National

Imaginative NYC sukkah contest to go nationwide

‘Fractured Bubble’ by Henry Grosman and Babak Bryan won the Sukkah City architectural competition in Manhattan. (Courtesy of Reboot)

It was a surprise hit on the cultural roster of a city that may be the most culturally busy city in the nation. And even though the Sukkah City architectural competition in New York was being dismantled this week, look for Sukkah City next year in a town near… Read more »

Barely months into talks, will the freeze freeze a peace deal?

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Palestinian President Abbas R) at Netanyahu residence in Jerusalem, Sept. 15, 2010. (Kobi Gideon / Flash90)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — When the fat lady sings on Sept. 26, it may only be an intermission. That’s the word from an array of Mideast experts across the political spectrum. They are predicting that the seeming intractability between Israel and the Palestinians over whether Israel extends a settlement moratorium… Read more »

Will the real Imam Rauf please stand up?

Imam Rauf

Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 9:31 AM Initially the controversy over building a $100-million Muslim community center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero was about location, location, location. Increasingly, however, attention has turned to the 61-year-old Sufi imam behind the project. Depending on who you ask, Rauf —… Read more »

Netanyahu, Abbas each give a little on first day of talks

President Barack Obama holds a working dinner with, clockwise from left, President Hosni Mubarek of Egypt, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, George Mitchell, Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, and Tony Blair, the international Middle east envoy and former British Prime Minsiter, in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, Sept. 1, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Tell us what you want. Now listen to what your partner wants. Now tell us what your partner wants. In slow, almost excruciating increments, talks between Israelis and Palestinians are taking on the dimensions of counseling sessions moderated by the United States. Heading into a White… Read more »

Rumors sully Jewish response to imams’ trip to Auschwitz

Rumors surrounded a trip by a delegation of U.S. Muslim leaders to Auschwitz and Dachau in mid-August 2010 (no credit)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Eight imams bowed in prayer before a sculpture at Dachau vividly representing the Jewish dead of Europe. It’s a picture worth a thousand words of reconciliation and understanding. Yet even before its appearance in the Jewish media — on the front page of the Forward for… Read more »

These Jewish interns campaign for Washington, not against it

(If you know Jewish Tucsonans who interned in Washington this summer, contact us at 319-1112.) WASHINGTON (Forward) — They flocked to Washington during the summer months, driven by their desire to get a taste of politics and maybe gain some points in the networking game after they graduate from… Read more »

It’s all relative: You say Einstein is ‘Jewish science,’ I say ‘liberal conspiracy’

Conservative blogger Andrew Schlafly says Albert Einstein's scientific theories are bad science and part of a "liberal conspiracy." (JTA graphic/Library of Congress)

BALTIMORE (JTA) — More than a half-century ago, the Nazis dismissed Albert Einstein’s groundbreaking theories as “Jewish science”; in recent years Holocaust revisionists have taken up the anti-Einstein cause. Now, the legendary physicist is facing a new wave of attacks — this time from conservative bloggers who say that… Read more »

Will the Giving Pledge affect Jewish causes?

Larry Lokey has pledged to give away all of his $700 million, with the next $60 million going to Israel. (Photo courtesy The Giving Pledge)

NEW YORK (JTA) — The philanthropic world got a happy jolt when 40 members of the world’s wealthy elite — including 13 Jews — announced that they would give away more than half their money before they died. The participating philanthropists were responding to a challenge issued earlier this… Read more »

Facing confrontation on Israel, Presbyterian Church manages compromise

Katharine Henderson, president of the Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church USA)

U.S. Jews and Presbyterians say they have salvaged a fragile unity of purpose from an assembly that was poised to create a rift between the two faiths. The outcome of last month’s General Assembly in Minneapolis of the Presbyterian Church (USA) was remarkable in that all sides in the… Read more »

Jewish positions on proposed Ground Zero mosque reveal ambivalence

Plans for a mosque at the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks have generated controversy. (Creative Commons/Special KRB)

Plans for a mosque at the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks have generated controversy. WASHINGTON (JTA) – More often than not, Jewish and Muslim groups come down on the same side of battles over religious liberties. Jewish organizations often file amicus briefs supporting Muslim religious rights in… Read more »

Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding raises questions about intermarriage

Marc Mezvinsky and Chelsea Clinton during their wedding ceremony, July 31, 2010 (Genevieve de Manio)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Is it possible that the first iconic Jewish picture of the decade is of an interfaith marriage? Photographs taken Saturday show the Jewish groom wearing a yarmulke and a crumpled tallit staring into the eyes of his giddy bride under a traditional Jewish wedding canopy… Read more »

Elections 2010: In races for Congress, some Jewish incumbents at risk

Rodney Glassman

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Senate could go either way. Hopes are dimmer in the House. And Eric Cantor may at last have company. At least that’s the conventional wisdom on how Jewish lawmakers will do in November. If Jewish candidates sweep all the Senate races in this midterm election… Read more »

Daniel Schorr, crusading journalist, never forgot his Jewish roots

Daniel Schorr

WASHINGTON (JTA) — It took about seven years for Daniel Schorr to tire of being a journalist for Jewish media. The distaste of digesting for JTA’s readers the news of the emerging Holocaust, combined with what he saw as the blinkered parochialism of Jewish news, led him to quit… Read more »

Scarred by terrorism, Israeli brothers-in-law to compete in triathlon

Yeshurun Gavish, who will be participating in the July 18 New York City Triathlon, with two of his children. (Yeshurun Gavish/JTA Photo Service)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Just six months before the end of his Israeli army service, Elad Belachsan suffered a life-changing injury in a Palestinian attack. On a mission in the West Bank city of Nablus with his paratroopers unit, Belachsan, now 27, was near the front of the group… Read more »

Stuart Levy: The man trying to make Iran sanctions work

Stuart Levey

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Stuart Levey was given a big stick when the Bush administration made him the first under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. But the stick only started to hurt its targets — terrorist groups and rogue nations — when he figured out how… Read more »

With flotillas, vigils and marches, Jews press for Shalit’s release

Gilad Shalit supporters call for his immediate release on the “True Freedom Flotilla,” a New York event held June 24 that was organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. (Michael Priest/JTA Photo Service)

Some 100 to 200 passengers in all, they came as members of a self-described True Freedom Flotilla intent on promoting a Middle East-related humanitarian mission. Instead of breaking the Israeli blockade of Gaza, however, as was the goal of the flotilla of ships that was intercepted May 31 by… Read more »

Bork turns Kagan process into fight over Israeli justice

Aharon Barak, formerly Israel's top justice, recently became an issue in Elana Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation process. (Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)

NEW YORK (JTA) — It was an unexpected headline in an otherwise relatively mundane U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process: Bork tries to Bork Barak’s Elena Kagan with Barak card. Like a ghost from confirmations past, failed Reagan nominee Robert Bork grabbed headlines last week when he spoke out against… Read more »

Biden defends Israel on flotilla raid

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden defended Israel’s handling of the raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, departing from the Obama administration’s approach. Biden said Israel has an “absolute right” to defend its security interests, according to a transcript Politico obtained of an interview that was to… Read more »

Flotilla fallout becomes rallying cry for Jews

NEW YORK (JTA) — The last time American Jews took to the streets in significant numbers to make the case for Israel’s right to defend itself, during Israel’s war with Hamas in early 2009, rockets were raining down on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. This time it’s a… Read more »