Ilhan Omar likens Israel banning her to Trump’s travel ban

(JTA) — Rep. Ilhan Omar likened Israel’s decision to deny entry to her and Rep. Rashida Tlaib to President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., tweeted that the decision is “a sign of weakness.” In a statement Thursday, the Minnesota Democrat called Israel’s decision “an affront.” “Trump’s… Read more »

NY Jewish schools are fighting a proposal that would force many yeshivas to increase secular education (and they’re not alone)

Pedestrians walk past a yeshiva in the South Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, April 9, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Orthodox yeshivas, Catholic schools and elite private schools in New York are coming together to oppose a government initiative that would more clearly define what they are required to teach. The proposal, a set of regulations from the state Department of Education, aims to ensure… Read more »

Israel has been barring lawmakers of friendly nations for years (just not from the US)

French lawmaker Clementine Autain participating at a demonstration in Paris, France on April 19, 2018. (Michel Stoupak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

(JTA) — When Israel announced that it would deny entry to Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the decision struck many as an unprecedented step. But Israel has blocked multiple lawmakers from coming in recent years. The difference this time is that it’s lawmakers from the United States who are… Read more »

Gal Gadot to play Hedy Lamarr in series

It’s official: Gal Gadot will portray Jewish actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr in a Showtime limited series. The cable network made the announcement on Aug. 9. Gadot had been rumored as the leading candidate for the role for about a year. The Israeli actress and her husband, Yaron Varsano,… Read more »

Israel confirms it is banning Tlaib and Omar from entering country

(JTA) — Israel’s deputy foreign minister confirmed that Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar will not be allowed to enter the country. “We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel. In principle this is a very justified decision,” Tzipi Hotovely told… Read more »

‘We’ve lost a part of ourselves’: El Paso’s diverse Jewish community grapples with a mass shooting

From left to right, Rabbis Ben Zeidman and Scott Rosenberg speak at an interfaith vigil with Msgr. Arturo Banuelas following the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, Aug. 4, 2019. (Jordyn Rozensky/ Frontera Studio)

(JTA) — Joseph Charter used to feel safe in El Paso. But after Saturday, when a gunman killed 22 people and injured 26 at a Walmart store in the Texas city, everything changed. “I had to go to Target the following day, and for the first time ever I… Read more »

Palestinian and Israeli discovered a shared past when they met as Washington interns

Mohammed Ahmad, left, and Eran Nissan speak at a New Voices Leadership event on Capitol Hill, July 11, 2019. (Ron Kampeas)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — In its 10 years of placing young Palestinian and Israeli leaders with Congress members, no lawmaker asked New Story Leadership for one of each — until Jamie Raskin did. This summer, Eran Nissan and Mohammed Ahmad have been interning in the office of the Maryland Democrat,… Read more »

Meet the ‘Anti-Squad’: Rep. Elissa Slotkin and her ‘gang’ offer Democrats a path of moderation

Rep. Elissa Slotkin speaks to Alan Caldwell at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Lansing, Mich., July 30, 2019. (Ron Kampeas)

LANSING, Michigan (JTA) — Tom Dalton could be the poster boy for Elissa Slotkin’s path to a second term and, she would argue, to Democrats keeping the U.S. House of Representatives. The 67-year-old Vietnam navy vet routinely votes Republican — but says he would not hesitate to vote for… Read more »

The El Paso shooting is being investigated as domestic terrorism. Does that matter?

Armed police officers gather next to an FBI armored vehicle at the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Aug. 3, 2019. The shooter who killed at least 22 people there is being investigated as a domestic terrorist. (Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Before he killed at least 22 people at a Walmart on the southern border, the gunman in El Paso posted a white supremacist manifesto on the fringe social network 8chan denouncing a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The U.S. Justice Department announced that it would treat the shooting… Read more »

Trump condemns bigotry and white supremacy in response to El Paso and Dayton shootings

President Donald Trump makes remarks about the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton at the White House as Vice President Mike Pence looks on, Aug. 5, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(JTA) — President Donald Trump said “hate has no place in America” in an address to the nation following the mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Trump pledged additional resources to the FBI to investigate domestic terrorism. He called for strengthening detection of… Read more »

Senators introduce bill to pay for Holocaust education programs in schools

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A bipartisan slate of senators introduced a bill that would fund Holocaust education in schools. The Never Again Education Act would establish the Holocaust Education Assistance Program Fund in the U.S. Treasury. The bill would combine appropriated funds and private donations. A release July 11 from… Read more »

The youngest correspondent covering the debates is a 10-year-old Jewish kid

Jefferson Henry Kraft is (probably) the youngest correspondent in the Democratic debate spin room in Detroit on July 20, 2019. (Ron Kampeas)

DETROIT (JTA) — For any reporter, careening in a year from reviewing restaurants to covering the presidential debates would be a pretty fast rise. But then again, Jefferson Henry Kraft is only 10 years old. Kraft is the KidScoop Media correspondent covering the Democratic presidential debates, taking place here… Read more »

North Miami Beach’s Jews cope after another synagogue shooting

The Young Israel of Greater Miami synagogue on the night of the shooting, July 28, 2019. (Screenshot from

(JTA) — When Rabbi Mark Rosenberg’s family played back the footage on their home’s security cameras in North Miami Beach, they could hear the rat-tat-tat of bullets being fired at the synagogue a few blocks away. On Sunday, a man had been shot repeatedly in front of the Young… Read more »

Elijah Cummings’ district, which Trump derided as ‘disgusting,’ has a significant Jewish population

Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., listens to an aide during a meeting of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 12, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Jewish leaders in Baltimore have come to the defense of Rep. Elijah Cummings, the African-American Democrat who has come under withering attack from President Donald Trump. After spending a week berating the group of four Democratic freshman known as “The Squad” — all women of color —… Read more »

Over 1,400 Jewish clergy sign letter supporting asylum seekers

(JTA) — More than 1,400 Jewish clergy from across the United States have signed a letter that calls on government officials to protect the legal right to seek asylum in the United States. HIAS, an immigrant advocacy and aid group formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, organized the… Read more »