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The Romans tried to ban wild Purim parties in 408 CE – for a very good reason


(JTA) – Every year before Purim, my inbox and social media fill up with dire exhortations from rabbis and yeshivas warning against the dangers of celebratory excess – as if drunkenness on the holiday were something new.

In reality, the after-Purim regrets have been part of the...
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New Zealand Jews ‘sickened’ by mosque shootings that killed 49


(JTA) — Jewish groups from New Zealand and beyond expressed their horror at the slaying of at least 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch Friday.

The New Zealand Jewish Council is ”sickened and devastated” by the attacks, in which at least one armed individual killed dozens of...
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Segal directing new ‘Confederacy of Dunces’ play at TWNOLF

By ALAN SMASON, Special to the CCJN

Both Tennessee Williams in his plays “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Vieux Carré” and John Kennedy Toole in his novel “A Confederacy of Dunces” wrote about the quirky characters of New Orleans in a way that still captures the earthiness, grit and charm...
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Louis Moreau Institute helps conduct Rosenzweig’s return to NOLA

By ALAN SMASON, Special to the CCJN

It’s taken some six years, but native New Orleanian Morris Rosenzweig, a noted composer and conductor of new classical music, has finally achieved resident status again and made the move back to his hometown. His “pipedream,” as he refers to it, has been...
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Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption scandals, explained


(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is going to court on corruption charges — he says he’s innocent.

Netanyahu was indicted in three cases Thursday pending a court hearing. It’s the first time in Israel’s history that a sitting prime minister faces criminal charges. Oh, and...
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Netanyahu becomes first sitting Israeli prime minister to face criminal charges


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases, the first time a sitting prime minister will face criminal charges.

Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced on Thursday that he has decided to indict...
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All the Jewish moments from Michael Cohen’s dramatic House testimony


WASHINGTON (JTA) — It was hardly Michael Cohen’s first public appearance. Nor was it his first appearance before Congress.

His testimony on Wednesday to the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee was, however, Cohen’s first extended public appearance implicating President Donald Trump in crimes that will send...
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The Robert Kraft prostitute scandal is another PR headache for the ‘Jewish Nobel’ prize


(JTA) — With the announcement last month that it had picked Robert Kraft as its 2019 laureate, the Genesis Prize seemed poised for a calmer year.

Last year the foundation that awards the “Jewish Nobel,” as it’s called, picked actress and director Natalie Portman as an example...
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Gantz and Lapid appeal for ‘unity,’ Netanyahu touts ‘strong leadership’


(JNS.org) — The leaders of the new Blue and White Party–Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid—held their first political rally on Thursday night after the two candidates shook up the Israeli political scene earlier in the day.

In a joint appearance, the two men sought...
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Fawer looks back on a stellar career in new book


Mike Fawer is a no-nonsense, criminal defense attorney. Unlike the fictional Perry Mason, who never lost a case, Fawer has been defeated in the defense of his clients from time to time. But for the majority of those who hired him, his legal acumen and defense strategies have...
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