Thursday, September 16th 2021   |


National hate crime stats flawed, ADL charges

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The 2012 edition of the FBI’s national Hate Crime Statistics Act report is flawed due to underreporting and a lack of participation,  the Anti-Defamation League said.

The ADL in a statement Monday “expressed profound disappointment” that more than 25 percent of the nation’s law enforcement agencies did not provide the FBI with their hate crime numbers, calling it “a significant setback in the progress our nation has...

Conservative synagogues wrestle with non-Jews in the pews


NEW YORK (JTA) — To an outsider, the battles might seem to be over trifles — in some cases, just a few feet.

Where may a non-Jewish parent stand in the synagogue during his child’s bar mitzvah? Can a non-Jew open the holy ark? Should non-Jewish synagogue members have voting rights?

Such questions have been pushed to the fore by the growing percentage of Conservative homes that...

Understanding the deal with Iran


TEL AVIV (JTA) — For the first time in a decade, the United States and a coalition of world powers have reached an agreement with Iran to curb the country’s nuclear program.

The deal requires Iran to limit its nuclear enrichment and freeze most of its centrifuges for six months, as well as halt construction on its plutonium reactor. In exchange, the U.S.-led coalition — including Britain,...

DIY shechitah: Kosher slaughter in the backyard


ASHLAND, Ore. (JTA) — It’s a crisp fall day in southern Oregon and Josh Shupack, 32, is gently whispering in a chicken’s ear.

“We’re going to return your soul to heaven, your blood to the earth,” he says, petting the bird’s bright red comb. “And nourish our bodies with your flesh.”

This is what Shupack tells every chicken before he cuts its esophagus and trachea with a...

White House: Israeli position on Iran would likely cause war

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel’s proposal that Iran totally dismantle its nuclear capacity in exchange for sanctions relief would likely lead to war, a top White House official said.

The official, in a conference call Wednesday with think tanks and advocacy groups sympathetic to the Obama administration’s Iran strategy, outlined the proposal that the major powers will put to Iran at a third round of negotiations in Geneva beginning Thursday.


White supremacist executed for 1977 synagogue killing

(JTA) — A white supremacist was executed in Missouri for killing a man at a St. Louis-area synagogue in 1977.

Joseph Paul Franklin, 63, was executed early Wednesday morning for the sniper shooting of Gerald Gordon, who was killed outside of the Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel synagogue in October 1977 as he left a bar mitzvah. Franklin also was convicted of seven other murders throughout the United States and claimed...

Hotel security guard facing jail time for defacing Torah scroll

(JTA) — A former hotel security guard pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge for defacing a Jewish school’s Torah scroll and prayer books.

Justin Baker, 25, of Jackson, Tenn., pleaded guilty Monday to civil rights intimidation for violating the civil rights of students of the Margolin Hebrew Academy’s Cooper Yeshiva High School of Memphis, as well as felony vandalism.

Baker will be sentenced on Dec. 30 in Madison...

Norwegian academic boycotts Kristallnacht memorial over Israel

(JTA) — A Norwegian university distanced itself from a professor who said he opposed commemorating Nazi-era pogroms because it serves Israeli propaganda.

The views expressed last week by Trond Andresen, an assistant professor in the department of engineering cybernetics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, are “far from what we stand for as a university,” Jan Erik Kaaro, a university spokesperson, told JTA on Tuesday.


Kerry postpones trip to Israel ahead of Geneva Iran talks

(JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry postponed a trip to Israel scheduled for this week. Kerry hopes to visit Israel “in the coming weeks,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday afternoon.

Kerry had indicated earlier in the day during a joint news conference in Washington with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that he would not make it to Israel as planned.

Israeli Prime Minister...

Brandeis suspends partnership with Palestinian university

(JTA) — Brandeis University suspended its partnership with Al-Quds University in light of recent events at the Palestinian school, including a Nazi-style demonstration on its main campus in Jerusalem.

Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence made the announcement Monday, saying the suburban Boston university will re-evaluate the relationship in the future. The universities have been sister institutions since 1998.

During the Nov. 5 demonstration at Al-Quds, which also has campuses in the...