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A defense secretary leaves and a Republican argument on the Middle East explodes into the open

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — James Mattis is quitting as defense secretary and his extraordinary resignation letter has brought into the open an argument among conservatives on whether to cut and run in the Middle East or whether to stay with no clear outcome.

The argument also touches on...
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The 50 best Jewish pop culture moments of 2018

By EMILY BURACK

What a year it was for Jews in pop culture. We can probably say that almost every year, but truly, in 2018, Jewish celebrities permeated the zeitgeist. “The Band’s Visit” – a musical set in Israel — swept the Tony Awards. Timothée Chamalet became the internet’s boyfriend....
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Herbert Barton retires from Hebrew Rest Cemetery Association

Herbert Barton, the executive secretary of the Hebrew Rest Cemetery Association for decades, officially retired in front of a number of his colleagues and friends after several decades in office. The reception marking his retirement was held on Monday afternoon, December 17, at 4:00 p.m. in the Temple Sinai social...
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JPAS showcases Irving Berlin in holiday show

By ALAN SMASON, WYES-TV Theatre Critic (“Steppin’ Out“)

Being Jewish during Christmas season presents many challenges to American Jews but, paradoxically, Jews have been behind a great many of the popular American holiday songs heard at this time of the year. As examples, jazz great Mel Torme wrote “The Christmas Song”...
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Yad Vashem holds unseen memories

By ALAN SMASON

In my two previous visits to Jerusalem, I never allowed myself the time to visit Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. I intuitively knew that a one- or two-hour tour of the facility would not be possible. Furthermore, I surmised it would also be insulting to the...
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ADL honors Steve Gleason, Oschner’s Warner Thomas

By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN

The Anti-Defamation League’s 2018 A. I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award was presented to former New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason and Ochsner Hospital CEO Warner Thomas at a gala dinner on Wednesday evening, Dec. 5, at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel.

The...
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Chabad’s Chanukah at the Riverwalk marks 29 years

By ALAN SMASON, Special to the CCJN

The Chabad Lubavitch of Louisiana organization ushered in the Chanukah holiday as it has done for the past 28 years with music, song and holiday food this past Sun., Dec. 2. The Spanish Plaza area now run by the Riverwalk Outlet Connection Mall...
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CCJN, Jewish media take on Jerusalem as part of November summit

(JNS.org) — “From our earliest days and all throughout history, our words have defined who we are,” President Reuven Rivlin said from the podium at the President’s Residence to a crowd of more than 150 Jewish journalists on the last day of the Nov. 25-28 Jewish Media Summit.

...
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UPDATE: Touro announces Rabbi Berk is leaving

In an email sent on Tuesday, Dec. 4, Touro Synagogue president Teri Hunter and Senior Rabbi Alexis Berk have both announced that the rabbi has elected to take a new position as the senior rabbi at Temple Solel in San Diego, CA., effective in June of 2019.

Hunter...
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Jewish Media Summit focused on ‘new’ media

By ALAN SMASON, Special to the CCJN

The third biannual Jewish Media Summit put on by Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO) has ended, but the ramifications of the November 25-28 gathering and its sensory delights will reverberate for some time to come.

The initial outreach from the GPO was to...
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