Opinion

Leave the Holocaust out of your self-promotion, political agenda and profit-seeking

Clockwise from top left: A protester bearing a sign comparing Trump to Hitler; Russia’s Anton Shulepov performs in the men free skate at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating; an ornament sold on Amazon depicting a concentration camp; American protesters comparing abortion to an American Holocaust; another ornament sold on Amazon depicting a concentration camp. (Getty Images / Amazon Screenshots)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Here we go again: Just this week, two more cases of the abuse of Holocaust imagery have surfaced and created an international stir. In November, Russian figure skater Anton Shulepov wore an Auschwitz-themed costume during his free skating performance at the Grand Prix of Figure… Read more »

This Holocaust-themed figure skating costume is just the sport’s latest to cause scandal

From left to right: Sonja Henie, championship skater and actress; Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia perform during Festa on Ice 2010; Russia’s Anton Shulepov performs in the men's free skate at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019 (Getty Images)

CALDWELL, N.J. (JTA) — Figure skating costumes have a long and sometimes ridiculous history. Until about the 1930s, women were expected to compete in ponderous and weighty skirts, making it hard to move freely, let alone tackle a triple lutz. That all started to change largely for two reasons. The… Read more »

I’m a proud British Jew troubled by Corbyn’s anti-Semitism problem — but I’m still voting for Labour

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn does arts and crafts during a visit to Winwood Heights Retirement Village in Nottingham, while on the 2019 election campaign trail. (Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)

LONDON, England (JTA) — I am a secular Jew and a lifelong British Labour Party voter — two allegiances that once intersected very comfortably. As so many of us do, I inherited my politics. Every time Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher was reelected, my mother and her friends held a… Read more »

Sacha Baron Cohen: It’s time to regulate ‘the greatest propaganda machine in history’ — social media

Sacha Baron Cohen attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

NEW YORK (JTA) — The following is Sacha Baron Cohen’s keynote address at Anti-Defamation League’s 2019 Never Is Now Summit on Anti-Semitism and Hate, held in New York City on Nov. 21, 2019. It is reprinted here with permission from the ADL.  Thank you, , for… Read more »

As the children of survivors, the Rohingya genocide reminds us of the Holocaust

Rohingya refugees are seen on the second anniversary of the Rohingya crisis in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Aug. 25, 2019(Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

(JTA) —  She was 16 years old and alone in a refugee camp in a foreign country when we met her. Sobbing, she told us how she hoped that her brother might be somewhere in this camp, “camp number 18.”  She had heard that he might be alive — if… Read more »

Shlicha’s view: After 24 years, Israel still grappling with Rabin assassination

‘Yitzhak Rabin: Forged Identity’ by Martha L. Dunham was donated to the Sculpture Garden at the Tucson Jewish Community Center in 2011 by Jill and Herschel Rosenzweig. (Courtesy Weintraub Israel Center)

Next week, on Nov. 4, Israel will mark 24 years since the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Rabin, a leader, politician, and army commander, was killed by a Jewish assassin as he was walking down the stairs from the stage at what is now called Rabin Square… Read more »

As an Israeli journalist in Germany, I wasn’t surprised by the Halle synagogue shooting

A man views a makeshift memorial at the entrance to the synagogue in Halle, Germany, Oct. 10, 2019. (Jens Schlueter/Getty Images/JTA Photo Service)

COLOGNE, Germany (JTA) — When the breaking news from Halle started to pour in on Oct. 9, the Jewish community around the world was still in the midst of commemorating the holiest day of the year in Judaism, Yom Kippur. Equipped with a rifle, ammunition and other military gear, the… Read more »

A year after disaster, Pittsburgh is so much more than a site of tragedy

A group of volunteers takes to the streets to beautify Pittsburgh. (Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh)

PITTSBURGH (JTA) —As we approach the one year since the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history, I am grateful for the outpouring of support for the Pittsburgh Jewish community. Over the last year, people across the world have stood shoulder to shoulder with all of us in the 412.… Read more »

What we can still learn from the Lubavitcher Rebbe about climate change

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson lectured frequently on the intersection of climate, politics and the divine. (Getty Images/JTA Montage)

PENN YAN, N.Y. (JTA) – With refineries recently ablaze in Saudi Arabia, you might be forgiven if you forget that in the Amazon and Indonesia, forests are ablaze as well. Yet these two conflagrations are not unconnected. As ever, ecological crises and geopolitical crises are deeply intertwined – and… Read more »

By chilling out on Rosh Hashanah, I made my Judaism truly meaningful

Julie Matlin (Courtesy of Matlin)

