Opinion

OP-ED Our president just asked us to be fair to white supremacists

President Donald Trump speaking to the media at Trump Tower in New York City, Aug. 15, 2017. Looking on, from left, are Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council; Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin; Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; and Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — There was a moment in his “neo-Nazi, neo-Shmazi” news conference where you might have found yourself thinking, maybe President Trump is right. On the narrow question of who was responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, a prosecutor might note that punches were thrown by white… Read more »

OP-ED This Jewish summer camp raised a Palestinian flag — and a ruckus

The Palestinian and Israeli flags hang at the Knesset during a meeting featuring, left to right, Abdullah Abdullah of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Israeli parliament member Hilik Bar and Muhammad Madani of Fatah's central committee, July 31, 2013. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  NEW YORK (JTA) — I don’t know if there is a Yiddish or Hebrew version of “more Catholic than the pope.” More machmir than the rebbe? More kosher than glatt? If there is such an expression, this weekend’s convulsion over a Jewish camp in Washington state raising a… Read more »

Why I kept my daughters at camp after tragedy

The summer before she entered first grade, my oldest daughter asked me when she was going to go to sleepaway camp. I was stunned; she was too young. And why the heck would she ever want to leave us, her family? I blew off the question until the next… Read more »

OP-ED Artists’ protest of Israel play fizzles — as it deserved to

Members of the Habima National Theatre and the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv appear in an adaptation of David Grossman's novel "To the End of the Land," as part of the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, July 24-27, 2017. (Gérard Allon)

NEW YORK (JTA) — In David Grossman’s 2008 novel “To the End of the Land,” an Israeli mother flees to the countryside to avoid news of her soldier son, who is serving a dangerous stint in the West Bank. Ora considers herself apolitical and tries to avoid talking or… Read more »

OP-ED Jews once fought — and died — for voting rights. Here’s why some are still at it.

Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party supporters demonstrate for voting rights outside the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, N.J. Some hold signs with portraits of slain civil rights workers Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. (Warren K. Leffler/Wikimedia Commons)

  NEW YORK (JTA) — Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner are about the closest American Jews have to secular saints. The two Jewish civil rights workers traveled south for the Freedom Summer campaign of 1964, joining the African-American activist James Chaney in canvassing black churches. All three were kidnapped and murdered by… Read more »

OP-ED America’s only nuclear-qualified, Navy veteran, transgender rabbi is not happy with the president’s tweets

Rona Matlow served in the Navy for 22 years before leaving to become what she calls "the only nuclear-qualified, transgender rabbi." (Photos courtesy of Maslow)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (JTA) — On Wednesday, in our offices near this city’s Dupont Circle, the staff at Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. were opening the mail when a request came in from a veteran asking that we change her first name on our records from Jaron to Rona. “I… Read more »

ANALYSIS: Arabs, Jews trade barbs as Temple Mount heads toward the abyss

A security post at the Gate of the Moors/Mughrabi Gate. Jerusalem, July 19, 2017. (Mati Amar/TPS)

Summer in Jerusalem: As Israel continues to sweat through the hottest summer on record the Jewish Quarter of the Old City is full of tourists, seemingly oblivious to the heat. The restaurants leading from the Quarter towards the Western Wall pump with life, as does the Hurva Square, the… Read more »

OP-ED Forget BDS. It’s anti-normalization you should be worrying about.

A protester being removed by campus police at the University of California, Irvine, after he disrupted a speech by Michael Oren, who was then Israel's ambassador to the United States, Feb. 8, 2010. (JTA)

  (JTA) — Dear Jewish community, So you wanna understand Israel-Palestine debates on campus? The first thing you have to do is stop talking about BDS. Shocking, right? We try. But really, the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment campaign against Israel isn’t what Israel conversations on campus are all about… Read more »

How an Anxious Jewish Mother Became a Free-Range Parent

(Kveller via JTA) — I am not built to be a free-range mother. I am anxious and overprotective by nature, and my years of experience as a social worker have only increased my awareness of everything that could happen to my daughters, from sexual abuse to traumatic brain injuries.… Read more »

