Tagged FRONT

COVID positivity rates spike in Orthodox neighborhoods in New York City, with large weddings eyed as a culprit

A Hasidic man wears a protective face mask while visiting The Vessel at the Hudson Yards on September 3, 2020 in New York City. (Noam Galai/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Rising fears about a second wave of coronavirus cases in New York City’s Orthodox communities appear to be coming to pass, with the proportion of tests turning up cases of the disease more than four times the citywide rate in one heavily Orthodox neighborhood in newly released… Read more »

Former ACLU president says censoring hate speech can backfire – just like it did in Nazi Germany

Left: Nadine Strossen (Anthony Alvarez) Right: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Capitol Hill on April 10, 2018. (Xinhua / Ting Shen via Getty Images)

(JTA) — Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms face increasing pressure to crack down against anti-Semitism and other forms of hate speech. This summer, the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP led a one-month corporate boycott against advertising on Facebook, and a group of British Jews led a 24-hour boycott… Read more »

Yeshiva University rejects LGBTQ club, saying it will support students in other ways

Israelis take part in the annual Israel's Gay Pride parade hosted by Jerusalem on June 25, 2009. Photo Nati Shohat /FLASH90

(JTA) — Yeshiva University rejected the formation of a campus group for queer students but said it was putting in place new policies to help LGBTQ students feel safe. The flagship Modern Orthodox college in New York sent a statement to students Thursday addressing a yearlong battle over whether… Read more »

The COVID-19 pandemic has been buffeting American Jewry for months. What lies ahead?

Boston's Jewish community has unveiled a memorial to COVID-19 victims even as the pandemic continues. (Courtesy Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts)

(JTA) — Hundreds of synagogues have been shuttered for months. Jewish organizations are slashing budgets and staff. Jewish community centers, saddled with empty gyms and child care centers, have laid off masses of employees. Jewish camps closed this summer, Jewish day schools will hold only virtual sessions in the… Read more »

Ancestry completes Arolsen Archives Collection, launches new partnership with USC Shoah Foundation

Millions of Holocaust and Nazi persecution-related records, like this one, are now available and searchable for free on www.ancestry.com/alwaysremember. This one cites the Tucson Jewish Community Council, a forerunner of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, as a sponsoring agency, likley for survivors who immigrated to the United States.. (Ancestry)

Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, has completed a significant philanthropic initiative to digitize and make searchable millions of Holocaust and Nazi persecution-related records. Building on its commitment to preserve at-risk history, there are now more than 19 million Holocaust records available globally, for free… Read more »

To meet soaring needs, Jewish groups get creative to feed the hungry

Hazon volunteers celebrate a recent food rescue delivery in the Detroit suburb of Redford, Mich. (Hazon Detroit)

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, causing millions to lose their jobs and hunger levels to skyrocket, the Jewish environmental organization Hazon knew it had to dramatically reconfigure its priorities. Normally focused on running immersive Jewish environmental educational programs and promoting sustainable food and farming, the group suddenly shifted from… Read more »

They thought a Jewish school in Oakland would be able to accommodate their gender-fluid child. It wasn’t that simple.

Meg Keene and David Mishook said their son, left, was rejected from Oakland Hebrew Day School for being gender-fluid. (Kenzie Kate)

(JTA) — A Jewish day school in Oakland, California, is committing to making changes this week after a local family said the school had declined to accept their gender-fluid child. Meg Keene, an Oakland mother who runs a prominent wedding planning website, encouraged her thousands of Instagram followers to… Read more »

Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s VP pick — here’s what Jewish voters should know

Sen. Kamala Harris in Washington, D.C., June 24, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

(JTA) — It’s official: Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s choice for vice president. The California senator, who made history Tuesday as the first Black woman to join a major party presidential ticket, is still in her first term. But during several years in public office, the 55-year-old lawmaker’s outspoken… Read more »

‘Services, but not shul’: How Orthodox communities are preparing for a pandemic High Holiday season

A socially distanced outdoor service at the Green Road Synagogue in suburban Cleveland, June 2020. (Courtesy of Rabbi Binyamin Blau)

(JTA) – Less than two miles away from the Center for Disease Control’s campus in Atlanta, where doctors and researchers prepare guidance for the nation’s coronavirus response, an Orthodox rabbi is preparing a different set of plans. Rabbi Adam Starr’s task: how to accommodate hundreds of people for in-person… Read more »

Jewish educator’s ‘Yo Semite’ T-shirt back in spotlight following Trump gaffe

Sarah Lefton, creator of the "Yo Semite" T-shirt, with her son, Levi. (Courtesy of Lefton)

(J. the Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — When Berkeley resident Sarah Lefton awoke on Tuesday morning, her phone was lit up with notifications. While she was sleeping, President Trump had signed the Great American Outdoors Act, a piece of legislation that will protect the nation’s parks… Read more »

Seth Rogen: Israel should exist, but I’m not sorry for my critique of Jewish education

Seth Rogen speaks onstage at The Workers Circle 2019 benefit in New York City, where he was honored, Dec. 2, 2019. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

(JTA) — In a new interview, Seth Rogen said his comments about Israel being a bad idea for a state were made in jest but affirmed that he found his childhood education about the country, which he received through Jewish schools and camps, to be problematic. “I don’t want… Read more »

An activist says it is ‘electioneering’ for nonprofits to call candidates racist. Jewish groups say it’s routine.

An activist with Tag Meir, an Israeli group funded by the New Israel Fund, hands out flowers on a day to counter racism in Jerusalem on June 1, 2019. (NIF/Yossi Zamir)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A pro-Israel activist has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service that, if successful, could severely restrict freedom of speech for non-governmental organizations. David Abrams’ lawsuit alleges that the nonprofit New Israel Fund “electioneered” in violation of its tax-exempt status by supporting grantees in Israel… Read more »

Confused about Judaism’s view on the afterlife? Start by watching ‘The Good Place.’

William Jackson Harper as Chidi and Kristen Bell as Eleanor on "The Good Place." (Screen shot from YouTube)

Social distancing and staying inside is hard. Thankfully, accessing good things to watch during this time is not. This is the latest installation of a weekly column on Jewish movies and TV shows that you should stream in quarantine. The Good Place Streams on: Seasons 1-3 are on Netflix, Season… Read more »

The pandemic’s first High Holiday season has synagogues wondering: Will people pay dues?

WASHINGTON, DC - Oct. 02 Adas Israel Rabbi Gil Steinaluf greets a congregation member before the start of the synagogue's Vision of Renewal Dedication Ceremony in Washington, DC Wednesday October 2, 2013. The synagogue recently invested in $15 million dollars in renovations, including a new sanctuary and a state of the art study center. (Photo by Jared Soares for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

(JTA) — Like many synagogues, Temple B’nai Hayim used to rely on the High Holiday season to survive financially. The small Conservative synagogue in Southern California would receive the lion’s share of its revenue in the run-up to the holidays: Members sent in their annual dues, which included entry… Read more »

A holiday marking one societal rupture, Tisha B’Av spurs Jewish creativity amid another

Daniel Olson's "Coronavirus Eli Tziyon" includes laments for frontline workers and those who have fallen ill. (Screenshot)

(JTA) — For many observant Jews, the mourning over the destruction of the two ancient Temples in Jerusalem on the fast of Tisha B’Av actually begins three weeks earlier with the onset of a period of mourning during which it’s customary to avoid joyful activities like weddings and music.… Read more »