National

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 »

Seth Rogen: Israel should exist, but I’m not sorry for my critique of Jewish education

Seth Rogen speaks onstage at The Workers Circle 2019 benefit in New York City, where he was honored, Dec. 2, 2019. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

(JTA) — In a new interview, Seth Rogen said his comments about Israel being a bad idea for a state were made in jest but affirmed that he found his childhood education about the country, which he received through Jewish schools and camps, to be problematic. “I don’t want… Read more »

An activist says it is ‘electioneering’ for nonprofits to call candidates racist. Jewish groups say it’s routine.

An activist with Tag Meir, an Israeli group funded by the New Israel Fund, hands out flowers on a day to counter racism in Jerusalem on June 1, 2019. (NIF/Yossi Zamir)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A pro-Israel activist has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service that, if successful, could severely restrict freedom of speech for non-governmental organizations. David Abrams’ lawsuit alleges that the nonprofit New Israel Fund “electioneered” in violation of its tax-exempt status by supporting grantees in Israel… Read more »

Larry Johnson, former Kansas City Chiefs running back, tweets that Jews are involved in sex trafficking, pedophilia and more

Kansas Chiefs running back Larry Johnson carries the ball during the game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, Oct. 4, 2009. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Larry Johnson, a former running back who played seven seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs, tweeted multiple times to his more than 147,000 followers over the weekend that a Jewish “cabal” is involved in “Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Pedophilia, Ritualistic Child Torture, Perversion, Human Sacrifice/Murder.” And on… Read more »

Confused about Judaism’s view on the afterlife? Start by watching ‘The Good Place.’

William Jackson Harper as Chidi and Kristen Bell as Eleanor on "The Good Place." (Screen shot from YouTube)

Social distancing and staying inside is hard. Thankfully, accessing good things to watch during this time is not. This is the latest installation of a weekly column on Jewish movies and TV shows that you should stream in quarantine. The Good Place Streams on: Seasons 1-3 are on Netflix, Season… Read more »

The pandemic’s first High Holiday season has synagogues wondering: Will people pay dues?

WASHINGTON, DC - Oct. 02 Adas Israel Rabbi Gil Steinaluf greets a congregation member before the start of the synagogue's Vision of Renewal Dedication Ceremony in Washington, DC Wednesday October 2, 2013. The synagogue recently invested in $15 million dollars in renovations, including a new sanctuary and a state of the art study center. (Photo by Jared Soares for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

(JTA) — Like many synagogues, Temple B’nai Hayim used to rely on the High Holiday season to survive financially. The small Conservative synagogue in Southern California would receive the lion’s share of its revenue in the run-up to the holidays: Members sent in their annual dues, which included entry… Read more »

A holiday marking one societal rupture, Tisha B’Av spurs Jewish creativity amid another

Daniel Olson's "Coronavirus Eli Tziyon" includes laments for frontline workers and those who have fallen ill. (Screenshot)

(JTA) — For many observant Jews, the mourning over the destruction of the two ancient Temples in Jerusalem on the fast of Tisha B’Av actually begins three weeks earlier with the onset of a period of mourning during which it’s customary to avoid joyful activities like weddings and music.… Read more »

After George Floyd, Jewish institutions consider their own shortcomings on race

Jews of color were among those representing the Indianapolis Jewish community at the annual Festival of Faiths to celebrate the diverse religious landscape in central Indiana. (Indianapolis JCRC)

When the protests over the police killing of George Floyd spread throughout the United States this spring, the moment served as a wakeup call not just for the country but for American Jews. Very quickly, leading Jewish institutions realized that the issue of racial justice wasn’t just about how… Read more »

An enduring feature of the pandemic so far: Jews are flocking to online classes

Israeli poet Rachel Korazim has been surprised by the popularity of her online classes during the pandemic. (Screenshot)

(JTA) — Israeli poetry scholar Rachel Korazim had been thinking about cutting back on travel when the coronavirus pandemic made the decision for her. “I said I really want to shift my teaching to distance learning because, you know, I’m not getting any younger. Travel is tiring,” she said… Read more »

John Lewis and the Jews: 6 moments that showcase an enduring alliance

John Lewis, D-Ga., and Norbert Bikales, who was part of the Kindertransport from Berlin to France in July 1939 following the deportation of his parents and brother to Poland, light one of six candles representing the more than six million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust, in a ceremony in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., April 9, 2002. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — When John Lewis, the civil rights icon and congressman from Georgia, died at 80 over the weekend, Jews in America and abroad lost an ally of nearly six decades. Lewis never tired of telling folks to “get into good trouble,” to defy the authorities and the… Read more »

Abe Foxman’s next act: Raising $28 million to feed thousands of struggling Holocaust survivors

A volunteer packs groceries at the Met Council's warehouse in Brooklyn. Volunteers there assemble more than 1,200 packages of groceries for Holocaust survivors each week. (Courtesy of Met Council)

(JTA) – Since retiring from his post as national director of the Anti-Defamation League in 2015, Abraham Foxman has had plenty of opportunities to take on other projects in the Jewish world. Until now, he’s always said no. But now the 80-year-old is coming out of retirement with an… Read more »

What Hank Greenberg’s friendship with Jackie Robinson can teach us today

From left: Jackie Robinson in 1945 (Hulton Archive/Getty Images); Hank Greenberg (Getty Images); Zach Banner (Katharine Lotze/Getty Images); and DeSean Jackson (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Zach Banner posted a video late last week in response to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic screed against Jews. After describing his horror at the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Banner preached that as important as the work of Black… Read more »

Southern Poverty Law Center identifies Stephen Miller as an extremist

(JTA) — The Southern Poverty Law Center has added White House adviser Stephen Miller to its Extremist Files, a database of extremists that includes former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan. Miller, who helps design much of the administration’s immigration policy, was… Read more »