Bernie Sanders Visited The Tree Of Life Synagogue - Secretly

    Sen. Bernie Sanders forbade his campaign staff from publicizing a visit he paid to the site of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre in April because he didn’t want the visit to be seen as a “publicity grab,” The New York Times reported Saturday.

    Sanders, who is Jewish, met with the rabbi of the Tree of Life Synagogue, where 11 people were killed in an attack in October. Sanders prevented his aides from announcing the meeting because he did not want to appear as exploiting the visit for political purposes.

    Sanders has historically been reluctant to speak about his personal life, including his Jewish heritage and upbringing — but has grown more comfortable doing so in recent months, after being urged by campaign aides to speak out.

    In a speech at a California mosque in March, Sanders recounted his childhood memories of learning about the Holocaust. “I never could understand why would people do such terrible and horrible things to people,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    And in an interview published last week with the viral news outlet NowThis, Sanders said that being elected the first Jewish president would be “another barrier broken down.”

    Benjamin Gladstone is an intern at the Forward. Contact him by email at or on Twitter @bensgladstone

    This story "Sanders Visited Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Site" was written by Benjamin Gladstone.

      Tennis Champ: I Was Denied Wimbledon Club Membership Due To Anti-Semitism

      (JTA) — A Jewish British tennis champ who won the women’s doubles at Wimbledon 63 years ago says an exclusive sport club refused to accept her because she is Jewish.

      Angela Buxton, who won at Wimbledon in 1956 with her American partner Althea Gibson, who was African-American, applied shortly after her win to join the All England Club, to which she had expected to be accepted due to her status as a top player.

      The duo also won the doubles title at the French Open in 1956. Gibson died in 2003. Her application also was never accepted.

      Buxton told The Sunday Times that she believes anti-Semitism was the reason she was never accepted though she has continued to wait and reapply.

      “It’s an unfortunate example of how the British really treat Jews in this country,” she told the newspaper. “This sort of thing exacerbates the feeling towards Jews. It’s perfectly ridiculous, it’s laughable. It speaks volumes.”

      The club disagreed with Buxton’s characterization. ‘While the decision-making process for membership of the All England Club is a private matter, we strongly refute any suggestion that race or religion plays a factor,’ a statement from the club said, according to The Daily Mail.

      Buxton also said that she had experienced anti-Semitism during her career.

      Author Bruce Schoenfeld in his book “The Match: How Two Outsiders — One Black, the Other Jewish — Forged a Friendship and Made Sports History” reported that Simon Marks, the Jewish owner of the department store Marks & Spencer, allowed her to practice on his private tennis court.

      As a teenager, Buxton applied to join the Cumberland Club, the top tennis facility in North London. Coach Bill Blake reportedly rejected Buxton, saying: “You’re perfectly good, but you’re Jewish. We don’t take Jews here.”

      This story "Jewish Tennis Pro Denied Wimbledon Membership" was written by Marcy Oster.

        Biden, Buttigieg, Booker Respond To IfNotNow About Occupation

        (JTA) — Democratic presidential front runner and former vice president Joe Biden told a member of the IfNotNow Jewish anti-occupation movement that the “occupation is a human rights crisis,” and called for a two-state solution.

        He was one of three major Democratic presidential candidates who were ambushed by Jewish anti-occupation activists from the IfNotNow organization over the weekend. The other two candidates that IfNotNow fellows based in New Hampshire caught on camera talking about the situation in the West Bank are South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Newark, New Jersey mayor and current U.S. Senator Corey Booker.

        IfNotNow fellow Elias Newman on Friday at a Biden campaign event in Dover, New Hampshire, asked the candidate if he were to be elected if he would pressure Israel to end the occupation.

        Biden first responded that “I think the settlements are unnecessary,” and added that “the only answer is a two-state solution number one, number two the Palestinians have to step up too and be prepared to stop the hate that has caused, so its a two-way street.”

        When Biden was asked if he would “pressure Israel to end the occupation as president,” Biden responded: “The answer, do you know anything about my record?” When Newman responded in the affirmative, Biden said “then you know I have, well you know I have….”

        Newman said in a statement that Biden has taken “a step in the right direction by calling Israel’s military occupation a ‘real’ and ‘significant problem’; this is the bare minimum we should expect from Democratic hopefuls.”

        He said that Biden, as vice president under Barack Obama, “played a key role in giving the Netanyahu government a free pass to continue settlement expansion, launch assaults on Gaza that killed thousands of Palestinian civilians, and lay the groundwork to annex the West Bank.”