MONTREAL (JTA) — Picking through gefilte fish in the kosher department, searching for the freshest packages, I think of my Grandma Fanny. She made her gefilte fish from scratch, lovingly combining the cod, whitefish, pike and whatever other secret ingredients she threw in that made it so good. “This… Read more »

My congregation prays at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. Here’s how we are coping this Rosh Hashanah.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, right, holds hands with Rabbi Jonathan Perlman, who survived the attack at the Tree of Life synagogue, at Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church during a service for victims of the mass shooting, Oct. 31, 2018, Perlman's wife, the author Beth Kissileff, is seated to his left. (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images/JTA Photo Service)

PITTSBURGH (JTA) — Our sages teach us that kol hatchalot kashot, all beginnings are difficult. This phrase feels especially resonant this Rosh Hashanah. The man who blew the shofar last year at my Pittsburgh synagogue, New Light, is not here to blow it now. He was murdered on Oct. 27… Read more »

My family synagogue burned down in Minnesota this week. We lost much more than a building.

The Adas Israel Congregation in Duluth, Minn., burned down of yet unknown causes, Sept. 9, 2019. (Duluth News Tribune Screenshot)

NEW YORK (JTA) — American Jews woke Monday morning to the ancestrally terrifying image of a synagogue on fire. It was my family’s shul: Adas Israel in Duluth, Minnesota. There is a dollhouse model of the Great Synagogue of Vilna in Israel’s Museum of the Jewish People. “That is… Read more »

Abandoning East Jerusalem would undermine Zionism and the city’s Arab residents

Israeli security forces stand guard in one of the alleys of Jerusalem's Old City following a knife attack, May 31, 2019. (Thomas COEX / AFP)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Fifty-two years ago, following the Six-Day War, Israel took control of the eastern part of this city. After annexing additional Arab villages to the north and south, it created what we know today as East Jerusalem, where approximately 200,000 Jews and 300,000 Arabs live. While Israel… Read more »

As a Mexican-Jewish lawmaker, I feel doubly targeted by hateful rhetoric

Alma Hernandez (center) with her family at her naming ceremony at Congregation Chaverim, April 8, 2016. (Courtesy Hernandez)

I  am proud to be Jewish, Latina and bilingual. I have the honor of representing the state House of Representatives district where I was born and raised in Arizona. My home in Tucson is less than one hour away from the U.S.-Mexico border. Tucson and El Paso in many… Read more »

False accusations of anti-Semitism hurt the Jews more than you realize

Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, shown in 2018, was recently accused by his state's Jewish leaders of peddling anti-Semitic tropes when he sent out a letter accusing George Soros and Michael Bloomberg of having "bought" the media. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BALTIMORE (JTA) — As Americans of conscience, many of us are deeply troubled by the hyperpartisan tone that seems to color almost every news story and cycle. The sensationalism that is so often present within our nation’s discourse undermines our collective ability to assimilate information and reach well-reasoned conclusions.… Read more »

What The New York Times got right and wrong about BDS: An exchange

A New York Times explainer of the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel; a gathering on the International Day of Quds in Times Square, NYC. (Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) – The Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s editor in chief, Andrew Silow-Carroll, and its opinion editor, Laura E. Adkins, shared their thoughts on a recent New York Times article answering “some of the most difficult questions” about BDS, or the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Andrew… Read more »

The Lubavitcher Rebbe died 25 years ago, but his impact lives on across all Jewish denominations

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, at the microphone, shown in New York circa 1975. (Tim Boxer/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — When the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, died in July 1994, I was one of many journalists in the Jewish media who did not see how the Hasidic movement he led could survive, much less thrive, in his absence. It has, of course. That… Read more »

Mad magazine taught me to think like a furshlugginer Jewish intellectual

A cover of Mad Magazine, which will no longer publish new content, from 1968. (Elizabeth W. Kearley/Getty Images)

Mad magazine is on life support, and I can’t say I’m either surprised or all that sad about it. DC Entertainment announced last week that the satirical magazine will stop publishing new content. It was like hearing about a beloved old relative who passed away: I hadn’t had any… Read more »

An Israeli cop shot an unarmed Ethiopian teen. Here’s why American Jews should care.

Family and friends mourn at the funeral of Solomon Tekah, outside Haifa, July 2, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90) *** Local Caption *** ?????? ????? ?????? ??? ????? ???? ????? ??? ???? ????? ???? ???? ?????? ???????

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli society has been gripped over the past week by the killing of Solomon Tekah, an unarmed 19-year-old Ethiopian Israeli. On June 30, an off-duty Israeli police officer shot and killed Tekah under highly contested circumstances. While emerging evidence seems to indicate that the policeman was not… Read more »