Wednesday, June 16th 2021   |

Jews in the News

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 the 74 million school-age children in the United States.

In January, New York magazine dubbed Brown “the Most Controversial Woman...

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 published Op-Eds in local newspapers, gave talks at the Jewish Theological Seminary and more than once had a sermon cited...

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,” which was published Tuesday. In a New York Magazine interview published on Friday, Westheimer reveals some intriguing facts from her book and her...

Citing the Talmud, Dr. Ruth questions sexual consent requirements. Is her reading correct?

By JULIE WIENER

NEW YORK (JTA) — Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the octogenarian therapist and TV host, is famous for her frank and open talk about sex. But she’s being called out for her recent comments about sexual consent — and using the Talmud to back up her controversial point of view.

With her new book, “The Doctor is In: Dr. Ruth on Love, Life, and Joie de Vivre” (Amazon Publishing),...

Meet the L.A. attorney whose successful restitution effort inspired ‘Woman in Gold’

By TOM TUGEND

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — When attorney E. Randol (Randy) Schoenberg saw himself portrayed on the big screen by hunky Ryan Reynolds in the movie “Woman in Gold,” he immediately spotted a difference.

“Obviously, I’m not the sexiest man alive,” Schoenberg acknowledged in an interview at his West Los Angeles home, referring to People magazine’s designation of Reynolds in 2010. “I don’t look like Ryan, with a T-shirt...

Transgender teen comes out in emotional ceremony

By Drew Himmelstein

(j. weekly) — In the middle of the school day on March 13, the community at Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito, Calif., gathered to give a boy his name.

The boy in question was a bit older than is typical in a naming ceremony. Wearing a white button-down shirt, gray slacks and red sneakers — with red and blue patches dyed into the sides of his...

In France, new chief rabbi embraces change

PARIS (JTA) — The first thing Haim Korsia did after becoming chief rabbi of France was give his new office a thorough cleaning.

Next he redecorated to give the space a more modern look, placing his 30-inch model of a nuclear submarine — a gift from his previous stint as senior military chaplain — amid the volumes of scripture on his bookcase.

But it was what...

At 97, Holocaust survivor and mandolin player Emily Kessler gets her Lincoln Center debut

By RAFFI WINEBURG

For Emily Kessler, a Holocaust survivor, the prospect of performing at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall is less worrying than figuring out what to wear for the occasion.

“I came to the conclusion,” she said, in an interview at her apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, “that what is the difference between playing in front of three people instead of 300?”

At 97, Kessler is short and...

A time to kvell: ‘Menschkins’ celebrates its first anniversary and beyond

By JACOB KAMARAS

(JNS.org) —  While this past Rosh Hashanah marked the 5775th birthday of the world on the Jewish calendar, one humor-infused Jewish family of seven (including the dog) marked a single year down and some serious catching up to do.

On Sept. 29, 2013, co-creators Harvey Rachlin and Steven Duquette debuted an apolitical Jewish-themed comic strip, “The Menschkins,” which has been syndicated to Jewish newspapers and websites on...

Margo Howard dishes on her four marriages, three of them Jewish

By JULIE WIENER

NEW YORK (JTA) — When your mother is the world’s most famous advice columnist, you wouldn’t think you’d have to learn any lesson the hard way. But Margo Howard — daughter of the late Ann Landers and the niece of Landers’ twin sister Dear Abby (nee Esther and Pauline Friedman) — had to marry four times before she finally felt she’d gotten it right.

In her new...