In Israel, economic concerns mount, but unclear which party will benefit

Hundreds of Israelis protesting against the country's soaring cost of living in front of the Knesset in Jerusalem, Aug. 2, 2011. (Yossi Zamir/Flash 90/JTA)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – “It’s the economy stupid” was how American political strategist James Carville once summed up the defining issue in U.S. presidential elections. But in Israel, besieged by enemy nations and locked into an ongoing conflict with the Palestinians, security has traditionally trumped all other political agendas. Until… Read more »

In a Ukrainian Jewish orphanage, Tikva, economic downturn hits home

ODESSA, Ukraine (JTA) — In a colorful room at the Tikva Children’s Home here, 30 young boys stand in two straight lines and wait for the cue signaling that they are to start singing. The children, students in a music class, are performing “Mind Your Manners” by the Philadelphia-based… Read more »

Good cop advocacy marked Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi’s The Israel Project

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi presents Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a plaque, August 2011. (The Israel Project)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Here’s what the international Jewish media conspiracy looks like: Two men and four women, all clad in dark suits, sitting around a table in a windowless conference room in a nondescript office in midtown Manhattan. Together they run a global organization stretching from Washington to… Read more »

Ahead of French elections, Sarkozy makes pitch to Jews

French President Nicholas Sarkozy addressing guests at the CRIF dinner, Feb. 8, 2012. (Erez Lichtfeld courtesy of CRIF)

PARIS (JTA) – Trailing in the polls and with elections just 10 weeks away, French President Nicolas Sarkozy went to one of his most reliable bases of support — French Jews — to drum up enthusiasm. On the morning of Feb. 8, Sarkozy met at Elysees Palace with released… Read more »

Threats to cut Egypt assistance could impact Israel, U.S. influence in Mideast

Protesters in the aftermath of deadly riots march in Cairo on Feb. 3, 2012. The increasing chaos in Egypt, including the recent arrest of U.S. democracy activists, has raised questions about it factors into U.S. and Israel security considerations in the region. (Gigi Ibrahim via CC)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The future of a key pillar of Israeli security could rest with the fate of a few dozen pro-democracy activists in Egypt. After Egyptian authorities filed charges on Feb. 6 against 43 American and other foreign pro-democracy activists who worked in the country, leading members of… Read more »

Effort to change U.S. red line has Senate Dems worried about war

Sen. Lindsey Graham, shown attending Independence Day celebrations at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in July 2011, has authored a resolution that would make an Iranian nuclear capability a "red line." (Courtesy U.S. Embassy, Kabul)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Is America’s red line on Iran moving? A new bipartisan resolution introduced Thursday on Capitol Hill is part of a growing effort to shift the longstanding U.S. red line from Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon to having the capability to build one. Such a shift would… Read more »

Great-grandson of Auschwitz victims taking the ice for Germany

Evan Kaufmann, a U.S.-born hockey player whose great-grandparents were killed in the Holocaust, is now representing the German national team. (Courtesy Eishockey Magazin)

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (JTA) — More than 65 years ago, Evan Kaufmann’s great-grandparents were murdered in the Auschwitz death camp. Now he is taking the ice for the German national hockey team. Following a successful hockey career at the University of Minnesota, Kaufmann tried out for several professional clubs in… Read more »

A divided town, where the pursuit of bargains brings together Israelis and Palestinians

Zidan Badran, mayor of the Israeli portion of the Arab town of Barta'a, stands on the seam that separates the Israeli part of town from its West Bank portion. (Linda Gradstein)

BARTA’A, West Bank (JTA) — In these days of frozen peace negotiations, most Israelis and Palestinians have little contact. Palestinians need a special permit to enter Israel, and Israelis need army permission to enter the parts of the West Bank controlled by the Palestinian Authority. In fact, just a… Read more »

How Jewish groups became involved in the contraception coverage debate

WASHINGTON (JTA) — What were the Jews doing becoming so involved in a debate over contraception? It was a question that more than one Jewish official asked themselves over recent months as tensions between the Obama administration and leaders of the Catholic Church rose to the boiling point over… Read more »

Shaliach to give three ‘Israel to Go’ seminars

For the second year, the Tucson Jewish Community Library and the Weintraub Israel Center will present “Israel to Go,” a three-part series for people interested in traveling to Israel. The seminars will be held Feb. 15, March 29 and April 4 at 7 p.m. in the library, which is… Read more »

JFSA NW campaign event will focus on Israel

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Northwest Division will present a talk by Laura Green, “When It Comes to Israel, Why is the World Silent?” on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Hilton El Conquistador in Oro Valley. Green is on the Utah board of the America-Israel… Read more »

Oro Valley teen to receive Zehngut award

Rachel Knox

Rachel Knox will receive the 2012 Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot Award, which honors an outstanding Jewish teenage girl, at the Women’s Philanthropy Connections brunch on Feb. 19. The award, which honors a late community leader, was created by the advisory council of Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Southern… Read more »

New Orleans native is Wildcats assistant coach

Joe Pasternack (University of Arizona)

University of Arizona basketball has a new Jewish assistant coach, Joe Pasternack. Pasternack, 34, came to the UA in May from the University of New Orleans, where he was head coach for four years. He’s friends with former UA assistant coach Josh Pastner, who is now head coach at… Read more »

Federation plans its own Birthright Israel trip

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona will offer a Birthright Israel trip this June, with 20 spots available for local young professionals and graduate students, 22-26 years old. Birthright is a national nonprofit that sponsors men and women ages 18-26 to go on a free, educational 10-day tour of… Read more »

Israel and U.S. close ranks on Iran ahead of March meetings

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama meet at the United Nations in New York, Sept. 21, 2011. (Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash90)

It’s one of those coincidences too tempting to believe is a coincidence. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is delivering a speech to AIPAC about what should happen next with Iran and likely meeting with President Obama to discuss Iran options on the same day that the International Atomic Energy… Read more »

Capitol Steps zing politicos to benefit UA Hillel

Capitol Steps performer as Sarah Palin. (Capitol Steps)

The Capitol Steps have sung about it all — from Bill Clinton’s sexcapades to George W. Bush’s language-shattering syntax. The Washington-based group will bring their equally-offensive-to-all musical satire to the University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall on Wednesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. The performance will benefit the UA Hillel… Read more »

Who came out ahead at BDS conference?

Alan Dershowitz, right, speaking at the University of Pennsylvania in a bid to galvanize pro-Israel students there, Feb. 2, in light of the expected anti-Israel message expected at the BDS conference on the Penn campus. Political journalist Robert Traynham served as the moderator for the program. (Scott Weiner)

(Jewish Exponent) — Did the National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Conference at the University of Pennsylvania over the weekend backfire for organizers and illustrate the strength of the pro-Israel community on campus? Or did BDS speakers like Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah reveal how much pro-Israel students need to… Read more »