News

A Jewish ‘Dreamer’ breathes a sigh of relief after US Supreme Court preserves DACA

Elias Rosenfeld with U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine in front of the U.S.Supreme Court, Nov. 12, 2019, the day oral arguments werepresented in the case on DACA arrivals. (Courtesy of Rosenfeld)

BOSTON (JTA) – Elias Rosenfeld’s phone rang on Thursday morning hours after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked President Donald Trump from moving to deport him and hundreds of thousands of other young immigrants like him. It was Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, with… Read more »

Amid a national reckoning over race, Jews are embracing Juneteenth

Marchers in the 48th Annual Juneteenth Day Festival in Milwaukee, Wisc., June 19, 2019. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images for VIBE)

(JTA) — After the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic this spring delayed the launch of the website for TribeHerald, a new media company for Jews of color, founders Yitz Jordan and Rabbi Shais Rishon settled on a perfect alternative: the evening of June 18. After all, it would be… Read more »

NYC playgrounds will open next week, ending protests by Orthodox Jews who have demanded access

Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and New York City Councilman Kalman Yeger at Brooklyn's Dome Playground, June 16, 2020. (Benjamin Kanter)

(JTA) – Just days after Orthodox lawmakers cut the chains off New York City playgrounds in defiance of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s orders, the mayor announced Thursday morning that playgrounds will reopen in the city starting Monday. The decision comes as the city moves into its second phase of… Read more »

Auschwitz memorial and museum will reopen to visitors on July 1

(JTA) — The Auschwitz Memorial and the site of the former Nazi camp will reopen to visitors on July 1. The memorial and museum said it will open for guided tours and individual entry beginning on that date. Reservations must be made online. It closed to visitors in mid-March… Read more »

Some New York City yeshivas are operating in the shadows

Orthodox children watch as protesters march through Brooklyn, June 3, 2020. Some yeshivas have provided instructions for parents to bring their children back to yeshiva three months after schools closed due to the pandemic. (Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

(JTA) – As Orthodox lawmakers were brazenly cutting the locks off a New York City playground on Tuesday morning, Orthodox children were settling in for a school day just nine blocks away. The classes at Yeshiva K’tana Torah Vodaath in Brooklyn were the first held in the school building… Read more »

Some believe ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ was staged somewhere in the world every day since the ’60s. COVID-19 ended that.

Zero Mostel and Maria Karnilova, center, in "Fiddler On The Roof" on Broadway in 1964, the year it debuted. (Stage Production/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The coronavirus pandemic has done something that no war, natural disaster or other calamity has been able to do for more than 50 years: It’s put a stop to stage performances of “Fiddler on the Roof.” The current North American tour of “Fiddler” was halted on March… Read more »

Orthodox lawmakers defy NYC mayor, cutting chains off a Brooklyn playground

From left, City Councilman Kalman Yeger, New York State Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and State Sen. Simcha Felder open up Kolbert Playground in Brooklyn, June 16, 2020. (Benjamin Kanter)

(JTA) – In the space of just 48 hours, Orthodox lawmakers in New York have gone from calling on the city’s mayor to open playgrounds, to threatening to open the parks themselves, to actually cutting the chains off a Brooklyn playground. State Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, City Councilman Kalman Yeger… Read more »

Alumni call on Jewish day schools to do more to fight racism

(JTA) – When Ilana Goldberg scrolled through Instagram last Tuesday, much of her feed consisted of black squares as part of an initiative called #BlackoutTuesday to honor the Black Lives Matter movement. Then she saw a photo of student artwork posted by the Jewish Community High School of the… Read more »

Calls to defund the police put Jewish institutions in a tough position

New York police officers stand guard at the door of the Union Temple of Brooklyn after it was vandalized with graffiti, Nov. 2, 2018. (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)

(JTA) — When Rabbi Capers Funnye attends a synagogue that’s not his own, he must brace himself for the reaction that he knows will follow after he walks through the door. Even though he comes in wearing a kippah and holding a prayer shawl, Funnye knows that if a… Read more »

A different kind of protest movement: Orthodox children rally to open New York summer camps

Orthodox children in New York City are rallying to have their camps open amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Screenshot from Twitter)

(JTA) – Protesters have been a daily sight in Brooklyn over the last few weeks. But the protesters blocking traffic Thursday on the streets of the New York City borough’s Orthodox neighborhoods were a little younger than usual. Their shouting — “We want camp!” — quickly made their aim… Read more »

Emanu-El gives Rabbi Appel car parade sendoff

Rabbi Batsheva Appel sits outside Temple Emanu-El May 31 as community members drive up to say goodbye. (Stephen Shawl)

Temple Emanu-El staged a car parade on Sunday morning, May 31, for community members to say goodbye and thank you to Rabbi Batsheva Appel, who is leaving Tucson after seven years with the synagogue. Stephen Shawl, an Emanu-El board member, took photos of hundreds of carloads of people who stopped… Read more »