Thursday, August 11th 2022   |


In Jerusalem, a Torah lesson from Biden shows his grasp of Judaism’s quirky calendar

(JTA) — Throughout President Joe Biden’s visit to Jerusalem this week, he has underscored the ways that he believes the United States and Israel are aligned. But in his remarks Thursday afternoon after being honored by the Israeli government, he alluded to one arcane way that the two countries are not on the same page — literally.

In accepting Israel’s Presidential Medal of Honor from its president, Isaac Herzog, Biden...

Joe Biden shook hands in Israel despite planning not to. Then a pop star left him hanging.


(JTA) — For the first day of Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, the buzz about handshakes was that, despite a pandemic-related plan, he was giving them at all.

That changed on Thursday afternoon. That’s when Yuval Dayan, an Israeli pop star, left the U.S. president hanging after Biden extended his hand to her.

Dayan and another singer named Ran Danker had just performed a rendition of the...

Pop artist Peter Max’s court battles are a clash between children of Holocaust survivors


(New York Jewish Week via JTA) — The latest chapter of the surreal saga over who is making decisions for the aged pop artist Peter Max is pitting two children of Holocaust survivors against each other.

One is Libra Max, Peter Max’s daughter. The other is Barbara Lissner, an attorney who represents Holocaust survivors, including in their efforts to secure restitution. She became Peter Max’s guardian in...

Jewish interest in active shooter training soared after recent attacks


When the newly established Community Security Initiative in New York began offering active shooter response trainings shortly after it was founded in February 2020, there seemed to be limited interest among synagogues and local Jewish institutions.

Over two years, only about five area Jewish institutions underwent such trainings, according to Mitch Silber, executive director of the Jewish community program.

But then one Shabbat morning this past January,...

In a blow to Israel’s religious establishment, Israeli court rules that online marriages must be honored


(JTA) — A small-scale bureaucratic tweak in the United States could have sweeping consequences for Israelis who have long sought to allow civil marriage in their country.

A district court in Lod, an Israeli city, ruled Friday that Israel’s Interior Ministry is required to recognize the marriages of couples who use a virtual wedding service provided by Utah County in Utah.

If the decision stands, it would...

A Jewish camp is reassuring families amid a ‘social media offensive’ over its inclusion of trans children


(JTA) — A Jewish summer camp in southern California is reassuring families after a prominent anti-LGBT+ Twitter account, Libs of TikTok, called attention to a year-old “diversity and inclusion” statement on its website.

“Camp Ramah, which owns tens of camps across the country, announced they are housing kids according to their gender identity rather than birth sex,” the account tweeted Wednesday afternoon. It linked to a document...

Ben & Jerry’s sues parent company Unilever over sale of Israeli business


(JTA) — Ben & Jerry’s is not letting go of its West Bank pullout goal without a fight — with its parent company.

The iconic ice cream brand has filed a lawsuit against Unilever over its decision last week to sell the Israeli arm of the business to Israel-based franchise, American Quality Products, Ltd., which will continue to sell Ben & Jerry’s in the West Bank.


Rachel Levine, transgender deputy secretary of health, issues call ‘to stand against bullying’ at Israel embassy event


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Speaking at an Israeli embassy Pride event, Rachel Levine, the openly transgender Jewish deputy secretary of health in the Biden administration, called on people to “stand together against bullying” of trans people.

“The past few months have been a difficult time for our LGBTQI-plus community in the United States,” Levine, dressed in uniform as the admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps,...

What you need to know about Highland Park, the very Jewish Chicago suburb rattled by July 4 shooting


(JTA) — In 2014, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency included Highland Park in an article on communities across the country that were melding Jewish pride into their ceremonies for July 4, which that year fell on Friday, just before Shabbat.

Locals were used to seeing a 1953 pickup truck drive through their suburb and others along Chicago’s North Shore blaring a mashup of the song “Yankee Doodle Boy”...

Orthodox women built businesses and friendships online. They’re being told to sign off.


(JTA) — Shaindy Braun and her wig business had nearly 40,000 followers on Instagram, amassed over nine years, when she abruptly announced her departure from the social media platform.

“I choose to leave this world of likes, followers and filters,” Braun wrote last week. “I will be leaving Instagram to live in the real world. I want to focus on curating my real life, filtering my thoughts...