Tuesday, October 19th 2021   |

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Jewish ‘comic multiverse’ explored in live streamed museum talk

By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN

Ever since comic books became vehicles for artistic expression, Jews have been at the forefront of its genesis and been responsible for creating the most popular and wildly successful franchises that have earned billions at the box office. But despite the large number of Jews associated with the comic book industry, only a few ever achieved the big paydays one would assume they...

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett to American Jewish leaders: ‘We have to redesign our relationship’

By BEN SALES

NEW YORK (JTA) — The first thing Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, facing a room full of the leaders of the American Jewish community: “I wish my mom were here.”

The son of American immigrants to Israel, Bennett, like his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, speaks a fluent, nearly accentless English, and spent years living in the United States as both a child and an adult. 

But in...

In his first UN speech, Naftali Bennett sounded different from Netanyahu

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — In his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addressed the twin threats of Iran and the coronavirus, in keeping with his quest for a relationship with the international community that is less confrontational than his predecessor’s.

Bennett launched his speech Monday morning with a plea to see Israel not as forever entrenched in warfare, but as a contributing...

As Merkel leaves power, here’s where Germany’s leading parties stand on Jewish issues

By TOBY AXELROD

(JTA) — Germany’s pivotal national election takes place on Sunday, and one thing is sure: After 16 years in office, Chancellor Angela Merkel will not be at the helm any more.

Who comes next? Pundits predict a new three-way coalition of center-left and moderate parties — most likely the Social Democrats, led by current Vice Chancellor Olaf Sholz; the left-leaning Greens, led by Annalena Baerbock; and the...

Two bills in Congress reflect split among Democrats — and Jewish Democrats — on Israel funding

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — There were two groups of Jewish Democrats working Capitol Hill this week, each leveraging their Jewishness to advance what each believed to be a critical remedy after Israel’s conflict with Hamas in May.

Those remedies were radically different. One group, led by Kathy Manning, D-NC., wanted more unconditional aid for Israel’s defense. The other, led by Rep. Andy Levin, D-MI., wanted strictures on how...

For Mallorca’s Jews, their first ‘public’ succah is a triumph over the Spanish Inquisition

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

(JTA) — Before the Spanish Inquisition, the island of Mallorca had a sizeable Jewish community. Every fall, the island became dotted with the leaf-roofed huts that Jews are commanded to erect during the holiday of Succot.

But that all changed under the Inquisition’s campaign of persecution that began in 1488 (four years before it started on Spain’s mainland) and was only officially abolished centuries later in 1834.

...

Whistle, Gotham City’s latest superhero, is Jewish. It’s a full-circle moment for the comics industry.

By JULIAN VULOJ

(JTA) — It turns out that Batman’s hometown of Gotham City has a historically Jewish neighborhood, complete with a synagogue. And for this year’s High Holidays, at least one masked superhero will be worshipping there. 

Her name is Whistle, a.k.a. Willow Zimmerman, and she’s a Jewish superhero — DC Comics’ first to be explicitly created as Jewish in 44 years. She’s an activist-turned-masked-crusader who draws inspiration from...

For Jews with eating disorders, new traditions aim to make Yom Kippur a safer experience

By ELLA ROCKART

(JTA) — Shonna Levin is an Orthodox Jew, but she won’t be spending Yom Kippur in a synagogue.

The Brooklyn activist had planned to set up camp in Prospect Park, where she was going to host an all-day gathering for Jews with eating disorders for whom the holiday centered around fasting can be especially difficult.

Levin, who herself has struggled with disordered eating in the past, was...

Prayer written for Yom Kippur asks for ‘Forgiveness’

Forgiveness, written by Aaron Samuels and produced by Reboot in partnership with Hillel International, explores the transitional spiritual space that we enter on Kol Nidre when we move from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur as part of a larger transition from one year to the next.

In this process we reflect upon our shortcomings and enter a period of repair, atonement, and forgiveness. This piece interrogates the...

UPDATE: Area synagogues prepare for a post-Hurricane Ida Yom Kippur

By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN

New Orleans area synagogues are bracing for in-person gatherings again this Yom Kippur, following virtual gatherings of Reform and Conservative congregations and limited Orthodox in-person services for Rosh Hashanah due to the passage of Hurricane Ida and the loss of electric power.

Congregations Anshe Sfard and Beth Israel will be back in business for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur in-person worship following the...