National News


JNF Challenged on Discrimination

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

A challenge to the tax-exempt status of Jewish National Fund’s American arm introduces a new wrinkle into an ongoing debate over how the Internal Revenue Service should treat charities whose foreign operations run counter to public policy of the United States. A coalition of anti-Zionist groups has claimed in its challenge that JNF ethnically discriminates by refusing to sell or lease its land in Israel to non-Jews.Read More


House Newcomer Defies GOP Leaders on Israel, From the Right

By Nathan Guttman and Josh Nathan-Kazis

For those who know him, it was no surprise when freshman Rep. Michael Grimm broke ranks with his party and became the first House Republican to call for the release of Jonathan Pollard.Read More


At BYU Seder, Mormons Dip, Eat, Sing Their Own ‘Dayenu’

By Gabrielle Birkner

Passover Seders are a longstanding tradition at Brigham Young University, a Mormon institution in Provo Utah. But attendees will have to do without the four glasses of wine.Read More


JVP, Harsh Critic Of Israel, Seeks a Seat at the Communal Table

By Gal Beckerman

On a recent Wednesday night in New York City, Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization that critics label anti-Israel, made the case for her group’s main protest tactic: a targeted campaign of boycott, divestment and sanction — or BDS, as it has become known — against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.Read More


Washington JCC Resolves Arts Impasse

By Nathan Guttman

Facing tensions that have erupted over community funded artistic expression relating to Israel, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is carving out a middle road that it hopes will please all sides. Despite being urged by some community members to stop funding plays critical of Israel in the local Jewish Community Center, the federation’s board of directors decided instead to draw its red line at programs that promote boycott, divestment or sanctions against Israel (BDS.) The board decided against issuing formal guidelines for community funded programming, as was done by the Jewish federation in San Francisco last year.Read More


Palestinian Economy Wins Plaudits, But Statehood Still Distant Without Israel's Cooperation

By Nathan Guttman

It is a classic good news-bad news story. The Palestinian economy is booming and for the first time is being acknowledged as strong enough to support an independent state. That is the good part.Read More


An Orthodox Jew Leads Toledo to a Women's National Basketball Title

By Elana Sztokman

Overcoming unique barriers of language, religion and gender, Naama Shafrir — an Orthodox Jewish woman from the Galilee — led the University of Toledo to victory in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, and was crowned MVP.Read More


One Person’s Quest To Find and Restore The Graves of the Triangle Fire’s Victims

By Michael Hirsch

Scattered among 16 cemeteries around New York they came to rest, the 146 people whose lives were violently cut short 100 years ago in one of the nation’s worst industrial disasters — the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.Read More


Thousands Mark Fire’s Centennial at Triangle Site

By Joy Resmovits

U. S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said she did not hesitate a minute when she was asked last year to be a keynote speaker at today’s 100th anniversary commemoration of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.Read More


Once a Critic, New Leader of Reform Judaism Promises Change

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

The rabbi chosen to head the largest Jewish religious organization in North America has not always toed the party line. As the spiritual leader of a large, wealthy suburban congregation, Richard Jacobs is every part the modern Reform rabbi. A tall and well-spoken former dancer, he wears a green Save Darfur bracelet and a small blue yarmulke, and is active in social justice causes.Read More





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  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
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