National

Jewish activists bring downtown Boston to standstill over immigrant detention

By PENNY SCHWARTZ

BOSTON (JTA) — A group of some 1,000 Jewish activists and others brought rush hour traffic to a halt in downtown Boston to protest immigrant detention in the city and across the country. Tuesday’s protest followed a similar event Sunday where 36 Jewish activists were arrested during...
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Synagogues are now conducting active shooter drills during services

By BEN SALES

(JTA) — When the ushers locked the door to the sanctuary, and the congregants prepared to flee the synagogue in preparation for a mass shooting, Rabbi Neil Cooper made sure it all happened before they had to take the Torahs out of the ark.

Ten minutes later...
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The Israel Project’s CEO is leaving amid advocacy group’s fundraising difficulties

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Josh Block, CEO of the advocacy group The Israel Project, in a surprise move said he is stepping down.

In a farewell note Monday to the group’s backers, he suggested that the difficulties of fundraising for a nonpartisan group in a polarized era was...
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Virginian GOP pol takes down ‘concentration camp’ joke after Jewish Democrat complains

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A Republican running for the Virginia state legislature removed from his Facebook campaign page a meme that mocked comparisons of migrant camps to concentration camps. Paul Milde, running to be a delegate in Virginia’s 28th district, encompassing the town of Fredericksburg about halfway between Washington, D.C., and...
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Second Democratic debate has a dramatic moment about race; foreign policy barely features

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The most dramatic moment in the second Democratic presidential debate was a showdown about race and generational differences between front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA.

In a debate that focused heavily on immigration, health care, income equality, civil rights...
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Boston rabbi suggests congregants bring guns to synagogue for protection

By PENNY SCHWARTZ

BOSTON (JTA) — A rabbi here has asked congregants to consider bringing guns to religious services as a form of protection in response to recent shootings at synagogues across the country.

Rabbi Dan Rodkin of Shaloh House in Brighton, a Boston neighborhood with a large number of Russian-speaking Jews,...
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Special prosecutor will investigate decision to drop charges against Jussie Smollett

(JTA) — A local judge in Chicago has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the decision by Cook County prosecutors to drop charges against actor Jussie Smollett for lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack.

Cook County Judge Michael Toomin on Friday said in his decision to appoint...
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New York City is considering a ban on fur. Hasidic Jews and Jewish fur dealers aren’t happy.

By JOSEFIN DOLSTEN

NEW YORK (JTA) — It’s summer and Marc Kaufman has thousands of coats in the basement of his store in Midtown Manhattan. For a fee, the fifth-generation fur dealer cleans and stores them for his customers to help prevent heat damage.

Upstairs there are racks and racks...
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Best-selling novelist Judith Krantz dies at 91

(JTA) — Best-selling novelist Judith Krantz, whose first novel “Scruples” was published the year that she turned 50, has died.

Krantz died on Saturday at her home in Bel Air, California at the age 91, Deadline reported.

According to the Jewish Women’s Archives, Krantz is the third-largest-selling female novelist in...
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John Bolton arrives for meetings in Israel amid US-Iran tension

JERUSALEM (JTA) —  U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton arrived in Israel and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amid tension between the United States and Iran.

Bolton told reporters prior to a meeting Sunday with Netanyahu that Iran should not view President Donald Trump’s decision to not strike Iranian...
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