Sunday, August 9th 2020   |


Foul-mouthed Mikey Weinstein provokes Congress in name of religious freedom


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Mikey Weinstein couldn’t be happier to have an amendment in his honor approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Yes, the amendment, passed June 13 and designed to keep Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation as far away from the Pentagon as possible, is more in his “dishonor.” But Weinstein is the kind of guy who revels in the dislike of his adversaries.


Liberal Jewish groups unleash on doomed abortion bill


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Liberal Jewish groups fired a verbal barrage against a restrictive abortion bill passed by the Republican-dominated U.S. House of Representatives, calling it “egregious,” “outrageous,” “an affront,” and “deeply disappointing.”

Such strong language is unusual in any case for groups that must engage with Congress, but especially when a bill is dead in the water.

The bill, passed Tuesday in a 228-196 vote, would ban...

Bill Clinton visits Western Wall, expresses admiration for Jerusalem’s history

( Former U.S. President Bill Clinton visited the Western Wall on Tuesday, calling the visit “an amazing visit to a place that opens one’s eyes,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

Clinton also toured the Western Wall tunnels and expressed admiration for Jerusalem’s long history.

“I really love this place,” Clinton said, the Jerusalem Post reported. “Here we see life in Jerusalem at different times. Here there are layers of different periods,...

Yeshivat Maharat ordination carries controversy


NEW YORK (JTA) — More than three years ago, following a broad Orthodox backlash to his decision to ordain a woman with the title “rabba,” Rabbi Avi Weiss made a promise: He wouldn’t do it again.

So when Yeshivat Maharat, the school founded in 2009 by the New York activist rabbi to “ordain Orthodox women as spiritual leaders and halachic authorities,” held its first graduation ceremony on...

RCA backs Stav in dispute with Yosef

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Rabbinical Council of America offered its support to Israeli chief rabbi candidate David Stav after he was harassed at a wedding and labeled “a wicked man” by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

In its letter backing Stav, the head of the Tzohar organization in Israel for Modern Orthodox rabbis, the RCA wrote in Hebrew that it appreciates what Stav has done “for the good of...

Evelyn Kozak, world’s oldest Jewish person, dies at 113

(JTA) — Evelyn Kozak, the world’s oldest Jewish person, died in New York at the age of 113. Kozak, who was also the world’s seventh oldest person,  died last week, a day after having a heart attack. She would have been 114 in August.

She was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City in 1899, one of nine children in a family that had left...

Uri Geller was CIA spy, documentary alleges

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli magician and psychic Uri Geller worked as a CIA spy, according to a new documentary. “The Secret Life of Uri Geller-Psychic Spy,” by Vikram Jayanti, says Geller used his powers against Russia, including erasing Soviet floppy discs and changing the mind of an unnamed Russian leader in order to convince him to sign a nuclear arms reduction treaty, The Independent reported.

Geller admits in the...

Following complaints from Jewish students, FAU launches diversity website

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Florida Atlantic University (FAU) launched a website promoting diversity following complaints from Jewish groups about activities on campus by a pro-Palestinian group.

The website features a video on which faculty and students describe the Boca Raton school as diverse and open to students of all faiths.

According to the Sun Sentinel newspaper, the video was created after meetings between the university leadership and the Florida chapter of...

Florida inmate makes second request for prison brit

(JTA) — An inmate in a Florida prison made a second request to be ritually circumcised. Pablo Manuel Diaz, 37, in a letter to the Florida Department of Corrections asked for permission to have a brit in the infirmary of the Blackwater Correctional Facility in Milton performed by a mohel, or ritual circumciser, the Florida Sun Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Diaz, who is serving a life sentence, has a Jewish mother...

United Synagogue confident in face of budget gap

NEW YORK (JTA) — Despite a budget deficit twice what was expected, the leader of the Conservative movement’s synagogue umbrella group says the group will balance its budget within two years.

Rabbi Steven Wernick, the CEO of the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, told JTA that his organization was anticipating a budget hole of more than $1 million in 2013 — well beyond the anticipated $544,000 gap.

Nevertheless, the higher...