Friday, September 22nd 2023   |


High Holiday services are set to return this year — with a new eternal flame — to a Texas synagogue damaged in a 2021 arson


(JTA) — A portion of the stained glass that survived the 2021 arson of an Austin, Texas synagogue has been rebuilt into a three-dimensional eternal flame that will be installed in the social hall of the synagogue’s building next week.

While the main sanctuary of the synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, is still not open, the social hall has been renovated into a transitional worship space. On Aug....

Meet Mark Robinson, the Republican frontrunner in the North Carolina governor’s race accused of antisemitism


(JTA) — The Facebook post in early August condemning antisemitic flyers left around Raleigh might not have been surprising, coming from North Carolina’s lieutenant governor.

But for Lieutenant Gov. Mark Robinson, the statement marked something of a change in tone. After the Republican was elected to the state’s second-highest office in 2020, revelations emerged that he was the prolific author of Facebook posts downplaying the threat of...

US assistant secretary for arms control to visit Israel, Turkey

( – Mallory Stewart, assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, will visit Jerusalem and the Turkish capital Ankara, the U.S. State Department announced.

Stewart will meet with Foreign Affairs Ministry officials in Jerusalem “for discussions on strategic stability, multilateral arms control, responsible uses of artificial intelligence and space security,” per a State Department readout.

A lawyer, Stewart has held her current position since 2022, previously...

Meta’s handling of ‘SpongeBob’ Holocaust denial post is taken up by independent Oversight Board


(JTA) — Meta’s independent Oversight Board is scrutinizing a post featuring a “SpongeBob SquarePants” character, in what could be a landmark case for how its platforms Facebook and Instagram moderate Holocaust denial.

The board, which issues non-binding rulings on the company’s moderation decisions, announced on Thursday that it has taken up a case involving the company’s response to complaints about a meme posted in September 2020.


Berkeley AEPi shellfish dump wasn’t antisemitic vandalism, police and fraternity say


(J. Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — Police investigating shellfish dumped on the grounds of the Jewish fraternity at the University of California, Berkeley, say they are no longer treating the vandalism as a potential hate crime.

Alpha Epsilon Pi had said it interpreted the strewn shellfish as “act of antisemitic vandalism” because shellfish is barred by Jewish dietary laws. But the fraternity, university and...

NJ township will pay $575,000 to settle lawsuit alleging discrimination against Orthodox Jews


(JTA) — New Jersey’s Jackson Township has settled a state lawsuit alleging that it used local ordinances to discriminate against Orthodox Jews, after settling both a federal complaint and a private lawsuit based on similar claims.

In the settlement with the state attorney general, Jackson Township will pay $575,000 in penalties and restitution funds, repeal the ordinances that allegedly target Orthodox Jews and adopt new policies and...

Shellfish dumped on UC Berkeley’s Jewish fraternity house on first Shabbat of semester


(J. The Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — Local police are investigating after a Jewish fraternity at the University of California, Berkeley, reported finding hundreds of shellfish dumped across its property.

The shellfish were also thrown through a window at Berkeley’s chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, in what the fraternity is calling “an act of antisemitism vandalism.”

“We go outside, we saw crayfish had been...

State Dept. condemns far-right Israeli minister for saying his right to travel in the West Bank is ‘more important than Arabs’ freedom of movement’


(JTA) – The State Department condemned far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir for saying that Jewish rights to freedom of movement in the West Bank trump those of the territory’s Arab residents.

Both Ben-Gvir and the Israeli prime minister’s office fired back, claiming that his statement had been misunderstood and that he had been referring to Israeli settlers’ rights to protection from Palestinian terrorist attacks. 


California Jewish groups, on guard against antisemitism, welcome state’s mandate that ethnic studies classes avoid ‘bigotry’


LOS ANGELES (JTA) — California Jewish groups applauded a letter from the state’s education board saying that high school courses meeting an ethnic studies mandate must avoid “bias, bigotry, or discrimination against any person or group of persons.”

The letter comes at the start of the school year, and nearly two years after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation making California the first state to require all public...

Russian court extends pretrial detention of Jewish journalist Evan Gershkovich until November


(JTA) — A Russian court has extended the pretrial detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich for another three months.

In a hearing on Thursday at Lefortovo District Court that was closed to press, a judge ordered Gershkovich to remain in detention until at least Nov. 30, a court spokeswoman said. Investigators from the FSB, a Russian state security agency, had requested the extension.

Gershkovich, 31,...