National

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 »

Obama and Netanyahu: unfortunate incidents or a clash of worldviews?

Washington — President Obama’s Cairo speech and its equivalent invocations of Palestinian and Jewish sufferings. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s call for an unequivocal freeze: “Not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions.” The Joe Biden fiasco. And now the Obama administration’s venture into a nuclear-free Middle… Read more »

Sandy Koufax headlines White House Jewish Heritage Month reception

Baseball legend Sandy Koufax greets fans at the Jewish American Heritage Month celebration at the White House on May 27. (The Jewish Channel/JTA Photo Service)

The athletes, the astronauts, the alternative music, the black rabbi, the white dress uniforms and, above all, the left-handed baseball immortal: Welcome to Barack Obama’s Jewish America. The inaugural Jewish America Heritage Month celebration at the White House, held May 27, underscored the Obama administration’s determination not to be… Read more »

Tea party rise, Rand Paul win has Republican Jews nervous

Republican Jews are trying to figure out what to make of Rand Paul, a self-described Tea Party backer and son of former presidential candidate Ron Paul. (Gage skidmore/flickr)

WASHINGTON (N.Y. Jewish Week) — Rand Paul, the Tea Party insurgent who was the upset victor in last month’s Kentucky Republican Senate primary, could be the biggest headache yet for a Republican Party that hopes to capitalize on the populist surge without being tainted by the movement’s extremists. While… Read more »

Pro-Israel, with questions? Beinart pins his thesis to the synagogue door

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Peter Beinart attends an Orthodox synagogue, once edited The New Republic (the closest thing to a smicha for Jewish policy wonks) and backed Sen. Joe Lieberman’s quixotic 2004 bid to become the first Jewish president. Which is why he’s always been counted among the Washington pundits… Read more »