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  • Claims Conference secures major increase in aid to survivors through 2018

    (JTA) — The Claims Conference, which manages aid to Holocaust survivors, has negotiated a budget increase through 2018, including the largest one-time increase in homecare funding the organization has ever secured. In talks with the German government, the Claims Conference secured nearly $312 million in homecare funding for survivors in 2016, approximately $350 million for…

  • Abner Mikva, judge and congressman who mentored a president, dies at 90

    (JTA) — Abner Mikva, a federal judge and congressman who served as a mentor to a range of Democratic politicians from the Chicago area, died at age 90. Mikva died Monday in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune. His political career, spanning five decades, saw him serve in state and national office as well as all three branches…

  • Jewish groups putting up a fight against growing opioid epidemic

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Eve Goldberg’s son, Isaac, was in a panic. He had to get out of college. Isaac Goldberg Volkmar had been at the University of Rhode Island for less than a semester in 2009 when he called his mother desperate to escape. He had joined a fraternity, where his brothers got him…

  • In New York race, a gay religious Jewish upstart challenges a 12-term incumbent

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Rep. Jerry Nadler, a graduate of the Crown Heights Yeshiva who represents one of the country’s most Jewish congressional districts and is the co-founder of the congressional Israel Working Group, likely never expected to be called anti-Israel. But the 12-term incumbent’s Democratic primary challenger, Oliver Rosenberg, a gay Yeshiva University graduate,…

  • Donald Trump would let Israel decide on Palestinian state, says adviser

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Donald Trump would retreat from the longstanding American commitment to establish a Palestinian state if elected president, an adviser to the Republican candidate said. In an interview with Israeli daily Haaretz, Trump adviser David Friedman also said the presumptive Republican nominee would support the expansion of Israeli settlements. American presidents of…

  • 2 Israelis lightly hurt in West Bank car-ramming, assailant killed

    (JTA) — A car-ramming outside the West Bank settlement near Hebron lightly injured an Israeli husband and wife in an apparent terror attack on Friday. The assailant, a Palestinian woman, was shot dead by a soldier at the scene. The couple, in their 50s, had pulled over to the side of the road near a…

  • Israeli Chief Rabbinate rejects conversion by respected Orthodox NY rabbi

    NEW YORK (JTA) — The Israeli Chief Rabbinate has deemed invalid a conversion performed by Haskel Lookstein, one of America’s most prominent modern Orthodox rabbis. The decision to invalidate Lookstein  is the latest salvo in an ongoing dispute between the haredi-dominated rabbinate in Israel and Modern Orthodox rabbis abroad about who gets to wield Orthodox rabbinical…

  • ‘Reverse Birthright’ gives Israelis a look at America’s Jews, from Philip Roth to the Three Stooges

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Instead of visiting the Western Wall, they visited Ellis Island. Instead of hiking in the Negev Desert, they took a day trip to a Habonim-Dror summer camp. Instead of basking in the sun on the Tel Aviv beach, they watched a production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” And instead of Birthright,…

  • NY Hasidic singer Lipa Schmeltzer stars in Israeli Pepsi Max ad

    Lipa Schmeltzer, Hasidic pop star and glasses fashionista, can now add another line to his resume: Israeli Pepsi Max endorser. Lipa, who has broken with his Brooklyn haredi Orthodox community in supporting the State of Israel, recorded a minute-long Pepsi Max commercial blending Israeli culture with his own Yiddish roots that was published online Monday….

  • Sandra Lawson, black lesbian vegan rabbinical student, hopes to redefine where Judaism happens

    PHILADELPHIA (JTA) — Sandra Lawson didn’t expect to perform a public benediction at her local pub in this city’s Roxborough neighborhood. But when her friend Jay, who was entering firefighter training, asked her for a blessing earlier this year, she stood with him in the middle of the room and put her rabbinical school training…