sale to Saudi Arabia of AWACS, aircraft with radar-enabled surveillance capabilities that… Read more »

OP-ED College doesn’t turn Jews away from Judaism

Laurence Kotler-Berkowitz (Courtesy of Kotler-Berkowitz)

  (JTA) — In a recent analysis of U.S. religious groups, the Pew Research Center reported that the most educated American Jews are also the least religious. In considering these findings, it’s tempting to think that secular education leads to assimilation among American Jews (I want to be clear that Pew, a… Read more »

In Middle East, Trump talks peace but offers no details

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin guides President Donald Trump at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – President Donald Trump must have felt like he was back behind his desk at Trump Tower. During his whirlwind visit to Israel and the West Bank on Monday and Tuesday, the U.S. leader was treated with the deference befitting a CEO. His words were greeted with rapturous applause and… Read more »

A Jewish hipster haven in the heart of Chabad’s Brooklyn territory

Nechama Levy, who participates in a few Crown Heights independent prayer groups, is involved in another Brooklyn trend: Her bike shop, Bicycle Roots, is also in the neighborhood. (Courtesy of Levy)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Soon after Nechama Levy moved to Brooklyn five years ago, she opened a bicycle repair shop. The spacious, high-ceilinged store was just down the street from a new pub with exposed brick walls. Like many who have moved recently to the rapidly gentrifying borough, Levy, 33,… Read more »

Rebel Israeli lawmaker snags selfie with Donald Trump

Oren Hazan in front of the Israeli parliament building, Oct. 31, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

  TEL AVIV (JTA) — Oren Hazan finally met his hero, and he wasn’t going to let the moment go undocumented. The notoriously misbehaved Israeli lawmaker snapped a selfie with President Donald Trump during the official welcome ceremony Monday at Ben Gurion Airport. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu belatedly attempted to stop… Read more »

Netanyahu, a man in the middle, scrambles to give Trump a warm welcome

Air Force One arrives at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

  TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did his best to give Donald Trump a warm welcome when he landed Monday at Ben Gurion Airport on his first trip abroad as U.S. president. Netanyahu offered support for Trump’s stated aspiration to broker the “ultimate deal” between Israel and… Read more »

The pro-Israel right is starting to feel unease with Trump

President Donald Trump at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduation ceremony in New London, Conn., May 17, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Zionist Organization of America launched two broadsides against a Trump administration it has ardently defended, signaling a growing unease on the pro-Israel right with the president’s Israel policies. The ZOA, the flagship for the conservative pro-Israel community, slammed President Donald Trump for retreating from… Read more »

David Friedman, new US envoy to Israel, presents credentials in Jerusalem

David Friedman, right, with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at a ceremony for new ambassadors at the president's residence in Jerusalem, May 16, 2017. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The new U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, presented his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem. During the ceremony Tuesday morning, Rivlin identified himself as a seventh-generation Jerusalemite and noted.”Next week, we will celebrate 50 years since Jerusalem was united, and the Jewish people were… Read more »

These 7 smartphone apps make life easier for religious Jews

Smartphone apps can help with everything from putting on tefillin correctly to finding a minyan to locating a kosher restaurant. (Lior Zaltzman)

(JTA) — These days there are smartphone applications for pretty much anything, from ordering food to finding a date to reporting anti-Semitic incidents. But what about tools for living a religious Jewish life? Well, there are apps for that, too. Whereas in the time before smartphones, observant Jews may have… Read more »