News

IsraAID brings Israeli relief skills to the American season of disasters

Niveen Rizkalla working with IsraAID in Santa Rosa, Calif., in the wake of deadly wildfires there.(Courtesy of IsraAID

WASHINGTON (JTA) — For 17 years, the Israeli NGO IsraAID has been performing search and rescue, purifying water, providing emergency medical assistance and walking victims of trauma back to psychological health in dozens of disaster-hit countries. But no season has been busier than this past summer and fall, its… Read more »

McConnell allies label Bannon a white supremacist, infuriating Jewish conservatives

Stephen Bannon speaking at a campaign event for then Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in Fairhope, Alabama, Sept. 25, 2017. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — As former White House strategist Stephen Bannon declares war on the Republican establishment, a faction linked to the Senate GOP leadership is firing back with the kind of charges previously heard from Democrats and Never-Trumpers when Bannon ran Trump’s campaign and sat in the White House.… Read more »

What’s green and flies? Netanyahu’s ‘pickle’ jab at the opposition

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second from right, chairing the weekly Israeli Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Dec. 25, 2016. (Dan Balilty/AFP/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — In over a decade as prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has created more than his fair share of political memes — from the cartoon bomb he displayed at the United Nations to decry the Iran nuclear deal in 2012 to his “nix it or fix it” speech to… Read more »

An Israeli chef in New York wants to shake up the way you think about spices

Lior Lev Sercarz teaches spice blending classes and sells spices at La Boite in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. (Josefin Dolsten)

NEW YORK (JTA) — For many home cooks, spices are an afterthought, sprinkled on a dish lacking in flavor. Israeli-born, French-educated chef Lior Lev Sercarz wants to change that. “If you want to make good food and beverages you need to know about spices, and I would like to… Read more »

Why victims of terrorism care about a Philly fistfight in 1784

Israeli police and aid workers searching the scene of a suicide bomb attack on a bus in Tel Aviv, Sept. 19, 2002. (Rahanan Cohen/IDF/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The case of Joseph Jesner v. Arab Bank is a bid by about 6,000 Israelis who have been harmed by Palestinian terrorism to get redress from Jordan’s Arab Bank, which delivered money to the groups carrying out the acts. Yet when the U.S. Supreme Court heard… Read more »

Europe has a ‘Jewish’ soccer team problem

Feyenoord supporters Monti Ahmed, left, and Sjuul Deriet, right, along with a friend, waiting to enter De Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam, Oct. 22, 2017. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (JTA) — Seventeen-year-old Sjuul Deriet, standing outside this port city’s main soccer stadium on a rainy Sunday, vividly explains why he hates the people he calls “the Jews.” “They have the money, they run the business from management positions and they think they’re better than blue-collar people… Read more »

Conservative movement doubles down on intermarriage and its rabbis ask why

Conservative movement doubles down on intermarriage and its rabbis ask why

NEW YORK (JTA) — “It doesn’t help.” “I don’t know how it happened or why it happened.” “The most common response I’m seeing is confusion.” That’s what some Conservative rabbis are saying about their movement’s recent major statement on intermarriage, which reasserts the ban on rabbis performing interfaith weddings… Read more »

Orthodox Union’s new project says women don’t need to be rabbis to be leaders

Adina Shmidman, a doctor of educational psychology and the founder of a mentoring program for rabbis' wives, will be the first director of the Orthodox Union's new Department of Women's Initiatives. (Courtesy of the O.U.)

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Orthodox Union is founding its own division to advance women as congregational leaders, as well as to promote Jewish study and communal participation for women in Modern Orthodoxy. The announcement comes nearly nine months after the group, an umbrella association of centrist Orthodox synagogues,… Read more »

State anti-BDS laws are hitting unintended targets and nobody’s happy

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signing his state's anti-BDS bill at a Jewish community center in Austin, May 2, 2017. (Office of the Texas Governor)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — On May 2, Israel’s Independence Day, Texas state Rep. Phil King stood smiling as Gov. Greg Abbott signed King’s bill banning the state from doing business with boycotters of Israel. “Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies, and we will not tolerate such actions against an important ally,”… Read more »

Poor Israeli soldiers earn cash by taking on rich colleagues’ guard duty

Israeli soldiers rest from training in northern Israel, June 14, 2009. (Matanya Tausig/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Israel Defense Forces takes pride in its status as a “people’s army.” More than just a military, the IDF embraces its reputation as an equalizing force in Israeli society. Every soldier, rich and poor, is supposed to learn during mandatory army service what it takes… Read more »

Secular Humanists plan talk on intermarriage

Paul Golin

The Secular Humanist Jewish Circle of Tucson will present a panel discussion, “Who’s a Jew? Intermarriage and the Future of Judaism,” with a keynote lecture by Paul Golin, executive director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 1:30-3 p.m. at the Murphy-Wilmot Library, 530 N. Wilmot… Read more »

Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak will hold swim clinic

Jason Lezak takes the U.S. to gold with a record-breaking 4 x 100 medley anchor leg at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (Courtesy Tucson Jewish Community Center)

Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak will present a Mutual of Omaha BREAKOUT! swim clinic on Sunday, Nov. 12, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. A total-person approach to swimming, the clinic can help swimmers break bad habits, build new skills, and uncover hidden talent. The clinic will… Read more »

Nations connect, learn at ‘Wicked Water Problems’ conference in Israel

Sharon Megdal, center, with fellow Central Arizona Project board members Jennifer Brown and Mark Taylor at the ‘Cutting-Edge Solutions to Wicked Water Problems’ conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, September 2017. (Courtesy Jennifer Brown)

I recently had the great honor and pleasure of co-chairing the international water conference “Cutting-Edge Solutions to Wicked Water Problems.” Held Sept. 10-11 at Tel Aviv University’s beautiful Porter School of Environmental Studies building, the conference was jointly convened by the American Water Resources Association and the Water Research Center… Read more »

Tucson senior living communities help Jewish residents stay connected

Carol Zuckert makes honey cake for Rosh Hashanah at Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging. [Nanci Levy)

Celebrating Shabbat and Jewish holidays brings the joy and comfort of tradition to residents of senior living communities. This can involve anything from a ride to synagogue to holding High Holiday services on site. Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging “Jewish celebrations and services are important because they help… Read more »

JCRC will train citizenship fair volunteers

Richard White

The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona will hold a citizenship fair volunteer training with immigration attorneys Mo Goldman and Alan Bennett on Sunday, Nov. 19, noon-3 p.m. at the Federation office, 3718 E. River Road. Volunteers will learn how to help U.S. permanent… Read more »