Friday, July 30th 2021   |

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Ted Cruz blocks bill advancing Israel-Arab normalization, citing pressure on Israel to reach two-state solution

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — Sen. Ted Cruz is blocking the advance of a bill that would promote normalization between Israel and Arab states because it includes language enshrining a two-state solution as the preferred U.S. outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Cruz is proposing amended language that does not remove a reference to a two-state outcome, but makes it clear that it should be Israel’s prerogative.

“Senator Cruz believes that...

At least 50 CUNY professors quit union over resolution calling Israel a ‘settler-colonial state’

(JTA) — At least 50 professors at the City University of New York have quit their union following passage of a resolution condemning Israel.

The New York Post on Sunday quoted James Davis, president of the Professional Staff Congress, as saying that the professors have quit in the wake of the resolution or signaled their intention to do so.

The union represents academic staff at CUNY.

Davis suggested that there...

Synagogues made COVID-safe High Holiday plans. Then came the Delta variant.

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — The leadership team at Ikar, a synagogue in Los Angeles, had just begun planning to move their services indoors. They had gone through a year of virtual services followed by several months of outdoor services for members vaccinated against COVID-19.

Then the Delta variant hit.

Now the synagogue, like many across the country, is reevaluating how to organize its High Holiday services, balancing the high...

Legendary Jewish stand-up comedian Jackie Mason dies at 93

– Jackie Mason, a former rabbi who went from Catskills comic to hit one-man shows, passed away on Saturday at the age of 93.

Mason died at 6:00 p.m. at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. His death was confirmed by longtime friend and entertainment lawyer Raoul Felder, AP reported.

His memory was honored by celebrities of all stripes. Jason Alexander of “Seinfeld” fame tweeted, “I took my folks to...

Jackie Mason was a Jewish American comedy icon. These videos show why.

By PHILISSA CRAMER

(JTA) — Jackie Mason, who died Saturday at 93, didn’t always set out to be a comedian. In fact, it wasn’t until he was 30 that he left behind the Orthodox rabbinate for irreverent open-mic nights.

Mason, born Yacov Moshe Maza to Orthodox parents, was one of the last survivors of the Borscht Belt comedy circuit that propelled a host of Jewish funnymen, including Jerry Stiller and...

5 states are considering sanctions on Ben & Jerry’s after West Bank pullout

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — It has been a question insiders have posed all week: Could Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop selling its ice cream in the West Bank trigger many or all of the laws that U.S. states have passed in recent years to hurt the Israel boycott movement?

Well, five states are already looking into it.

Officials in Florida, Texas, New York, New Jersey and Illinois are...

Dani Dayan, former Israeli diplomat in NY and settler leader, picked to chair Israel’s Holocaust museum

(JTA) — Dani Dayan, Israel’s former consul general to New York and a past leader of Israel’s West Bank settlements, is the choice as the next chair of Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum.

The announcement, reported by The Jerusalem Post, follows a controversy over who would succeed Avner Shalev as the head of the revered Israeli institution. Shalev is retiring after 27 years at the helm.

Last year, then-Prime Minister...

Two rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel, IDF responds with artillery fire

– The Israel Defense Forces shelled targets in Lebanon on Tuesday morning after two rockets were launched from Lebanon at northern Israel on Monday night.

Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system downed one of the rockets, while the second fell in an open area, according to the military. No injuries or damage were reported, and the IDF Home Front Command issued no special guidelines for residents of the north.

...

Fashion podcaster accused of anti-Semitism: ‘I owe the Jewish community an apology’

By BEN SALES

(JTA) — Recho Omondi, a fashion podcaster who was accused of anti-Semitism for comments in a recent interview she conducted with a Jewish writer, has posted a lengthy apology to her listeners.

“I owe the Jewish community and anyone else who’s offended by my words an apology,” Omondi said in a six-minute segment uploaded Tuesday morning to her podcast channel, The Cutting Room Floor. “I said some...

The AP predicts that Israel will win 7 Olympic medals. That would make history.

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — Will it be a historic Olympics for Israel? The Associated Press thinks so.

On its list of predicted medalists for each event in Tokyo published Monday, the news agency includes seven Israeli athletes. The Jewish state has won nine medals in its entire Olympics history. This year, Israel is sending its largest delegation of athletes by far — 90, compared to its previous high of...