Saturday, July 2nd 2022   |

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Yair Lapid becomes Israeli prime minister with congratulations from Biden

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

(JTA) — Ahead of his first presidential visit to Israel, Joe Biden congratulated Yair Lapid on becoming prime minister on Thursday, following the resignation of his predecessor Naftali Bennett.

“Congratulations to @YairLapid, Israel’s new Prime Minister, and thank you to Alternate Prime Minister @NaftaliBennett for your friendship over the past year. I look forward to seeing you both in July to celebrate the unbreakable U.S.-Israel partnership,” Biden...

Following bitter debate, Ben & Jerry’s owner reaches deal to keep ice cream in Israel and the West Bank

By ANDREW LAPIN

(JTA) – After nearly a year of legal and financial battles, Ben & Jerry’s will continue to be made and sold in Israel and the West Bank, as its parent company Unilever announced Tuesday it had reached an agreement with its current Israeli licensee to assume ownership of the brand in the region.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Unilever is selling its Israel business interest...

‘After Shabbat, we will act’: American Jews gear up for wave of post-Roe activism

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — An array of Jewish groups across the country are kickstarting into action to protest and potentially challenge the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that had enshrined the right to an abortion in the United States.

The 6-3 decision released Friday has many Jewish activists buzzing about how to respond to the bombshell ruling that they find a...

A 5th Israeli election in 3 years? Here’s how we got here and what happens next.

By GABE FRIEDMAN and RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — It has become a common refrain: Israel is heading towards another national election. A whopping five times since 2019, to be exact.

On Monday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, the two men who had cobbled together a historically diverse coalition to oust Benjamin Netanyahu from power a year ago, announced that they will help fast-track a bill to...

Sandy Koufax honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium

By JACOB GURVIS

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — For Jewish sports fans around the world, Sandy Koufax has for decades occupied an unmatched legendary status. 

Now, 57 years after the Hall of Fame pitcher sat out a World Series game to observe Yom Kippur, Koufax has officially been immortalized with a statue at Dodger Stadium — next to his former teammate, Jackie Robinson.

The Los Angeles Dodgers unveiled the Koufax statue...

White House announces President Biden will visit Israel, Middle East

By ALAN SMASON

In a statement by White House Press Secretary Karine-Jean Pierre, it was announced that President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will visit the Middle East region from July 13-16 including to Israel.

The reason for the trip Pierre said is “to reinforce the United States’ iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security and prosperity and attend a Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan (known as...

WhatsApp’s reclusive founder has quietly become a megadonor to Jewish causes

By ASAF SHALEV

(JTA) – The fighting in Ukraine has been called “a WhatsApp war” amid widespread reliance on messaging apps by journalists, soldiers and ordinary civilians, and their central role in spreading propaganda. 

Meanwhile, WhatsApp’s inventor, a Ukrainian-born Jew whose creation made him one of the wealthiest people in the world, has kept conspicuously quiet throughout the conflict. Jan Koum, who controls a multi-billion-dollar charitable foundation, has not uttered a public word even as...

Billy Crystal performs ‘Yiddish scat’ at the Tony Awards

By ANDREW LAPIN

(JTA) – “Ella Fitzgerald, wherever you are, I apologize in advance.”

Billy Crystal gave this year’s Tonys a jolt of Jewish shtick when he coaxed the audience into a call-and-response “Yiddish scat” routine, as part of a live performance to promote his Broadway musical, “Mr. Saturday Night.”

In a good-faith mockery of Fitzgerald’s own famous “scat” routine, Crystal, in character as his show’s fading comedian star Buddy...

Rabbi Deborah Silver prepares to leave NOLA; reflects on her legacy

By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN

Rabbi Deborah Silver, the spiritual leader of Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation for the past six years, has been busy for much of the past month preparing for Shavuot, but also packing her belongings in anticipation of her return to Los Angeles, the place from which she received her rabbinic training. 

Silver, the first female Conservative rabbi to lead a Louisiana synagogue, is bittersweet...

5 Jewish questions about the Jan. 6 committee hearings, answered

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol is about to tell a story, and it comes with a warning: Some parts might be unsettling to Jews.

The committee, chaired by Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, is launching primetime hearings at 8 p.m. eastern Thursday night. They will be broadcast on ABC, NBC, CBS,...