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  • Jared Kushner speaks — and the internet is obsessed

    (JTA) — Jared Kushner has given his first public speech since he became senior aide in charge of everything for President Donald Trump. And it was about as bland, scripted and New Jersey inflected as we expected. Kushner’s speech Monday kicked off Technology Week at the White House — it presumably doesn’t focus on how to set…

  • Liberal Orthodox seminary reiterates opposition to intermarriage

    (JTA) — Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, the liberal Orthodox rabbinical seminary, released a statement stressing its opposition to intermarriage following an essay by one of its graduates advocating welcoming intermarried couples. The statement, which was issued Friday, reiterates the school’s blanket ban on its rabbis performing intermarriages but supports conversion for “sincere” candidates. It also notes the…

  • Jared and Ivanka do their own thing as observant Jews. And that’s normal.

    (JTA) — So apparently Jared and Ivanka play golf on Shabbat. Cue the handwringing. The New York Post reported Wednesday that the president’s Jewish daughter and son-in-law like to hit the links on the holy day, and stay within the bounds of the Sabbath rules by walking the course (instead of driving a cart) and…

  • This 136-year-old Jewish agency for refugees has a new mission in the Trump era: Fighting back

    NEW YORK (JTA) — On Jan. 27, President Donald Trump made Mark Hetfield’s job impossible. Hetfield is the president and CEO of HIAS, an organization that resettles refugees in the United States. A week into his presidency, Trump issued an executive order barring refugees from entering the country, leaving Hetfield’s group bereft. Its supporters joined…

  • Former Israeli tennis star killed using popular NY bike-sharing service

    NEW YORK (JTA) — A former Israeli youth tennis star and coach is the first person to die while using Citi Bike, New York City’s bicycle-sharing service. Dan Hanegby, 36, of Brooklyn, died after he swerved to avoid a parked car and hit a bus in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on Monday, according to…

  • Inside the $125 million Jewish international aid industry

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Eighty percent of Jews live in two countries — Israel and the United States — but Jewish organizations are spending more and more of their money elsewhere. Jewish aid to the developing world — the impoverished set of countries your zayde called the “third world” — has grown quickly in the…

  • Alan Dershowitz explains why he is assisting a group accused of promoting female genital mutilation

    (JTA) — Alan Dershowitz is advising a Muslim group accused of promoting female genital mutilation to instead adopt a variation of the Jewish circumcision ritual. Dershowitz, the retired Harvard law professor who has worked on a number of high-profile cases, was hired recently as a consultant to a team defending two Detroit-area doctors and a wife one…

  • 80% of Reform rabbis are Democrats. That’s higher than any other clergy.

    NEW YORK (JTA) — The vast majority of Reform and Conservative rabbis affiliate as Democrats, according to a new study. The study, published Sunday by Yale University, found that more than 80 percent of Reform rabbis, and about 70 percent of Conservative rabbis, affiliate as Democrats. Both were among the top five most Democratic clergy of…

  • Michael Steinhardt thinks American Jews need to stop focusing on religion

    Mt. Kisco, N.Y. (JTA) — Michael Steinhardt has poured millions of dollars into ventures for American Jews. But he’s no fan of American Judaism. The hedge-fund billionaire turned mega-philanthropist is best known as the founder of Birthright Israel, the 10-day free trip to Israel for Jewish young adults. More recently, he’s founded a network of…

  • Conservatives lead, but Labour gains big in UK election, exit polls show

    (JTA) — The British Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, is set to gain seats following the British election, according to exit polls. By Thursday night, the exit polls showed that the ruling Conservative Party will get the most votes, but not enough to allow it to govern without adding at least one coalition partner. The…