N.Y. warning on controversial circumcision rite upheld

(JTA) — A Manhattan federal judge upheld a New York City health board regulation requiring parents to sign a consent form allowing a controversial circumcision rite.

U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald on Jan. 11 lifted the stay of implementing the required warning to parents of the dangers of...
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Will Republicans confirm Lew as Treasury secretary?


WASHINGTON (JTA) – Jacob Lew helped Orthodox observance reach the highest precincts of governance. But can a man that Republicans say “can’t get to yes” be confirmed as secretary of the Treasury? President Obama is likely to nominate Lew, his chief of staff, to the post on...
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Steinitz, Geithner agree to establish joint forum monitoring Iran economy

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz at a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner agreed to establish a bilateral forum that would periodically assess the effects of sanctions on Iran. Steinitz at the meeting Monday said Israel believed further sanctions were necessary along with a credible military...
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Giffords meets with Newtown officials to discuss gun control

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords traveled to Newtown, Conn., to discuss gun control with local and state officials. Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, spoke with the officials last Friday about such issues as gun control legislation and identifying and treating the mentally ill, according to...
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Hagel likely Defense Secretary nominee

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama likely will nominate Chuck Hagel as defense secretary early next week, according to sources. Multiple sources in the national security and foreign policy communities, including two close to Hagel, confirmed reports Friday by NBC, Foreign Policy and Newsweek that Obama was poised to name Hagel...
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Despite opposition, Obama signs anti-Iran, defense bill

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama signed a defense funding bill that included Iran sanctions he had opposed. Obama on Jan. 2 signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which would sanction entities that circumvent existing banking sanctions on Iran by paying for Iranian oil with gold and restrict dealings with Iran’s...
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Historic synagogues to meet in ritual objects spat

(JTA) — The leaders of two historic synagogues will hold a settlement conference over a set of ritual Torah decorations. A federal judge in Rhode Island will meet with the leaders of the Touro Synagogue in Newport, R.I., and Congregation Shearith Israel of New York on Thursday to discuss a...
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Israel to plant 3,000 trees to memorialize Newtown victims

NEW YORK (JTA) – More than 2,000 people have donated funds to plant a grove of more than 3,000 trees in Israel in memory of the victims of the Newtown shooting.

Hadassah has raised more than $61,000 toward the planting of trees honoring the 26 victims of the December 14...
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Post-Newtown slayings: some gun owners willing to consider curbs


NEW YORK (JTA) — The day Eric Schaefer learned that a .233 caliber semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle — a type of weapon he owned — was used to kill 26 people in Newtown, Conn., he sold his rifle to local law enforcement near his home in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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U.S. Jewish groups welcome Netanyahu’s Western Wall initiative

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Three U.S. Jewish groups welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s initiative to review restrictions on women’s prayer at the Western Wall. The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), Hadassah and the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly greeted the move by Netanyahu, who this week asked the Jewish Agency and...
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