Despite ban, Sarah Silverman’s niece can attend Purim event at Kotel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The niece of American comedian Sarah Silverman will be allowed to attend a women’s Megillah reading at the Western Wall despite being banned from the site.

Hallel Abramowitz Silverman, 17, was one of 10 female worshipers arrested for wearing prayer shawls during a women’s rosh chodesh prayer...
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Michael Moore intervenes to help Palestinian attend Occars

(JTA) — Director and activist Michael Moore intervened to help Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat enter the United States to attend the Academy Awards ceremony.

Burnat, co-director of the film “5 Broken Cameras,” which is nominated for best documentary, was detained early Wednesday morning by U.S. immigration officials at Los Angeles...
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Israeli doctor, technician accused of harvesting eggs

(JTA) — Romanian police reportedly detained two Israel medical professionals suspected of illegally harvesting eggs from local women. Dr. Rapahel Ron-El, a fertility specialist and director of the in vitro fertilization unit at Assaf Harofeh Hospital in central Israel, and Daphna Komarovsky, a technician, were released to house arrest at their...
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Sharansky is elected to second term as head of Jewish Agency

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Natan Sharansky was elected to a second term as chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Sharansky won four more years in the vote Tuesday by the Jewish Agency Board of Governors, which is meeting in Jerusalem.

A day earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu...
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Lautenberg announces plans to retire from Senate

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) said he will not run again for the U.S. Senate. Lautenberg, 89, previously had said he would consider running again in 2014, but on Feb. 14 he told various media that instead he would dedicate the final two years of his term to passing...
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U.S. lawmakers in Cuba push for release of Gross

(JTA) — A U.S. congressional delegation is in Cuba to press for the release of imprisoned American-Jewish contractor Alan Gross. Seven lawmakers led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) arrived in Cuba on Monday for a three-day visit, according to Reuters.

The delegation plans to meet with Gross, as well as parliament...
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Pat Boone donates ‘Exodus’ song lyrics to Yad Vashem

JERUSALEM (JTA) — American singer  Pat Boone, an evangelical Christian, reportedly gave a Christmas card on which he composed the lyrics to the theme song from the film “Exodus” to Yad Vashem.

Boone gave the card with the lyrics to the “This Land is Mine” to the museum on Feb....
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Obama to receive presidential medal from Israeli president

JERUSALEM (JTA) — President Obama will receive the Presidential Medal of Distinction from Israeli President Shimon Peres. The award will be presented to Obama during a state dinner hosted by Peres in Jerusalem during Obama’s visit next month to Israel. It is the first time that a serving U.S. president will...
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Palestinians, Israeli police clash outside West Bank prison

JERUSALEM (JTA) — More than 100 Palestinians protesting outside a West Bank prison in support of hunger-striking inmates clashed with Israeli soldiers. Tuesday’s rally outside Ofer Prison took place as some 800 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails held a one-day hunger strike in solidarity with several long-term hunger strikers, including Samer...
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Dershowitz claims a leading candidate for pontiff is anti-Semite

(JTA) — Alan Dershowitz wrote in a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald that one of the leading candidates to replace Pope Benedict XVI is an anti-Semite. Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and Israel activist, was responding to a list published last week after the resignation of Benedict that...
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