National

Episcopal Church rejects Israel divestment resolution

(JTA) — The U.S.-based Episcopal Church adopted a resolution at its General Convention Assembly calling for “a negotiated two-state solution” and “positive investment” as responses to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  Also at the meeting in Indianapolis, delegates tabled a resolution urging “corporate engagement” by the church and dissemination of “information on...
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Obama administration raps Israeli settlements report

(JTA) — The Obama administration criticized an Israeli panel finding that West Bank settlements are legal under international law. “We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity and we oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters Monday evening in answer...
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Presbyterian Church’s narrow rejection of divestment a sign of anti-Israel push

By RON KAMPEAS and NEIL RUBIN

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Proponents of using economic pressure to force Israel out of the West Bank may have lost a key battle this week — by a hair’s breadth — but they have no intention of giving up. That’s the message from backers of...
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More Reform rabbis agree to officiate at interfaith weddings

BOSTON (JTA) — Danny Richter and his fiancee, Lauren Perkins, have never been to a Jewish wedding. That’s about to change. This fall, the interfaith couple is planning to be married in a Jewish wedding ceremony. The wedding marks other significant firsts: It also will be the first time that...
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Amid ravages of wildfires, Colorado Jews unite

By DEBRA RUBIN (JTA) — The Sidmans are among the lucky ones: Their Colorado Springs home is still standing, nearly untouched by the flames that left many of their neighbors’ houses in ashes. “I was just sobbing uncontrollably, even though my house was perfect,” Renee Sidman told the Colorado Springs...
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Jewish groups react to SCOTUS ruling on healthcare

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Supreme Court voted to uphold President Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act in a 5-4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts voting in the majority on Thursday, June 28. The Court upheld the most controversial provision of the law that required all American citizens to purchase...
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Nora Ephron, writer, screenwriter and director

Nora Ephron, the celebrated novelist and essayist who had a successful film writing career veer into a career as a director, died Tuesday night in Manhattan. Her death was officially attributed to pneumonia, but it was revealed she had been battling acute myeloid leukemia for several years. She was 71....
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Vidal Sassoon, hair stylist and philanthropist

Vidal Sassoon, the legendary Los Angeles hairstylist who revolutionized his industry in the 1960s, died at his Bel Air home on May 8 after a two-year battle with leukemia. Although Sassoon lived in the glitzy entertainment world for more than a half century, he never forgot his humble beginnings in London’s East End, nor his...
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Famed children’s author Maurice Sendak dies

Maurice Sendak, the author and illustrator of children’s books including the 1963 classic “Where the Wild Things Are,” died of complications from a stroke in Danbury, Connecticut on May 7. He was 83. Born in Brooklyn, Sendak’s parents were Jewish immigrants from Poland, who lost many members of their family...
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Gertrude Stein unlisted in White House proclamation

In a tradition begun in the George W. Bush administration, the White House released a proclamation declaring the month of May as “Jewish American Heritage Month.”  As part of the proclamation, several well-known Jewish figures were cited and acknowledged for their various contributions. However, following objections from Jewish scholars and leaders,...
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