National

Hillel International introduces Broadway Kol Nidre

This Sunday evening, Jews around the world will chant the Kol Nidre, the ancient Aramaic incantation repeated three times at the Yom Kippur evening ceremony. Hillel International, embracing the diversity of Jewish tradition, is sharing three distinct versions as part of its Higher Holidays program: A dramatized reading in… Read more »

One Zoom employee saved High Holidays streaming for 300 synagogues

Mitch Tarica is the streaming platform’s director of North American sales. (Courtesy of Tarica)

(JTA) — When Rosh Hashanah begins on Friday night, some 300 synagogues across North America streaming their High Holidays services via Zoom will be able to set it and forget it thanks largely to one man: Mitch Tarica. Tarica is the streaming platform’s director of North American sales. He’s… Read more »

A tale of two High Holidays: Why Orthodox Jews are going to synagogue while everyone else is on Zoom

A socially distanced outdoor service at the Green Road Synagogue in suburban Cleveland, June 2020. (Courtesy of Rabbi Binyamin Blau)

(JTA) – At the Jewish Center on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, this year’s High Holidays will be anything but normal. With eight services happening in various spaces throughout the building, on the roof and in the street (closed off to facilitate services), approximately 400 people will gather for socially distanced… Read more »

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, first Jewish woman to serve on Supreme Court, dies at 87

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg participates in a discussion at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman to serve on the Supreme Court and a tireless advocate for gender equality, has died at 87. A fierce jurist known for her outsized presence and outspokenness, Ginsburg died from “complications of metastatic pancreas cancer,” the Supreme Court announced… Read more »

COVID positivity rates spike in Orthodox neighborhoods in New York City, with large weddings eyed as a culprit

A Hasidic man wears a protective face mask while visiting The Vessel at the Hudson Yards on September 3, 2020 in New York City. (Noam Galai/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Rising fears about a second wave of coronavirus cases in New York City’s Orthodox communities appear to be coming to pass, with the proportion of tests turning up cases of the disease more than four times the citywide rate in one heavily Orthodox neighborhood in newly released… Read more »

Yeshiva University rejects LGBTQ club, saying it will support students in other ways

Israelis take part in the annual Israel's Gay Pride parade hosted by Jerusalem on June 25, 2009. Photo Nati Shohat /FLASH90

(JTA) — Yeshiva University rejected the formation of a campus group for queer students but said it was putting in place new policies to help LGBTQ students feel safe. The flagship Modern Orthodox college in New York sent a statement to students Thursday addressing a yearlong battle over whether… Read more »

The COVID-19 pandemic has been buffeting American Jewry for months. What lies ahead?

Boston's Jewish community has unveiled a memorial to COVID-19 victims even as the pandemic continues. (Courtesy Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts)

(JTA) — Hundreds of synagogues have been shuttered for months. Jewish organizations are slashing budgets and staff. Jewish community centers, saddled with empty gyms and child care centers, have laid off masses of employees. Jewish camps closed this summer, Jewish day schools will hold only virtual sessions in the… Read more »

10-page summary of new Movement for Black Lives platform contains no mention of Israel, 4 years after divisive condemnation

More than 600 Jewish organizations signed a Black Lives Matter ad published in the New York Times print edition Aug. 28, 2020.

(JTA) — Four years ago, the Movement for Black Lives put out a platform that, among a long list of detailed policy recommendations, accused Israel of genocide. Several major Jewish organizations expressed their outrage and put out statements condemning the platform. On Friday, the Movement for Black Lives convened… Read more »

The anti-Semitic site behind the ‘Jews want a race war’ highway banner was removed from the internet. But another quickly took its place.

Jon Minadeo Jr. in a video on the Goyim TV website. (Screen shot from Goyim TV)

(J. the Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — Goyim TV, an anti-Semitic video-sharing website that was promoted with a “banner drop” from a Los Angeles freeway overpass on Saturday, has been taken down by its domain host under a flood of complaints. Jon Minadeo Jr., 37, was behind both… Read more »

Jewish gun control activists, including Gabby Giffords, take center stage at Democratic convention

In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords addresses the virtual convention on August 19, 2020. (DNCC via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Gabby Giffords, the Jewish former congresswoman who became a leader in the gun control movement after being shot by an assailant in the head in 2011, opened the third night of the Democratic convention with an appeal to elect Joe Biden president. “We can let the… Read more »

Kamala Harris’ nickname shows how close she is with her Jewish family

Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff pose on stage after the first Biden-Harris press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, Aug. 12, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — In the middle of her first speech as Joe Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris disclosed her favorite nickname. “My family means everything to me. And I’ve had a lot of titles over my career, and certainly, vice president will be great, but ‘momala’ will always be… Read more »

Non-Jewish assemblywoman in NY targeted in anti-Semitic attack

(JTA) – The fact that New York state Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright isn’t Jewish didn’t stop a vandal from leaving behind an anti-Semitic note after defacing her office. Seawright, a Democrat whose district includes part of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, called for a police investigation into the incident at a… Read more »

Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s VP pick — here’s what Jewish voters should know

Sen. Kamala Harris in Washington, D.C., June 24, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

(JTA) — It’s official: Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s choice for vice president. The California senator, who made history Tuesday as the first Black woman to join a major party presidential ticket, is still in her first term. But during several years in public office, the 55-year-old lawmaker’s outspoken… Read more »

A Jewish guide to Joe Biden’s VP short list

Rep. Karen Bass in her office at the Rayburn House Office Building, July 30, 2020. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is expected to name his running mate in the next two weeks, and while the list of contenders has changed constantly for months, most reports have now whittled the group of front-runners down to Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Susan Rice, Karen… Read more »

Jewish educator’s ‘Yo Semite’ T-shirt back in spotlight following Trump gaffe

Sarah Lefton, creator of the "Yo Semite" T-shirt, with her son, Levi. (Courtesy of Lefton)

(J. the Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — When Berkeley resident Sarah Lefton awoke on Tuesday morning, her phone was lit up with notifications. While she was sleeping, President Trump had signed the Great American Outdoors Act, a piece of legislation that will protect the nation’s parks… Read more »