Friday, July 30th 2021   |

Jews in the News

Meet the beloved ‘Bitcoin Rabbi’ of Twitter

By LEE CUEN

(JTA) — Many of Twitter’s cryptocurrency zealots are often notorious trolls, but one particular thought leader stands out from the rest. He happens to be a rabbi.

“Twitter people either use it to scream at each other and not be nice, which I don’t like,” says micro-influencer Rabbi Michael Caras, also known as @thebitcoinrabbi. ”I enjoy connecting with my two communities through Twitter, both Jewish Twitter and...

Meet the Orthodox mom competing on ‘American Ninja Warrior’

By JACQUELINE RODERICK

(Kveller via JTA) – If you’re in need of inspiration today, look no further than Orthodox mom of four Liba Yoffe, who is competing in the current season of “American Ninja Warrior.”

Yoffe, 35, is the apparently first Orthodox Jewish woman to participate in the popular fitness competition — now in its 13th season on NBC — which pushes its athletic contestants to their limits with incredibly difficult...

NFL’s San Francisco 49ers pick a Jew of color to lead their diversity efforts

By GABE STUTMAN

(J. the Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — Though she calls herself an “art kid” at her core, Christina Jefferson is no stranger to contact sports.

Recently hired by the San Francisco 49ers to lead the NFL team’s diversity and inclusion efforts — a newly created position — Jefferson has a long history with a quite different, yet still bruising, athletic pursuit: roller derby.

In...

6 prominent Holocaust survivors have died in Europe over the past month

By CNAAN LIPSHIZ

(JTA) — The constant stream of breaking news about American politics and the coronavirus pandemic has hidden a sobering fact: Six prominent Holocaust survivors who had dedicated much of their lives to educating others against hatred have died in Europe over the past month. These are their stories.

Mikhail Zhvanetsky

Before his death on Nov. 6 at 86 in Moscow, Zhvanetsky was to Russians what Jackie Mason...

Bethany Mandel will not be canceled

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Bethany Mandel wasn’t unnerved back in May when people all over the world were decrying her as a “Grandma killer.”

After all, the mother of four and rising star in the world of conservative thinkers had invited the moniker when she posted a cri de coeur on Twitter against what she saw as indiscriminate application of quarantine restrictions.

“You can call me a Grandma killer,” Mandel wrote....

Eric Fingerhut served in Congress. He says leading Hillel was a harder job.

NEW YORK (JTA) — Eric Fingerhut believes in the “big tent.” But is the tent collapsing? For six tumultuous years, he has served as the president of Hillel International, the umbrella group for more than 500 Jewish centers on college campuses across the country. He’s leaving his position on July 1 to become the president of the Jewish Federations of North America.

Up to the end Fingerhut, a former Democratic...

These 7 Jewish comedians prove moms are really, really funny

By ARIELLE KAPLAN

When screenwriter Amy Sherman-Palladino gifted the world with “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” we here at Kveller went wild. At last there was a show (a major hit, no less!) that seemed to be aimed directly at American Jews — specifically speaking, Jewish mothers.

Although the titular character Midge Maisel has been criticized for being an absentee parent to her two young children, she is equally praised for her...

How Karl Lagerfeld cleansed Chanel of its anti-Semitic, Nazi past

(JTA) — If you walk into any wealthy Jewish American neighborhood, a careful eye will spot designer duds – Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton – sported by well-coiffed men and women as they walk through town. But in a sea of expensive excess, one designer’s name is spoken of with an air of reverence: Chanel.

It is a brand that can at once whisper and scream one’s bourgeois status. The boxy tweed...

A journal’s new editor wants to steer the Modern Orthodox debate into the 21st century

By SAM SOKOL

JERUSALEM (JTA) — American Modern Orthodoxy is in many ways an ongoing argument between Jewish tradition and modernity. Leaders and followers prefer to call it a balancing act, involving everything from how to read the Bible to agreeing on the borders of a Jewish state to whether to ordain female clergy.

That argument, or balancing act, has taken place for six decades in the quarterly journal of...

Al Franken learned about justice from his childhood rabbi

By CURT SCHLEIER

(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.

“I thought about coming into the chamber with a snowball and just packing it very tight the way we do in...