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Avodah honoree Deborah Cotton succumbs after brunch

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By ALAN SMASON

Deborah “Deb” Cotton, the outspoken writer and community activist who was just awarded the top honor from Avodah for her work in advocating for the African-American and Jewish communities to which she belonged, died Tuesday, May 2 as a result of the injuries she sustained in the...
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AVODAH honors Steeg, Cotton at Partners in Justice Brunch

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By ALAN SMASON

Avodah, the Jewish Service Corps, held its sixth annual Partners in Justice Brunch on Sunday, April 22 at Temple Sinai. For the second year in a row, the event was housed at a URJ (Reform) house of worship and for the fifth consecutive year two members of...
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US Anti-Semitic incidents rising in ’17, rose a third in ’16

Vandalized stones are scattered at Stone Road or Waad Hakolel Cemetery in Rochester, New York on March 3, 2017.
Vandals tumbled and defaced headstones at a Jewish cemetery in a Rochester, New York, local officials confirmed Friday, the third such cemetery in the United States to suffer damage in a surge in apparent anti-Semitic acts. Meredith Dragon, chief executive of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, said local police were not yet ready to determine whether the toppling of a dozen or more headstones in the Stone Road or Waad Hakolel Cemetery overnight March 1, 2017 was an act of petty vandalism or a targeted hate crime. But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an investigation into the rise in crimes and threats against Jewish organizations in the state.
 / AFP PHOTO / Gretchen STUMME        (Photo credit should read GRETCHEN STUMME/AFP/Getty Images)

By MARCY OSTER and BEN SALES

(JTA) – Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States soared 86 percent in the first three months of 2017 after rising by more than one-third in 2016, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

There has been a massive increase in harassment of American Jews, largely since...
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French Jews worried over Le Pen’s success in presidential vote’s 1st round

HENIN-BEAUMONT, FRANCE - DECEMBER 06:  French Far-Right National Front President Marine Le Pen during her speech after the announcement of the results of the first round of the regional election on December 6, 2015 in Henin-Beaumont, France. Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)  (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

(JTA) — Leaders of French Jewry had mixed reactions to the success of Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the French presidential elections.

“Satisfaction and concern,” Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, wrote on Twitter Sunday...
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Jazz Fest Shabbat to feature Zydeco performance

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By ALAN SMASON

Call it expected. Call it overdue. Just don’t call it Cajun. The 2017 Jazz Fest Shabbat to be held next Friday night, April 29, at Touro Synagogue will star accordionist Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes and the Louisiana Sunspots, marking the first time Zydeco performers be at the center...
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3 popular humorists write a Haggadah for the ‘when do we eat?’ crowd

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By ANDREW SILOW-CARROLL

(JTA) — Of making many Passover Haggadahs there is no end.

If the Maxwell House version doesn’t cut it for you, there are Haggadahs for vegans, for children, for chocolate lovers and even for Christians. There’s the “Santa Cruz Haggadah” for hippies and the “New American Haggadah” for hipsters. There are annotated Haggadahs...
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The 5 (or so) habits of successful seder leaders

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By EDMON J. RODMAN

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — What kind of leadership style works best for a seder? During a period when we are experiencing a shake-up in national leadership, you may want to re-examine the relationship that exists between leader and participants at the Passover meal.

Though seder leaders...
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How to survive political arguments during the first seder of the Trump era

Holocaust Survivor Felix Fibich

By BEN SALES

NEW YORK (JTA) — After Donald Trump won the presidential election, Sheila Katz wasn’t sure she wanted to come home for Thanksgiving.

As the politically liberal member of a conservative family, she had been comfortable sparring with her relatives during the Obama administration. But as Thanksgiving approached, she...
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Panel discussion at WW2 Museum focuses on Nazi propaganda

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By DEAN M. SHAPIRO, SPECIAL TO THE CCJN

Although our current U.S. president was never mentioned by name during Wednesday evening’s one hour and fifteen minute panel discussion on the use of Nazi propaganda leading up to and during the Third Reich in Germany, the implications were unmistakably clear in...
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JCRS presents ‘Jewish Roots: Past, Present & Future’

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By ALAN SMASON

The Jewish Children’s Regional Service (JCRS), the nation’s oldest children’s charity, held its annual event on April 1, with “Jewish Roots: Past, Present and Future” at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The “Jewish Roots” event was the sixth such annual event and has become the largest Jewish community...
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