Jews in the News

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


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


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


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


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


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...
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Twenty years on, the real and radical legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach


( — He was part hippie, part yippie, part beatnik, and part New Age,”wrote Elli Wohlgelernter in a Jerusalem Post eulogy in 1994, following the Oct. 20 passing of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.

Twenty years later, more robust accounts of Carlebach’s life have come to the surface. Earlier...
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After Harvard, Alan Dershowitz plans an active – and combative – retirement


CHILMARK, Mass. (JTA) — Alan Dershowitz’s house is a bit of a mess.

Most of the rooms in his Martha’s Vineyard home are cluttered with half-unpacked boxes filled with items from his Cambridge house, which he and his wife emptied recently and sold after he retired from...
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David Letterman’s sidekick on his ‘dream job,’ Jewish upbringing


( — A Jewish upbringing taught Paul Shaffer, David Letterman’s musical director and sidekick for 32 years, the value of giving back.

After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Shaffer served as musical director for “The Concert for New York City,” and in 2012 he accompanied Adam Sandler...
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