Friday, January 21st 2022   |

National

Breaking: A man has taken at least four hostages at a Texas synagogue, including the rabbi

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — A man is holding a rabbi and several congregants hostage at a synagogue in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area. The hostage situation unfolded during Shabbat services, which the synagogue was live-streaming on Facebook.

The man is holding Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and at least three congregants hostage at Congregation Beth Israel, a Reform synagogue in Colleyville, a suburb north of Fort Worth, news outlets are reporting.

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After fires raged in Boulder, Jewish Coloradoans turned out to help — and received it in turn

By RACHEL LEIGH HALE

(JTA) — As Alan Halpern prepared to retire from his role as the executive director of Boulder’s Congregation Har Hashem, he made a list of 100 things to do with his newfound free time. He didn’t expect that first on the list would be helping his neighborhood recover from the most destructive fire in Colorado’s history.

In Halpern’s Louisville, Colorado, neighborhood of 140 houses, only three...

Ohio Republican congressman apologizes for likening vaccine mandates to Nazi-era measures

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — An Ohio Republican congressman has apologized for likening vaccine mandates to Nazi-era measures after a conversation with the state’s Jewish umbrella body.

“Bad things happen when governments dehumanize people,” Warren Davidson said in an apology he posted on Twitter on Thursday. “Sometimes there is a next step — to systematically segregate them. Unfortunately, any reference to how the Nazis actually did that prevents a...

Neo-Nazi leader sentenced to 7 years in prison for distributing antisemitic flyers

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — The leader of a Neo-Nazi group that distributed threatening antisemitic flyers to local Jewish residents, journalists and activists who tried to expose antisemitism in Seattle was sentenced to seven years in prison on Tuesday.

Kaleb Cole, a leader of the Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen, was convicted on several counts, including interfering with a federally protected activity because of religion, mailing threatening communications and conspiring to commit...

Tech company whose founder wrote antisemitic COVID screed pledges six-figure sum to local synagogue

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — When a Utah tech company wanted to make amends after its founder penned an antisemitic screed blaming Jews for the COVID-19 pandemic, they called a local rabbi to see what they could do to help.

The rabbi walked out of a Friday meeting with Entrata executives with a six-figure pledge from the company, to be used to fix up his synagogue and repair the community’s...

Robert Durst, real estate scion captured here and convicted of murdering his best friend, is dead at 78

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — When Robert Durst met Susan Berman at UCLA in the late 1960s, they had at least three things in common: They were Jewish, their mothers were dead and their fathers were connected, Durst’s to New York’s high society and Berman’s to the Vegas mob.

On Dec. 23, 2000, in Los Angeles, Durst ended the friendship with Berman with a bullet through the back of his...

Michael Lang, Jewish organizer of Woodstock festival, dead at 77

By LISA KEYS

(New York Jewish Week via JTA) — Michael Lang, the Jewish co-creator of 1969’s legendary Woodstock Music and Art Fair, died on Saturday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering hospital in Manhattan. He was 77.

The cause, according to a family spokesperson, was a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

A concert promoter who was just 24 at the time, he was one of several Jewish collaborators who made the generation-defining...

Pennsylvania Republican Doug Mastriano enters race for governor with a shofar blast

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — Doug Mastriano isn’t Jewish. But that didn’t stop him from announcing his candidacy for Pennsylvania governor at an event where a man donned a tallit, or a Jewish prayer shawl, and blew a shofar.

Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator who has fashioned a political persona for himself in the style of Donald Trump, cast doubt on the results of the 2020 presidential election and spoken...

Israel to allow US visitors back in for the first time since November

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — Israel lifted its COVID-related travel ban on visitors from the United States, United Kingdom and several other countries for the first time since restrictions were put in place in November.

According to Israeli media, the restrictions on countries given a “red” status because of their high rates of COVID cases were lifted on Thursday night.

Visitors will be allowed to enter provided they show a...

Brazilian court fines American Airlines for ’emotional suffering’ to passengers denied kosher food

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

(JTA) — A judge in Brazil fined American Airlines to the tune of $1,759 for not providing kosher meals for two passengers who had been assured they would receive it on long-distance flights.

One of the passengers had gone without food for 10 hours from New York to São Paulo. The other fasted for a total of nine hours on two flights, first from Madrid to Philadelphia...