Thursday, October 29th 2020   |


JFNA issues condemnation of recent Israeli attacks on Arabs

(Editor’s Note: The Jewish Federations of North America, through a spokesperson, issued this statement of condemnation yesterday. It is presented without edit or comment.)

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) strongly condemns recent attacks on Arabs in Israel, while recognizing the country’s leadership for its strong stance against such violence. We applaud Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders who have forcefully expressed their dismay and opposition to these...

Gabby Giffords heads home to Tucson

(JTA) — Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has moved home to Tucson. Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, reportedly bought a home recently in Tucson and moved in on Sunday. She had spent the last year-and-a-half in Houston undergoing rehabilitation after being shot during a constituent event in Tucson in January 2011.

The Arizona Democrat resigned from Congress in January to concentrate on her rehabilitation. She will continue her therapy...

David Rakoff, Jewish humorist succumbs to cancer at 47

WASHINGTON (JTA) — David Rakoff, a humorist who often wrote about American Jewish culture, has died. Rakoff, 47, died Thursday in Manhattan of cancer, a disease he has battled since he was 22, according to media reports. A frequent contributor to National Public Radio’s “This American Life,” Rakoff, a Montreal native, embraced his misfortunes with a cheerful negativity.

A book of his essays was named “Half Empty.” “Optimism is not for...

Interview with Marvin Hamlisch

Editor’s note: In October of 2006,  prior to a fundraiser performance in Cleveland, I was fortunate to conduct a interview with Marvin Hamlisch. Through the courtesy of the Cleveland Jewish News, most of that article appears here.


Marvin Hamlisch’s credits read like American musical royalty, but, despite his many accomplishments, he is not content to sit on his laurels. He is happy when he is busy, and...

Sami Rohr, Tulane Chabad benefactor, dies at 86

(JTA) — Sami Rohr, a major philanthropist whose giving created and sustained hundreds of Chabad-Lubavitch houses around the world, including the Rohr Chabad Student Center at Tulane University, died at 86. Rohr, who died Sunday in South Florida and was buried Tuesday in Jerusalem, reportedly gave some $250 million to Jewish causes, especially Jewish education and culture, through his Rohr Family Foundation.

Rohr, a former Colombian Jewish real estate mogul who...

After rampage, Wisconsin Jews attempt to console Sikhs


(JTA) – Almost as soon as she heard the news about a deadly shooting at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, Elana Kahn-Oren’s phone started ringing. As director of the Jewish Community Relations Council at the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Kahn-Oren fielded call after call from concerned area Jews asking what they could do to help.

“We have to make sure to be respectful of the Sikh community and to...

Loughner, alleged Giffords gunman, expected to plead gulity

(JTA) — Jared Lee Loughner, charged with the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the deaths of six people, reportedly will change his plea to guilty.  At a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Loughner is expected to plead guilty, Politico reported Sunday, citing the Los Angeles Times as first reporting it Saturday night. He had pleaded not guilty to 49 charges connected with the shooting.

The change is reported to be in...

Aly Raisman, Jason Lezak shine for Team USA

By JTA Staff

(JTA) – While both took to the podiums in London this week to receive medal, 18-year-old Aly Raisman’s Olympic star was rising as 36-year-old swimmer Jason Lezak’s appeared to be setting. Raisman, of Needham, Mass., helped Team USA take the women’s team gold on Tuesday — the first Olympic gold medal for the U.S. gymnastics squad since the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Also, Raisman is favored to...

Romney visit reveals falling visibility of Palestinian issue


JERUSALEM (JTA) – Mitt Romney’s policy speech in Israel covered plenty of bases: The presumptive Republican presidential candidate spoke about the status of Jerusalem, the threat of a nuclear Iran, the “tumult” of the Arab Spring and the “enduring shared values” that bedrock the U.S.-Israel relationship. But there was one topic that gained little attention: Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. The word “Palestinian” did not appear once...

Loyal reader donates kidney to longtime j weekly editor


SAN FRANCISCO (j. weekly) — Toby Adelman loves to put people together; she has been doing so with gusto her entire life. But last month, the 54-year-old San Jose resident outdid herself with the most extraordinary — and personal — connection she’s ever made. Adelman donated one of her kidneys to someone she met only two weeks before the surgery, but with whom she already felt a deep,...