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 Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
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  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
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  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
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