State of Ohio purchases record $42 million in Israel bonds

(JTA) — Ohio has bought $42 million in Israel Bonds, reportedly the largest single government purchase of Israel Bonds in U.S. history. The March 1 purchase increases the total amount of Israel Bonds in the state’s treasury portfolio to more than $80 million; the Cleveland Jewish News reported it as...
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Senator Carl Levin won’t run again

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), a veteran Jewish lawmaker who for years was a major influence in defense policy, will not seek reelection.

Levin, 78, was quoted Thursday by The Associated Press as saying that his decision was “extremely difficult” but that he wanted to serve out the...
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Obama to Jews: Peace essential, but prospects bleak


WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama believes prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace are “bleak,” but he still will urge both sides to avoid unilateral actions that might further damage a process he hopes will be back on track within a year.

That was the message Obama delivered Thursday in...
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Empire halts production for a day leading to fears of kosher chicken shortage

(JTA) — Empire Kosher shut down production of kosher chickens for one day, leading to fears of a shortage for Passover.

The plant in Mifflintown, Pa., was scheduled to resume production on Monday after closing down on Feb. 28, Haaretz reported. Empire, which has a regular production schedule of Monday...
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Pollard clemency petition reaches 103,000 signatures

JERUSALEM (JTA) — More than 103,000 people have signed a petition calling on President Obama to free imprisoned spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard.

The petition, which appears in Hebrew and English, was placed online Feb. 11 and will be hand delivered to Obama during his visit to Israel later this...
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Congress introduces bill to make Israel ‘major strategic ally’

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A Republican and a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation that would make Israel a “major strategic ally,” a unique designation.

The bill, introduced Monday by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL), was timed for the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee...
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Netanyahu pledges to ask Obama for Pollard clemency

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to ask President Obama to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard while Obama was in Israel.

Netanyahu met Monday with Pollard’s wife, Esther, in advance of Obama’s visit scheduled for later this month.

“The time has long since come for Jonathan to...
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Oberlin College cancels classes over racial, anti-Semitic incidents

(JTA) — Oberlin College canceled classes to convene a “day of solidarity” following a series of racial and anti-Semitic incidents. Classes at the school in northern Ohio were suspended on Monday after someone wearing a Ku Klux Klan-like hood and robe was seen walking on campus, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

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Biden: Obama not ‘bluffing’ on Iran

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Vice President Joe Biden said President Obama is “not bluffing” when he says he will stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

The U.S. commitment “is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon period, end of discussion, period,” Biden told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s...
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Protestors urge Maryland man to grant wife a Jewish divorce

WASHINGTON (JTA) — About 50 people rallied in front of a congressional office building to protest a government employee’s refusal to grant his wife a Jewish divorce.

For slightly more than an hour on Feb. 28, the protesters waved signs and chanted slogans in support of Tamar Epstein, who is...
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