        Buttigieg on Friday in Laconia, New Hampshire, told IfNotNow fellow Erin Sandler, 29, that “The occupation must end.” He added that there is starting to be an “awareness that in the same way that you can be pro-America without that meaning you got to support our President, you can care about Israel’s future and believe in the U.S. relationship and alliance with Israel without being on board with right-wing policies by the Netanyahu government which is now walking away from peace in a way that I think will harm the Israeli people, the Palestinian people, and in the long run the American people.”

        In a tweet posted on Sunday, IfNotNow said one of its fellows on Saturday asked Cory Booker the same occupation question and that he got “visibly frustrated.”

        “If that’s your issue I would understand if you want to support somebody else,” the group said he responded. The series of tweets also noted that he refused to use the term occupation.

        “Looks like he’s choosing @AIPAC over the grassroots,” the tweet also said.

        The group — which does not take a position on whether Israel should exist as a Jewish state — announced last month that it hired six full-time fellows to live in New Hampshire and to spend the summer publicly confronting candidates during their events.

        The group has raised its profile over the last year by protesting Birthright in a variety of ways, including walking off of its free 10-day trips to Israel.

        This story "Biden, Buttigieg, Booker Talk About The Occupation" was written by Marcy Oster.

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        Trump Cites Israel To Defend Telling Congresswomen To ‘Go Back’ To Their Countries

        (JTA) — President Trump said that his call for some Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to “crime infested” [sic] their countries was also in defense of Israel.

        Trump referenced Israel on Twitter Monday morning and Sunday, amid an outcry over the earlier tweet he made, which was racist and anti-immigrant because it implied that the politicians, all women of color, aren’t truly American.

        Amid an outcry over Trump’s suggestion, he wrote on Twitter: “So sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion.”

        Trump has a track record of using Israel to rally his evangelical Christian base, which sees the establishment of the state in the context of Biblical prophecy. One of the congresswoman is the Muslim daughter of Palestinian refugees and is critical of Israel.

        “When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!” he wrote.

        Trump was widely understood to be speaking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York; Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All four, who are left-leaning newcomers in their party, are American citizens belonging to ethnic minorities. Only one, Omar, was born abroad, in Somalia.

        Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx to parents of Puerto Rican descent. Pressley, who is black, was born in Cincinnati and raised in Chicago. Tlaib was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrants.

        Ilhan and Tlaib have been especially outspoken in their criticism of Israel, and have been widely criticized by Jewish groups on the right and center. Many Republicans, including Trump, have cited their Israel stances when calling them out on social media and in speeches. Trump has also periodically referenced Israel in other contexts to support his political agenda, such as when he cited Israeli walls to defend his proposed wall on the Mexican border.

        Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, added his voice to the chorus of critics who called Trump’s initial words racist. “As Jews, we’re familiar with this kind of prejudice. It has no purpose but to divide us and spread hate,” he wrote. “Whether or not you like their politics, telling people born in the US to ‘go back where they came from’ is flat-out racist and telling naturalized citizens the same is xenophobic,” Greenblatt also wrote.

        The centrist American Jewish Committee objected to Trump’s comments.

        “Our nation was built by people who hailed from every corner of the globe and we are enriched by our diversity to this day. Surely we can have policy debates in this country without resorting to potshots at our opponents’ identities or origins,” it tweeted.

        Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor of the Forward. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @aidenpink

        This story "Trump Cites Israel In Telling AOC, Omar To ‘Go Back’" was written by Cnaan Liphshiz.

          Body Of Rabbi Who Drowned After Rescuing Students Found

          (JTA) — A body believed to be that of a rabbi who jumped into the ocean to save a student was found off the coast of North Carolina.

          Volunteers looking for Reuven Bauman, 35, found the body Sunday, five days after the teacher at Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Norfolk, Virginia jumped into choppy water at False Cape State Park after a student, said to be 13 years old.

          The student made it safely to shore but the rabbi never returned and was believed to have been swept away by rip currents. According to Yeshiva World News, the body was identified as Bauman’s.

          His brother, Rabbi Mordechai Bauman of University Heights, is a teacher at Yeshiva Derech Hatorah in Cleveland Heights. The Baumans grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey.

          Reuven Bauman, who is listed on the school’s website as teaching seventh- and eighth-grade secular studies teacher and third-grade Judaic studies, is the father of five children.
          A local rabbi from Virginia, Gavriel Rudin, told the CBS affiliate News 3 WTKR that volunteers would continue to search for Bauman.

          “We know the chances are slim, but we have not given up and Jews throughout the world are hoping and praying for his safe return,” he told the news channel before the body was found.

          He said that in Judaism, finding the body and providing a proper burial are of “incredible importance.”

          This story "Body Of Rabbi Who Drowned After Saving Students Found" was written by Cnaan Liphshiz.

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