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  • In rare unity, Orthodox and liberal denominations are critical of Trump refugee ban

    (JTA) — Two large groups representing Orthodox Jews responded to President Donald Trump’s executive order barring migrants from seven mostly Muslim countries and refugees from around the world by warning against policies that would place any limits on immigration based on religion. With the combined statement by the Orthodox Union and Rabbinical Council of America, all…

  • After Trump ban, Chicago-area synagogue turns from welcoming refugees to protesting

    CHICAGO (JTA) — Taylor Clearfield went to the airport Friday to welcome a Syrian refugee family. The next day, she returned with a sign to protest the ban on refugees entering the United States. President Donald Trump had enacted the prohibition via executive order on Friday afternoon, between Clearfield’s two trips. She had anticipated the development, but hearing…

  • Conservative movement proposes allowing non-Jews as synagogue members

    (JTA) — Responding to a rising number of interfaith families, Conservative synagogues will be voting on a measure from their umbrella body that would allow congregations to admit non-Jews as members. Currently, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s Standards for Congregational Practice restrict synagogue membership to Jews. But the new language, which congregations will vote on in March,…

  • Twitter account tells tragic tales of Jewish refugees killed after US turned them away

    (JTA) — In May 1939, as the Holocaust was beginning, the United States turned away the M.S. St. Louis, a ship carrying 937 mostly Jewish refugees from Europe. Returning to Europe, 288 were taken in by Great Britain; of those trapped in Western Europe when Germany conquered the continent, 254 died. Now a Twitter feed is recalling…

  • Jared Kushner’s college rabbi recalls a snow-shoveling student mega-donor

    (JTA) — Jared Kushner was already a regular at the Harvard Chabad when he walked in one day, took a crumpled piece of paper out of his jacket pocket, put it down on the table and walked away. It was a personal check for $18,000. “’I have some deals that really went well, so I…

  • Trump draft order temporarily barring refugees decried by Jewish groups

    (JTA) — Several liberal Jewish groups have decried a leaked draft of an executive order from President Donald Trump that would temporarily bar refugees and immigrants from some Muslim countries from entering the United States. The draft, which was leaked to the media Wednesday, bars the entrance of noncitizens from certain Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq,…

  • For Jewish groups in Women’s March, many causes to fight for and a long road ahead

    (JTA) — One Jewish group that joined the Women’s March on Washington has seen its online donations double since the election of Donald Trump as president. Another has twice as many guests as usual attending its annual conference. A third has seen its social media engagement skyrocket. And after bringing thousands of Jews to the…

  • Jewish groups toe ideological lines in reactions to Trump inaugural address

    (JTA) — Reacting to the inaugural address of President Donald Trump, Jewish groups stuck to their ideological bearings. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations praised the unifying portions of Trump’s speech and called on him to safeguard Israel’s security and other Jewish interests. “We welcome President Trump’s acknowledgement of the need to…

  • With Betsy DeVos pushing school choice, Ohio Jewish schools sing its praises

    (JTA) — When Kathy Mioni took over as the principal of Akiva Academy in the post-industrial city of Youngstown, Ohio, the school had 52 students and was in danger of closing within a year. Seven years later, the Jewish community day school’s enrollment has grown by an even 100 and expanded by two grades —…

  • Donald Trump, taking office, pledges to put ‘America first’

    (JTA) — President Donald Trump promised to put “America first” in his inaugural address, pledging to prevent other countries from taking advantage of the United States and to return control of the country to its people. Taking office at noon Friday following a tumultuous and divisive presidential campaign, Trump said his term would herald a…