Jews in the News

Al Franken learned about justice from his childhood rabbi


(JTA) — In February 2015, Sen. Jim Inhofe carried a snowball on to the floor of the Senate to prove global warming did not exist.

Everyone knows “it is very, very cold outside,” the Oklahoma Republican said. “Unseasonable.”

That, said Al Franken, gave him an idea.

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Meet Miss Israel 2017, a social media savvy beauty queen


TEL AVIV (JTA) — To become the Jewish state’s reigning beauty queen, Rotem Rabi first had to conquer the internet.

The 21-year-old Jerusalem-based model recently won the coveted Miss Israel crown and sash with the help of an army of online supporters.

“I want to thank all of you...
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Billy Crystal on being Jewish, playing ball and more


(JUF News via JTA) — The inimitable Billy Crystal is back on the road. The six-time Emmy Award-winning comedian, actor, producer, director and writer — most recently of a book of essays, “Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys”...
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Matchmaking Jewish father postpones interviews of prospective brides for son

(JTA) — The Jewish father who took out a full-page ad in an Idaho newspaper seeking a wife for his 48-year-old son has postponed the interviews with prospective brides he scheduled at an Idaho resort.

Arthur Brooks, 78, of Beverly Hills, California, decided to delay his interviews of potential wives...
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Who is Donald Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner?


NEW YORK (JTA) – Jared Kushner has many claims to fame.

He’s married to Ivanka Trump, daughter of the Republican presidential front-runner. He’s the scion of a philanthropy-minded Jewish family from New Jersey that is one of the biggest names in New York real estate. He’s the...
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Guinness confirms candy-making Holocaust survivor is world’s oldest man

(JTA) — It’s official: Yisrael Kristal, a 112-year-old Holocaust survivor and Israeli citizen, is the world’s oldest living man.

Guinness World Records confirmed Yisrael Kristal’s status on its website last Friday.

In January, JTA and other media reported that Kristal, who survived Auschwitz and the Lodz Ghetto, was likely the...
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Orthodox billionaire Hershey Friedman: Why I bought scandal-plagued kosher meat giant Agriprocessers


NEW YORK (JTA) – When Orthodox Jewish billionaire Hershey Friedman bought America’s largest kosher meat company, Agriprocessors, out of bankruptcy in 2009, it was the Canadian packaging magnate’s first foray into the meat business.

Getting things in order was no easy task.

The year before, federal authorities carried...
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Bernie Sanders’ Jewishness a non-issue for Iowa voters


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (JTA) — On a frigid night in what has been an unusually cold winter here, Bernie Sanders packed more than 1,200 people into the resplendent Orpheum Theatre, a nearly 90-year-old venue in this western Iowa outpost across the Missouri River from Nebraska.

After taking...
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Rabbi Lila Kagedan poised to make history with job at Orthodox shul


NEW YORK (JTA) – When Rabbi Lila Kagedan spends her first Shabbat at the Mount Freedom Jewish Center in Randolph, New Jersey, later this month, she will be making history.

A recent graduate of Yeshivat Maharat, Kagedan, 35, is the first person ordained at the Orthodox women’s...
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3 centuries after excommunication, is it time to lift ban on Spinoza?


AMSTERDAM (JTA) – More than 350 years after this city’s Portuguese Jewish community excommunicated Baruch Spinoza and banned his writings for eternity, the philosopher’s books are for sale at the souvenir shop of the community’s synagogue.

Spinoza, a Dutch-born Jewish philosopher who laid the intellectual foundations of...
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