OP-ED Here’s how we can preserve the dignity of aging Holocaust survivors

Holocaust Survivors at the Flatbush Jewish Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., remain active and engaged in their community through dance. (Stephen Shames/JFNA)

  (JTA) — Nazi death marches crippled Mr. Cohen’s knees. The 94-year-old who survived Auschwitz now felt defeated trying to climb the stairs to his walk-up condo. He and his wife of 66 years used to be highly active in the Holocaust survivor community and frequently spoke at schools,… Read more »

ANALYSIS India-Israel ties step out into the open

After 25 years of full diplomatic ties, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Israel commencing Tuesday can be seen as the official coming out of the relationship between the two countries. While ties between Israel and India have grown exponentially since P.V Narasimha Rao and Yitzhak Shamir… Read more »

BLOG Jared and Ivanka do their own thing as observant Jews. And that’s normal.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: (AFP OUT) White House Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Planning Jared Kushner (L) and his wife and President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump walk down the West Wing Colonnade following a bilateral meeting between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump and Abe are expected to discuss many issues, including trade and security ties and will hold a joint press confrence later in the day. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — So apparently Jared and Ivanka play golf on Shabbat. Cue the handwringing. The New York Post reported Wednesday that the president’s Jewish daughter and son-in-law like to hit the links on the holy day, and stay within the bounds of the Sabbath rules by walking the… Read more »

OP-ED Fewer marriages and fewer children means fewer Jews doing Jewish

Rabbi Jonathan Roos blows the shofar for nursery school children at Temple Sinai synagogue in Washington, D.C., Sept. 30, 2016. (Evelyn Hockstein/for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

  (JTA) — On Jan. 16, 1949, Toby Fassman married Max Cohen (Steven M. Cohen’s parents, now both of blessed memory). At 24, Toby was among the last of her circle of friends in Brooklyn to marry, and several jokingly remarked that Max had rescued her from lifelong singlehood.… Read more »

ANALYSIS ‘Jewish spouses matter,’ says a new demographic study. Let the battle begin.

Adam and Eve depicted on a 19th-century ketubah, a Jewish marriage contract, from the Norsa-Torrazzo Synagogue in Mantua, Italy. (DeAgostini/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — One of the wisest things ever said about intermarriage came from former Atlantic sports columnist Jake Simpson: “No stat could have predicted … the wonder that was David Tyree’s helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII.” Granted, Simpson wasn’t writing about the high rates of Jews marrying non-Jews.… Read more »

OP-ED Retaining ban on partisan pulpits is key to protecting religious freedom

Rabbi Jack Moline (Courtesy of the Interfaith Alliance)

That small little law known as the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits electioneering by houses of worship and other charities and which President Trump has vowed to repeal, is exceptionally important to preserve. Even if it is not widely enforced, the permission it grants to the Internal Revenue Service to… Read more »

OP-ED Trump’s cuts to foreign aid budget are dangerous and inhumane

Young women rally against child marriage, dowry and domestic violence in a protest organized by an American Jewish World Service grantee, the Masum Foundation, in Mavadi, India, March 31, 2015. (Jonathan Torgovnik/AJWS)

  NEW YORK (JTA) — This week, President Donald Trump proposed radical and cruel cuts to U.S. foreign aid. If his budget for 2018 is approved by Congress and implemented, it would slash crucial aid and development programs and weaken key institutions upholding human rights worldwide. As the head… Read more »

Covenant House grateful for assistance from Handmaker

B’nai B’rith Covenant House of Tucson is a low-income HUD housing community for seniors that provides safe, affordable housing for 120 older adults in mid-town. Early in the morning on Sunday, May 14, which was Mother’s Day, 40 residents living in building one were awoken to a blaring fire… Read more »

ANALYSIS Tel Aviv is the ‘home of Judaism.’ So is Boston, Sao Paulo, Marseille …

Ivanka Trump prays at the Western Wall, May 22, 2017. (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)

  (JTA) — Donald Trump and his staff may have left Israel feeling pretty friendly to the Jews, but man, we don’t make it easy for them. Flying with reporters from Saudi Arabia to Israel on Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that they were “nto the second… Read more »