Outside the synagogue, intermarried are forming community with each other

Jason and Julianne Kanter started talking about religion more seriously when they started to think about having children. (Courtesy of Julianne Kanter)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Leading up to their wedding in 2012, Julianne and Jason Kanter hadn’t really discussed how they would incorporate their respective religions into their home. Julianne was raised by Catholic and Presbyterian parents, while Jason grew up culturally Jewish. At first, it was simple to mark… Read more »

Trump shouts down reporters who ask about anti-Semitism

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump shouted down two reporters who asked him about rising anti-Semitism in America and said he “hates” being called an anti-Semite, although neither reporter called him one. Trump, fielding questions at a contentious news conference Thursday about the multiple scandals and mishaps afflicting his… Read more »

ANALYSIS Trump and Netanyahu: The mixed messages of a diplomatic lovefest

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) – One state. Flexibility. Two states. Hold back on settlements. Stop Iran. When President Donald Trump met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: What a press conference! But wait. In the Age of Trump, every post-event analysis requires a double take. Not so much “did he mean what… Read more »

In reviewing ‘Hobby Lobby’ opinion, Jews see reasons to diverge over Neil Gorsuch

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch at a news conference on Capitol Hill, Feb, 1, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) – On June 27, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1oth Circuit, based in Denver, handed down a decision that would make history a year later when it was upheld by the Supreme Court: Closely held corporations have the same religious freedom rights as… Read more »

Trump meets Netanyahu: Where it can go right, and wrong

Donald Trump, then a candidate for president, meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, Sept. 25, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/Israeli Government Press Office)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Benjamin Netanyahu is going to stride in through the White House front door. Donald Trump is not going to grimace while Netanyahu lectures. The talk in Washington this week, at least in Israel-obsessive circles, is about how the Bibi-Donald bromance, taking center stage Feb. 15 at… Read more »

Jews gather at rallies across U.S. urging support for refugees

About 700 people attended a New York City rally in support of refugees organized by HIAS, Feb. 12, 2017. (Josefin Dolsten)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Over 100 years ago, Barnett Levine was greeted by the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty as he arrived in the United States, having fled anti-Semitism and pogroms in his native Poland. On Sunday, his grandson saw those very same sights when he… Read more »

How Israel’s travel bans are — and aren’t — like Trump’s

Asylum seekers protesting at the Holot detention center in the southern Negev Desert of Israel, Feb. 17, 2014. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

  TEL AVIV (JTA) – Defending his executive order directing the construction of a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, President Donald Trump pointed to Israel as a model, saying “a wall protects.” With another swipe of his pen two days later, on Jan. 27, Trump enacted a… Read more »

ANALYSIS Is Trump reversing course on settlements and Iran?

President Donald Trump before boarding Marine One and departing the White House, Feb. 3, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) – Israeli settlements are no big problem. Wait — maybe they are, after all. The Iran deal is trash. No, the deal is here to stay, despite being “weak.” On Feb. 2, the White House pronounced on Israel’s announced settlement expansion that it “may not help”… Read more »

Conservative movement proposes allowing non-Jews as synagogue members

Rabbi Steven Wernick, CEO of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, said the current standards don't make sense in today's world of intermarried couples actively participating in synagogue life. (Mike Diamond Photography)

  (JTA) — Responding to a rising number of interfaith families, Conservative synagogues will be voting on a measure from their umbrella body that would allow congregations to admit non-Jews as members. Currently, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s Standards for Congregational Practice restrict synagogue membership to Jews. But the new language, which congregations… Read more »

After Trump ban, Chicago-area synagogue turns from welcoming refugees to protesting

Taylor Clearfield holding a sign, and her daughter, at a protest of the refugee ban at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Jan. 27, 2017. (Courtesy of Clearfield)

