National

How the GOP has learned to love Israel unconditionally

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Republican presidents have been guiding Israel toward the peace table — sometimes not so gently — almost since the Jewish state was born more than six decades ago. But in the recent round of debates, the crop of candidates vying for the GOP nomination have been… Read more »

The Jewish Zen of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs shows off the white iPhone4 at the 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference. (Matt Yohe via CC)

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (JTA) — Social networking sites began buzzing immediately after word spread of the death of Apple Inc. visionary Steve Jobs Wednesday evening. Rabbis took time out of their busy preparations for Yom Kippur to halt their sermon writing and post personal reflections on what the contributions of… Read more »

Congress looks to punish Palestinians, but cuts to security aid pose dilemma

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee seen here answering questions from reporters on Sept. 13, 2011, is withholding funding from the Palestinians because of the Palestinian Authority's statehood push in the United Nartions. (Courtesy Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — If the Palestinians don’t pull back from their statehood push, congressional cuts in aid are inevitable, U.S. lawmakers say. Just how comprehensive such cuts will be, however, could end up depending on Israel’s stance on the issue. Lawmakers, lobbyists and congressional staffers told JTA that hundreds… Read more »

Both sides agree, Irvine verdict sends message to campus activists

A member of the Muslim Student Union disrupts a February 2010 speech by Michael Oren at the University of California, Irvine. (StandWithUs)

(JTA) — The misdemeanor convictions of 10 California college students for disrupting a speech by Israel’s ambassador to the United States is already leading partisans of both sides on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to predict changes in the way the fight over the issue plays out on campus. “When you… Read more »

The untold story of Josh Fattal

PHILADELPHIA (Jewish Exponent) — By now, the whole world knows the name and face of Joshua Fattal, the 29-year-old Elkins Park, Pa., native who spent 26 months in an Iranian prison before being reunited with his family last week in Oman and arriving back on U.S. soil on Sunday.… Read more »

Decision coming on national Jewish museum in Washington

Daniel Libeskind's design for the national Museum of the Jewish People (Courtesy Ori Soltes)

WASHINGTON (Washington Jewish Week) — Washington needs a major national museum of the Jewish people — at least that’s what a group of local heavy hitters and international Jewish celebrities believes. They have been trying for more than five years to get that museum built, and a decision to… Read more »

Obama’s U.N. speech — another “get real” moment

President Obama, meeting with his Brazilian counterpart, Dilma Roussef, at the United Nations, is canvassing world leaders to oppose a bid by the Palestinians for statehood recognition, Sept. 20, 2011. (Office of Brazilian president)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Was it a speech to help launch his campaign for re-election, or an address to bury hopes for immediate Palestinian statehood recognition? Both assessments marked the immediate reaction to President Obama’s speech Wednesday at the United Nations General Assembly, and there was ammunition for both arguments.… Read more »

As U.S. stands with Israel at U.N., some warn of looming rift

WASHINGTON (JTA) — In recent months, the tensions that have characterized relations between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government have largely receded into the background. The Obama administration is preparing to stand virtually alone with Israel at the United Nations in opposing the Palestinians’ statehood push. A consensus… Read more »

This week: At and around the United Nations

Protests against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, like this one held in June 2011 by the Iran180 group, are expected to be part of the street theater that will accompany this week's happenings at the United Nations. (Iran 180)

NEW YORK (JTA) — With the Palestinians set to submit their bid for statehood as the U.N. General Assembly convenes this week and leaders from around the world descending on New York, there’s going to be a lot going on. Here’s a rundown of what to expect in the… Read more »

JFSA, WIC urge signing of anti-unilateral U.N. petition

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Weintraub Israel Center are encouraging area residents to sign a “Petition Against a Unilaterally Declared Palestinian State” created by the Israel Action Network, a joint project of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. The… Read more »

JFSA nominates Giffords, Aaron as heroes

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (P.K.Weis/southwest photobank.com)

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona has nominated Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Rabbi Stephanie Aaron for the Third Annual Jewish Community Hero Awards. Created by The Jewish Federations of North America, the awards project uses social media such as Facebook and Twitter to bring national attention to local leaders,… Read more »

Democrats’ Obama outreach starting with fellow Democrats

Marc Stanley, standing, the chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council, with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, and NJDC President David Harris at a Wahington fly-in for top NJDC activists, Sept. 8, 2011. (Courtesy National Jewish Democratic Council)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Democratic Party’s outreach to Jewish voters is beginning at home, with pep talks in recent and coming weeks scheduled for top donors and Jewish lawmakers. Insiders acknowledged to JTA that they have to explain Obama’s record on Israel to the very foot soldiers expected to… Read more »

Did Israel, gay marriage or the economy make the difference in GOP’s win in New York?

Jack, a retired middle school principal and 30-year Queens resident who delcined to provide his last name, leaves a polling site after voting for Democrat Dave Weprin, who lost the race for New York's 9th congressional district, Sept. 13, 2011. (Uri Fintzy)

NEW YORK (JTA) – Was it Israel, same-sex marriage or the Obama administration’s handling of the economy? That’s the question political partisans and observers are debating after Republican Bob Turner won an upset victory in the heavily Democratic and Jewish New York congressional district represented by Anthony Weiner until… Read more »

Seeking Kin: After 80 years, wondering about American cousins

JTA is introducing a new column, “Seeking Kin,” that aims to help reunite readers with long-lost friends and relatives. BALTIMORE (JTA) — Eliyahu Finkelstein grew up in the only Jewish family in the village of Zavizov in northwestern Ukraine, escaped from the Nazis after losing his parents and sister,… Read more »

Dept. of Remembrance: Watching over 9/11 dead with prayers, Psalms

It was an ominous hum. A dozen refrigerated trucks loaded with the body parts of victims of the 9/11 attacks filled a cavernous tent across the street from the office of the city medical examiner, their low-pitched buzz an eerie soundtrack to the solemn work being carried out at… Read more »

In tapping Ira Forman to be Jewish point man, Obama campaign goes with an insider

Ira Forman, longtime head of the National Jewish Democratic Council, was tapped by the Obama campaign to be its Jewish outreach director. (photo by Ira Forman)

WASHINGTON (JTA/WASHINGTON JEWISH WEEK) — The fight for the Jewish vote in 2012 is expected to be a tough one. So the Obama campaign is turning to the quintessential insider. On Aug. 16, the Obama campaign tapped as its Jewish outreach director Ira Forman, the former head of the… Read more »