Jews in the Bible Belt’s small towns face curiosity, ignorance


CHATTANOOGA, TN. (JTA) — Sometimes, Benjamin Rosenthal thinks about leaving the small town of Indianola, Miss., pop. 11,000, where he spent most of his life. “It’s very easy to lose your identity in the Bible Belt in a town when you are the religious minority,” said Rosenthal, 25.

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At Democratic Convention, a focus on Jewish swing voters


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (JTA) — Jewish swing voters could make or break President Obama’s bid for reelection. At least that’s the case that Democratic Party leaders made in a training session that packed one of the larger halls at the convention center here on Monday, the day before...
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Rabbi Wolpe to deliver invocation for Dems

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles will deliver the invocation at a session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Wolpe said his prayer on Wednesday evening will focus on the ideals animating the United States. The prayer will precede speeches by...
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JFNA issues condemnation of recent Israeli attacks on Arabs

(Editor’s Note: The Jewish Federations of North America, through a spokesperson, issued this statement of condemnation yesterday. It is presented without edit or comment.)

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) strongly condemns recent attacks on Arabs in Israel, while recognizing the country’s leadership for its strong stance against such...
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Gabby Giffords heads home to Tucson

(JTA) — Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has moved home to Tucson. Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, reportedly bought a home recently in Tucson and moved in on Sunday. She had spent the last year-and-a-half in Houston undergoing rehabilitation after being shot during a constituent event in Tucson in...
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David Rakoff, Jewish humorist succumbs to cancer at 47

WASHINGTON (JTA) — David Rakoff, a humorist who often wrote about American Jewish culture, has died. Rakoff, 47, died Thursday in Manhattan of cancer, a disease he has battled since he was 22, according to media reports. A frequent contributor to National Public Radio’s “This American Life,” Rakoff, a Montreal native,...
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Interview with Marvin Hamlisch

Editor’s note: In October of 2006,  prior to a fundraiser performance in Cleveland, I was fortunate to conduct a interview with Marvin Hamlisch. Through the courtesy of the Cleveland Jewish News, most of that article appears here.


Marvin Hamlisch’s credits read like American musical royalty, but, despite...
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Sami Rohr, Tulane Chabad benefactor, dies at 86

(JTA) — Sami Rohr, a major philanthropist whose giving created and sustained hundreds of Chabad-Lubavitch houses around the world, including the Rohr Chabad Student Center at Tulane University, died at 86. Rohr, who died Sunday in South Florida and was buried Tuesday in Jerusalem, reportedly gave some $250 million to Jewish...
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After rampage, Wisconsin Jews attempt to console Sikhs


(JTA) – Almost as soon as she heard the news about a deadly shooting at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, Elana Kahn-Oren’s phone started ringing. As director of the Jewish Community Relations Council at the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Kahn-Oren fielded call after call from concerned area Jews asking...
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Loughner, alleged Giffords gunman, expected to plead gulity

(JTA) — Jared Lee Loughner, charged with the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the deaths of six people, reportedly will change his plea to guilty.  At a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Loughner is expected to plead guilty, Politico reported Sunday, citing the Los Angeles Times as first reporting it Saturday...
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