  CHICAGO (JTA) — Taylor Clearfield went to the airport Friday to welcome a Syrian refugee family. The next day, she returned with a sign to protest the ban on refugees entering the United States. President Donald Trump had enacted the prohibition via executive order on Fridayafternoon, between Clearfield’s two… Read more »

ANALYSIS Why Trump’s universalizing of the Holocaust matters to the Jews

A Holocaust survivor shows her number tattoo. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — Where’s Jared Kushner? Supporters of President Donald Trump have often defended his election campaign against charges of anti-Semitism by noting he has an Orthodox Jewish daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. Jews on the right are excited about Kushner’s role as a special adviser to the president, assuming… Read more »

Refugee ban puts Jewish asylum seekers in limbo

Demonstrators at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York protest President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from certain countries, Jan. 28, 2017. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — A year after they submitted their application for asylum in the United States, Shahi and his mother expected to be let in. As Iranian Jews who applied for asylum through a federally recognized agency for refugee status, their case was expected to be simple. Shahi (not… Read more »

With history in mind, Jews across U.S. join airport protests of Trump refugee ban

Tal and Miri Zlotnitsky, with their son, Jacob, left, hold up a poster welcoming Muslim arrivals at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, Jan. 28, 2017. (Ron Kampeas)

DULLES, Va. (JTA) – The Israeli-born high-tech millionaire gathered his family after turning on CNN. The rabbi who leads an interfaith group got a text from a Muslim friend. The corporate lawyer was tracking a pro-bono email list she’s on. Within a few hours, all of them had descended on Dulles Airport,… Read more »

Several Jewish families affected by Trump’s refugee ban, says HIAS

People protest President Donald Trump’s executive order in immigration at Los Angeles International Airport, Jan. 28, 2017.(Daniela Gerson)

(JTA) — The U.S. ban on refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries has affected several Jewish families, according to the refugee support and advocacy group HIAS. The ban, which came Friday in an executive order signed by President Donald Trump, has plunged into further uncertainty the lives of a Jewish… Read more »

At dawn of the Trump era, two Jewish tribes descend on Washington

Marchers with the National Council of Jewish Women and other Jewish organizations assembled on the National Mall for the Women’s March on Washington, Jan. 21, 2017. (Ron Sachs) Photo credit: Ron Sachs

WASHINGTON (JTA) – “Cantor Kaufman!” Rabbi Jonah Pesner shouted across the intersection of 3rd and D in Washington’s Northwest quadrant, packed sidewalk to sidewalk with women in pink pussycat hats and their male friends. “A song!” Jason Kaufman, the cantor at Beth El in Alexandria, Virginia, draped in a… Read more »

Meet the Jews in Donald Trump’s administration

Jared Kushner exits Trump Tower in New York City, Dec. 7, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(JTA) — American Jews are watching the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency with both fear and hope. Many have expressed worries about some of his supporters’ ties to the so-called “alt-right” movement, whose followers traffic variously in white nationalism, anti-immigration sentiment, anti-Semitism and a disdain for “political correctness.” Those fears… Read more »

As president, Trump less gung-ho about dramatic changes in Israel policy

President Donald Trump speaking at a luncheon at the Congress of Tomorrow Republican Member Retreat in Philadelphia, Jan. 26, 2017. In the background are Senate Majority Whip John Cronyn, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump have been talking each other up plenty since the latter’s election upset in November. But those expecting Trump to turn his kind words and pledges on Israel into fast action may have to be patient. The… Read more »

For Jewish groups in Women’s March, many causes to fight for and a long road ahead

From left to right: Nancy Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women; Rabbi Tamara Cohen, chief of innovation at Moving Traditions, and Debbie Hoffmann, NCJW's board president, at the National Mall for the Women's March on Washington, Jan. 21, 2017. (Ron Sachs)

(JTA) — One Jewish group that joined the Women’s March on Washington has seen its online donations double since the election of Donald Trump as president. Another has twice as many guests as usual attending its annual conference. A third has seen its social media engagement skyrocket. And after… Read more »