National

Clinton, at Saban Forum, endorses Obama’s Middle East policy

Hillary Rodham Clinton, with Haim Saban, making a point at the entertainment mogul's eponymous annual forum, at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Dec. 5, 2014. (Peter Halmagyi)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — From the drive for Israeli-Palestinian peace to nuclear talks with Iran, Hillary Rodham Clinton is endorsing President Obama’s Israel-related positions. Clinton, who was Obama’s secretary of state during his first term, spoke Friday night with Haim Saban, the Israeli-American entertainment mogul who through the Brookings Institution… Read more »

Black, Jewish and challenging ideas about the face of federation

Ilana Kaufman: "My purpose in the world has always been to be a bridge." (Courtesy of Ilana Kaufman)

(JTA) — When Ilana Kaufman, a program officer at the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation, arrived at San Quentin State Prison for a meeting with the Jewish chaplain at California’s oldest correctional facility, the chaplain couldn’t seem to find her — even though Kaufman was standing in plain sight.… Read more »

U.S. Jewish groups opposing Israel’s Jewish state law worry about consequences

Inside the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Jerusalem School. an Arab-Jewish school that was vandalized over the weekend, Nov. 30, 2014. Some opponents of Israel's nation-state bill cite the recent proliferation of attacks on minorities in Israel as evidence that democracy rather than Jewishness needs attention. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – It’s not unusual to hear U.S. Jewish groups speaking out against laws that discriminate and framing their protests as protecting Jewish interests. What’s unusual is that the target this time is the Israeli government and the proposed law emphasizes Jewish rights. At issue is Israel’s nation-state… Read more »

With Iran talks extended, some in Congress are rushing to step in

Sen. Lindsey Graham, shown in Washington on July 30, 2014, is backing an initiative that would require congressional approval of any nuclear deal signed with Iran. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Two factors make congressional intervention on Iran almost inevitable: The inability of nuclear negotiators to reach a deal by the deadline and the Republican sweep of midterm elections on Nov. 4. The talks, centered on the status of Iran’s nuclear program, were extended from Monday’s deadline… Read more »

With Herzliya condo project, East End rabbi pitches Hamptons-style Zionism

Herzliya-Pituach, a tony suburb on the coast just north of Tel Aviv, has beaches, luxury real estate and affluent residents in common with the Hamptons on New York's Long Island. (Jorge Novominsky/Flash90)

NEW YORK (JTA) – If they buy it, they will come. That’s the philosophy behind a new luxury apartment project in Israel called The Hamptons in Herzliya Pituach that’s attempting to link two very swanky locales in the service of strengthening Diaspora Jews’ connections to Israel — and selling… Read more »

Obama’s order not to oppress the ‘stranger’ resonates with Jewish groups

President Barack Obama speaking about his executive action on immigration policy at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 21, 2014. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama did not mention Jews once in his Nov. 20 speech announcing immigration reforms, but he ended with a flourish that would be immediately recognizable to anyone who has sat through a Passover Seder. “Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for… Read more »

At G.A., federations zero in on collaboration

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly at National Harbor, Md., Nov. 10. (Ron Sachs)

There was the vice president of the United States, two Supreme Court justices and an Academy Award-winning actress with a compelling Jewish story. There were Jewish professionals, lay leaders, clergy and recent college graduates. The West Point cadets’ Jewish choir performed. The Israeli prime minister appeared via satellite from… Read more »

As Iran deadline looms, Obama faces intense skepticism in Congress

From left, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton of the European Union, Omani foreign Minister Yusaf bin Alawi and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at three-way negotiations about the future of Iran's nuclear program in Muscat, Oman, Nov. 9, 2014. (U.S. State Department)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — With the Nov. 24 deadline for an Iran deal looming, there’s no guarantee that the Obama administration will achieve its long-sought goal of an agreement over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. But there’s at least one outcome that is a virtual certainty: Obama will face a… Read more »

New exhibit brings to life 350 years of American Jews in the military

A U.S. Marine in Vietnam featuring a Magen David on his helmet, circa 1968 (Courtesy National Museum of American Jewish Military History)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Mementos of Jacob Goldstein slide across the 3-foot-by-4-foot horizontal screen like cards being dealt at a casino: his photograph, his name, an Operation Urgent Fury headline denoting the 1983 military campaign in Grenada, Goldstein’s explanatory text summarizing his role during the invasion. Even more striking than… Read more »

Amid drought, Jewish groups push conservation agenda

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Devorah Brous’ San Fernando Valley home is shaded by green trees, studded with 19 fruit trees and patrolled by a pair of affable chickens that strut around the backyard. But at the moment, she is eager to show a visitor her dying lawn. Comparing the… Read more »

One year after boycott vote, Israel issue still divides ASA

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Members of the American Studies Association gathered last year for their annual meeting and a vociferous debate on the wisdom of initiating an academic boycott of Israel. One year later, the debate is over and the boycott resolution has long since passed — but the… Read more »

Lee Zeldin becomes Congress’ sole Jewish Republican as GOP retakes Senate

Lee Zeldin, pictured, defeated Democrat Tim Bishop in New York's 3rd District to become the sole Jewish Republican in Congress.

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Results late Tuesday showed Republicans winning control of the United States Senate as well as wins for fresh faces with close Jewish and pro-Israel ties. In Long Island, Lee Zeldin, a state senator, was set to become the sole Jewish Republican in Congress, ending a short… Read more »

White House aide Jonathan Greenblatt to succeed Abe Foxman as ADL chief

NEW YORK (JTA) – The Anti-Defamation League’s new national director will be social entrepreneur Jonathan Greenblatt — a special assistant to President Obama who earlier in his career co-founded the bottled water brand Ethos. Greenblatt, 43, will succeed Abraham Foxman, who announced in February that he would be stepping… Read more »

Do Israelis think Netanyahu is ‘chickenshit’? Maybe, but they like him that way

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the Knesset during the opening of the winter session, Oct. 27, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – An anonymous White House staffer apparently isn’t the only one who thinks Benjamin Netanyahu is shy about taking chances. A piece this week in The Atlantic magazine by journalist Jeffrey Goldberg ignited a firestorm with its revelation that an Obama administration official had called the Israeli… Read more »

U.S. nuclear negotiator suggests Iran deal could be close at hand

Wendy Sherman, the top U.S. negotiator in the world powers' nuclear talks with Iran, says the two sides have "made impressive progress on issues that originally seemed intractable. (Eric Bridliers/U.S. Mission Geneva)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Is the Obama administration preparing the ground for an Iran nuclear deal — one in which both sides can claim victory? Wendy Sherman, the top U.S. negotiator, in an unusually detailed and optimistic speech on Oct. 23, for the first time suggested that the pieces of… Read more »

Study: Miami Jewry sees first gain since 1975

Miami has seen ans increase in Jewish population to 123,000 -- up 9 percent sicne 2004 and reversing a decline begun in 1975 -- according to a survey released on Oct. 13, 2014. (Shutterstock)

(JTA) – For the first time in four decades, Miami Jewry is growing. That’s the official finding of the new Miami Jewish population study released Monday by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. The Jewish population of Miami-Dade County increased 9 percent over the last decade, to 123,000 from 113,000… Read more »