Religion & Jewish Life

Rabbi expelled from Conservative body for performing intermarriages

Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom officiates at the wedding of his stepdaughter and her fiance in 2014. (Courtesy of Stefanie Fox)

NEW YORK (JTA) – Conservative Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom has been expelled from the Rabbinical Assembly, the movement’s rabbis’ association, for performing interfaith weddings. An ordained Conservative rabbi for 44 years, Rosenbloom was expelled last month by unanimous vote, with abstentions, after a hearing of the R.A.’s Executive Council. Since… Read more »

At first Jewish Comic Con, artists and geeks revel in tradition

A man examining a comic book for sale at the inaugural Jewish Comic Con, held at Congregation Kol Israel, a Brooklyn synagogue, Nov. 13, 2016. (Ben Sales)

NEW YORK (JTA) — After Brett Parker’s great-grandfather fled the pogroms in Europe and came to the United States, he opened a drug store where he sold comic books. Each week he would give his grandson, Parker’s father, five comic books to take home. Growing up during the early… Read more »

Israeli teen brings Jewish Ethiopian holiday of Sigd to Tucson

Wearing a traditional Ethiopian dress and shawl, Leah Avuno displays a tunic that would be worn by a Kes, an Ethiopian spiritual leader. Avuno, who immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia as a toddler, is spending a year in Tucson as a volunteer. (David J. Del Grande/AJP)

Leah Avuno, one of Tucson’s two Shinshinim (teen ambassadors from Israel) brought more than just her abundant youthful energy when she came to Tucson — she also brought the rich culture of her Ethiopian heritage. This year, the Tucson Jewish community will join Avuno in celebrating the Jewish Ethiopian… Read more »

BLOG Cubs fans, like the Jews, now face the challenge of success

Chicago Cubs fans cheer after their team defeats the Cleveland Indians, 9-3, to win Game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Nov. 1, 2016. The Cubs would go on to win the Series for the first time since 1908. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — For years, I’ve told anyone who would listen that the Cubs were the team of the Jews. I’ve written two blog posts about it during the past month alone. Long suffering. Faithful. Bound to tradition. Hoping for redemption, to no avail. It was all there. Until… Read more »

Spain’s Jewish ‘ghost towns’ seek a boost from living Jews

A tourist walks down the historic Jewish quarter of the town of Ribadavia in Spain, Sept. 26, 2016. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

RIBADAVIA, Spain (JTA) – Overlooking the confluence of two rivers near the Spanish-Portuguese border, this small and picturesque town has more Jewish institutions than some European capitals. In the historic Jewish quarter of Ribadavia, the sounds of nearby waterfalls echo among cobblestone streets featuring attractions that are found nowhere… Read more »

A Brooklyn judge becomes America’s first Hasidic woman to serve in public office

Rachel Freier in her Borough Park law office with, from left to right, nephew Shmuel Freier, husband David Freier and son Mayer Freier. (Andrew Katz)

  (JTA) — For much of her adult life, Rachel Freier has been a trailblazer in her Hasidic Brooklyn community of Borough Park: a lawyer, an advocate for higher education, the founder of an all-female ambulance service and of a nonprofit to aid underprivileged mothers during the Gulf War. Now… Read more »

Israel’s World Baseball Classic team expects to feel at home playing in Brooklyn

For Josh Zeid, a pitcher for Israel’s World Baseball Classic team (shown here when he played for the Houston Astros), “there’s a little bit of excitement to get back and try to win it this time.” (Hillel Kuttler)

(JTA) – What is likely the strongest squad of Jewish players ever assembled figures to have a home-field advantage, too, as Team Israel aims to reach the next round of the World Baseball Classic. The club’s roster for the qualifying tournament includes nine major league veterans of recent seasons,… Read more »

Minnesota Vikings’ owner thinks big with new stadium and Holocaust philanthropy

Mark Wilf, a co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings, at the team's gigantic Nordic horn in its new $1.1 billion stadium. (Hillel Kuttler)

MINNEAPOLIS (JTA) – Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer stepped up to an 800-pound gjallarhorn and exhaled with all he had to launch the festivities  that officially inaugurated the team’s $1.1 billion stadium. Music lovers would have found the deep, uneven sound revolting, but the Nordic instrument is plenty… Read more »

Arugula Sweet Potato Salad Recipe

(The Nosher via JTA) — This is a perfect salad to eat for lunch on a weekday or as a first course for a brunch or even during a holiday like Rosh Hashanah. It’s especially nice when served plated individually and topped with the sweet potatoes and cashews. Note:… Read more »

From matzo balls to footballs, two Jewish brothers recall their journey to the NFL

Geoff, left, and Mitch Schwartz are the first pair of Jewish brothers to play in the NFL since 1923.(Olivia Goodkin and Lee Schwartz)

  KANSAS CITY, Mo. (JTA) – At 6-foot-6 and 340 pounds, veteran NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz isn’t just a force of nature, but a product of good ol’ Jewish nurture. “My size comes from a childhood that included an excess of matzo ball soup, latkes, and tons of… Read more »

Why I’m Not Converting to Judaism, Even Though My Kids Did

(iStock)

(Kveller via JTA) — I’m an outsider in my own home. As of two weeks ago, when we converted our two young children in the mikvah, I officially became the only non­-Jewish member of our household. This was only official in paperwork, not in practice. I have been living… Read more »

3 baseball books from some veteran Jewish observers of the game

Baseball writer Dan Schlossberg, left, with the former Atlanta Brave and Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz. (Courtesy of Dan Schlossberg)

(JTA) – For many, summer is all about the three B’s: baseball, beaches and books. With the weather and pennant races sizzling, two journalists and the mayor of baseball’s mythical home village of Cooperstown, New York — all Jewish — have provided their takes about a sport that has… Read more »

Once a prop for anti-Semites, the Talmud makes a comeback in Russia

The cover of a new Russian translation of the Talmud (Courtesy of Knizhniki publishing house)

(JTA) — A century ago, passages from the Talmud were translated into Russian to be used as evidence in the anti-Semitic show trial of Menahem Mendel Beilis, a Jew charged with — and eventually acquitted of – murdering a Christian boy. The prosecution in that 1915 trial, which was decried… Read more »

For ‘Jewish Valentine’s Day,’ meet 5 couples who found love on Israel trips

Blake Yospa and Rachel Leeds in Annapolis, Md. (Courtesy of Blake Yospa and Rachel Leeds)

  (JTA) — In the two-part finale of the third season of “Broad City,” the show’s main characters, Abbi and Ilana, embark on a “Birthmark” trip — a thinly veiled allusion to the famed Birthright Israel trip that sends Jews aged 18 to 26 on free 10-day trips to… Read more »

At 80, a Munich Olympics and Holocaust survivor is still the sportsman

Shaul Ladany in his suburban Beersheba home with a prized piece of his Theodor Herzl collection, left. (Hillel Kuttler)

  OMER, Israel (JTA) – Shaul Ladany, a two-time Olympian, acknowledged that he was “very happy” that the International Olympic Committee finally held an official memorial for the 11 Israelis who were killed in a terrorist raid at the 1972 Munich games. But Ladany, an Israeli racewalker who still… Read more »