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  • When a government won’t let you look away

    NEW YORK (JTA) — No one who has lived in Israel or even visited for an extended time can forget the top-of-the-hour news broadcasts on Kol Yisrael, or Israel Radio. Before its shutdown this week as part of a byzantine reform of public broadcasting, the government-run station preceded its brief updates with a series of…

  • Jewish life, like college campuses, could use a little more free speech

    (JTA) — Sunday night in Teaneck, New Jersey, Daniel Kurtzer and Ruth Wisse spoke at separate synagogues, roughly at the same time, about a quarter mile apart. Kurtzer, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and a professor of Middle East studies at Princeton, supports the two-state solution and doesn’t think the Israeli government is heading…

  • How JTA reported the end of World War II in Europe

    In celebration of its 2017 centennial, JTA is highlighting stories from its archive. (JTA) — On May 8, 1945, celebrations erupted around the world with news that Nazi Germany had officially surrendered to the Allies the previous afternoon. Victory in Europe, or VE Day, is marked every year on May 8 to recall the end…

  • Donald Trump visited Israel in the 1980s. Me too!

    NEW YORK (JTA) — I never thought I had much in common with Donald Trump, until I learned this week that we both visited Israel for the first time in the 1980s. Haaretz reports on the “Trump file” kept in the Israeli state archives, detailing the real estate tycoon’s brief visit to the country in 1989….

  • A famed Jewish doctor survived the Titanic — and then took his own life

    In celebration of its 2017 centennial, JTA is highlighting stories from its archive. (JTA) — No one knows the exact number of Jews who were sailing on the Titanic, which struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Europe to New York on this date in 1912. One history of the ship’s sinking suggests hundreds of Jews…

  • Spicer, Hitler and the Soup Nazi: Why can’t this White House get the Holocaust right?

    NEW YORK (JTA) — We interrupt this Passover to bring you two news bulletins: Bashar Assad is worse than Hitler. The Soup Nazi was almost a real Nazi. Let’s start with the second revelation, since Sean Spicer’s Hitler gaffe is probably better known. A former writer-producer for the sitcom “Seinfeld” tells Entertainment Weekly this week that the dictatorial…

  • Is Trump owed an apology after the JCC bomb threat arrest? Is anybody?

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Literally within seconds of the news of the arrest in Israel of an Israeli-American teenager for the bulk of the JCC bomb threats, Twitter lit up with Jewish anxiety. “[I] fear the inevitable backlash from haters who we whipped [into] a frenzy for our own nefarious political aims” is how someone responded to the…

  • The last Passover countdown checklist you will ever need

    (JTA) — The 30-day period between Purim and Passover is often fraught, especially for Jews — especially if, against all sound advice, they insist on hosting a Passover seder. To ease the challenging process of planning and preparing the festive meal, we offer this handy Passover countdown checklist: 30 days out (the day after Purim):…

  • 3 popular humorists write a Haggadah for the ‘when do we eat?’ crowd

      (JTA) — Of making many Passover Haggadahs there is no end. If the Maxwell House version doesn’t cut it for you, there are Haggadahs for vegans, for children, for chocolate lovers and even for Christians. There’s the “Santa Cruz Haggadah” for hippies and the “New American Haggadah” for hipsters. There are annotated Haggadahs for those who want to…

  • Jake Tapper’s professor brother Aaron writes an introduction to the range of ‘Judaisms’

    (JTA) — Aaron Hahn Tapper was spending the summer of 1994 studying at an Orthodox Yeshiva in Jerusalem when he was called into the office of the school’s mara d’atra, or chief legal authority. Noting that Hahn Tapper’s mother converted to Judaism under the auspices of the Conservative movement, the rabbi was blunt. “Well, it seems…