Jews in the News

Orthodox billionaire Hershey Friedman: Why I bought scandal-plagued kosher meat giant Agriprocessers

By URIEL HEILMAN

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

By JOSH TAPPER

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

By URIEL HEILMAN

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?

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

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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Naftali Bennett: Time to annex parts of West Bank

By URIEL HEILMAN

NEW YORK (JTA) – Naftali Bennett, the leader of Israel’s Jewish Home party, has had a few headaches recently.

Earlier this week, one of his party’s Knesset members, Yinon Magal, resigned amid allegations that he sexually assaulted several women who worked for him. Last week, Israeli Prime...
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Bernie Sanders, he’s not — he’s Barney Frank

By CURT SCHLEIER

(JTA) — When Barney Frank first ran for a seat in the Massachusetts legislature, he more closely resembled a rumpled guy who slept in his suits than a polished pol. His campaign poster featured a photo of Frank looking typically disheveled. The slogan: “Neatness isn’t everything.”

More...
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Ivanka Trump is pregnant with her third child

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — If you can’t get enough Trump, good news: Another one is on the way!

Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judaism in 2009, announced across her social media platforms that she is expecting her third child with husband Jared Kushner, a real estate mogul who owns...
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Campbell Brown’s new education website has made her a lightning rod

By LUCY COHEN BLATTER

(JTA) — “The public school system in this country is broken,” says Campbell Brown, education-reform advocate and former NBC and CNN news anchor.

It’s this sentiment that led Campbell to create The Seventy Four, a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational news site launching Monday. The name refers to...
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Rabbi quits N.J. pulpit, finds God and community in Montana

By URIEL HEILMAN

WHITEFISH, Mont. (JTA) – Until last year, Rabbi Francine Green Roston was among the Conservative movement’s rising stars.

The first woman in the movement to head a congregation with more than 500 members, Roston, the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth El in South Orange, New Jersey, also...
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5 delightfully Jewish things from Dr. Ruth’s New York Mag interview

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) —Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the 87-year-old sex therapist and TV host, has been in the news this week for a controversial statement on sexual consent. However, she’s also been on the interview circuit to promote her new memoir, “The Doctor is In: Dr. Ruth on Love, Life, and Joie de Vivre,”...
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