Thursday, September 16th 2021   |


Central Synagogue appoints first Asian-American rabbi to top post

NEW YORK (JTA) — The board of Central Synagogue, one of North America’s largest Reform congregations, recommended the first Asian-American rabbi to be its top spiritual leader.

The board of the Manhattan congregation voted unanimously to recommend Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl for the top post, effective summer 2014. Synagogue members are expected to approve the choice at a special meeting in January. She will replace Rabbi Peter Rubinstein, who is...

Kabbalah Centre sued by former followers

LOS ANGELES (JTA) —  The Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre is being sued for over $1 million by former followers.

In two lawsuits filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Nov. 27, claimants allege that the center pressured them “to give money until it hurts,” in order to receive “the light” from its leaders.

Carolyn Cohen, a San Diego real estate broker, said that she and one of her companies...

Ron Dermer, new Israel ambassador to U.S., presents credentials

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to —  Ron Dermer presented his credentials to U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday, officially becoming Israel’s 18th ambassador to the U.S.

Dermer, a former top aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is a 42-year-old Florida native who studied at the University of Pennsylvania and Oxford University before immigrating to Israel in 1997. Between 2005 and 2008, Dermer served as the economic attaché...

Boycott of Israel endorsed by American Studies Association

( — The national council of the American Studies Association (ASA) on Wednesday announced its adoption of a resolution to boycott Israel. The ASA’s 5,000 members now have until Dec. 15 to vote on the measure.

“Our resolution understands boycott as limited to a refusal on the part of the Association in its official capacities to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly...

Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital teetering near financial collapse

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem is on the brink of financial collapse, the Forward reported.

The hospital is facing a $300 million deficit, including $80 million accrued in the last year, according to the newspaper.

Efforts by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America to save the medical center have resulted in a break with the hospital leadership in Israel. The organization has not been able to...

Alan Gross asks Obama to intercede for his release from Cuban prison

(JTA) — Alan Gross, a Jewish-American contractor in prison in Cuba, asked President Obama in a letter to help secure his release.

The letter was sent Tuesday, the fourth anniversary of Gross’ imprisonment.

“It is clear to me, Mr. President, that only with your personal involvement can my release be secured,” read the letter, which was published by the Washington Post. “I know that your administration and prior administrations have...

Reform biennial opening to outsiders in bid to revitalize movement


NEW YORK (JTA) — First there was the Conservative movement’s October biennial conference, billed as “The conversation of the century” and opened up to presenters from outside the movement.

Then came the November General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, which featured a “Global Jewish shuk: a marketplace of dialogue and debate” led by young Israelis and Americans from outside the federation world.

Now comes...

Kanye West: Blacks don’t have same connections as Jews

(JTA) – Rapper Kanye West defended President Obama’s difficulty in passing his policies, saying “Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people.”

West made the comments last week in an interview on New York City’s Hip Hop and R&B station 105.1 FM. The interview reportedly escaped notice until the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on it on Friday.

“Man, let me tell you something about George Bush...

Olmert: Netanyahu has declared ‘war’ on U.S.

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert accused Benjamin Netanyahu of declaring war on the United States.

“We’ve declared war on the American government. You can’t deny this,” Olmert said Sunday at panel discussion during a special conference on the Geneva agreement at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, according to Israeli media.

Olmert said Israel should not be leading the international effort against Iran’s...

Sucker punch: Brooklyn Jews targeted in ‘knockout’ attacks


NEW YORK (JTA) — Chava, a student at a Chabad seminary, has lived in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn for six years, but it’s only in the past few days that she started carrying pepper spray in her handbag.

Her younger brother gave her the deterrent after news hit of a string of recent attacks against Orthodox Jews, seven of them in Crown Heights.

The assaults,...