Tuesday, January 26th 2021   |


Obama nominates Pritzker, Froman for top trade jobs

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama nominated Penny Pritzker for commerce secretary and Mike Froman for the U.S. trade representative.

Both candidates tapped Thursday have ties in the American Jewish community. The posts, subject to Senate approval, are Cabinet level.

Pritzker, 53, a scion of the family that owns the Hyatt hotel chain, is a billionaire real estate developer and a major donor to the Chicago-area Jewish federation.

Pritzker backed Obama...

Bomb threats called in to Houston synagogues

(JTA) — Two Houston synagogues received bomb threats. The bomb threats were called in to Congregation Beth Israel, a Reform synagogue, and Congregation Or Ami, a Conservative synagogue, on Wednesday afternoon.

Both synagogues canceled Hebrew school classes for Thursday but said they would reopen Friday with more security, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The Houston Police Department, Anti-Defamation League, FBI and Department of Homeland Security all were notified about the...

L.A. man accused of defrauding Iranian-Americans is arrested

(JTA) – The FBI arrested a Los Angeles man who allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme targeting the city’s Iranian Jewish community.

Shervin Davatgarzadeh, also known as Shervin Neman, was taken into custody last week on suspicion of defrauding $3 million from mostly Jewish Iranian-American investors, the FBI said.

According to the indictment, Davatgarzadeh posed as a hedge fund manager promising to invest in the Los Angeles real estate market.


Hezbollah boss Nasrallah warns Washington on upping ante in Syria

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, warned that American involvement in the Syria crisis could invite his group’s intervention.

“You won’t be able to bring down Damascus and you cannot bring down the regime militarily,” Nasrallah said Tuesday in a televised interview, according to The New York Times. “The battle will be long.”

Nasrallah’s speech came after President Obama reiterated a pledge that evidence showing Syrian government involvement...

Obama cites liberties, Israel in heritage month declaration

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama cited the Jewish striving for freedom and the U.S.-Israel bond in his Jewish American Heritage Month declaration.

“Jewish immigrants from all over the world wove new threads into our cultural fabric with rich traditions and indomitable faith, and their descendants pioneered incredible advances in science and the arts,” Obama said Tuesday in declaring May as Jewish American Heritage Month. “Teachings from the Torah lit the...

Report: Tamerlan Tsarnaev sought ‘Protocols’ copy

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of two brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing, told a relative he was seeking a copy of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Elmirza Khozhugov, who was married for a time to Tsarnaev’s sister, Ailina, told the Associated Press in an interview published Tuesday that Tsarnaev had been radicalized by a Muslim convert whom he named as Misha.

Tsarnaev started...

New allegations of falsified identity in Michael Broyde case

NEW YORK (JTA) — A new report claims that professor and Rabbi Michael Broyde may have created a second fake persona to engage in online discourse.

Broyde, who admitted earlier this month to publishing letters in journals and gaining access to a rabbinic association under a fake name, may also have used a second fake persona, according to a report by The Jewish Channel.

In 2009, Broyde wrote an article...

Richard Stone stepping down as chairman of Major American Jewish Organizations

Richard Berenson Stone, the New Orleans native who has served two terms as the chairman of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is stepping down and is expected to be replaced when his current term ends May 31.

According to news reports, Robert Sugarman, the immediate past national chairman of the Anti-Defamation League has been nominated to take over for Stone when his current term ends. Members will vote...

What Boston hospitals learned from Israel


TEL AVIV (JTA) — Minutes after a terrorist attack killed three at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, doctors and nurses at the city’s hospitals faced a harrowing scene — severed limbs, burned bodies, shrapnel buried in skin.

For Boston doctors, the challenge presented by last week’s bombing was unprecedented — but they were prepared.

Many of the city’s hospitals have doctors with actual battlefield experience....

NY teen charged with hate crime in subway arrest that led to melee

(JTA) — The arrest of a New York teenager for harassing a kippah-clad Jewish man on a subway led to a melee that was shown on YouTube. Stephan Stowe, 17, was charged on eight counts, including aggravated harassment as a hate crime, in the April 15 incident in Brooklyn.

According to a Daily News report three days after the incident, Stowe and a group of friends approached the Jewish man...