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  • Netanyahu defends suspending the Western Wall agreement. Here’s how.

    (JTA) — American Jewish leaders are calling it a betrayal. They say that 17 months after achieving a historic agreement to provide a non-Orthodox space at Judaism’s holiest prayer site, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reneged in a Cabinet vote Sunday, effectively canceling the deal and caving to the interests of his haredi Orthodox coalition…

  • LGBT Jews say it’s increasingly difficult to be pro-Israel and queer

    NEW YORK (JTA) — For years, Laurie Grauer had waved a rainbow flag emblazoned with a Jewish star at the Chicago Dyke March, sometimes marching near activists waving Palestinian flags. It had never been a problem. But this year, Grauer was confronted by the LGBT parade’s organizers, questioned about her support for Israel and asked…

  • PJ Library’s free books for kids spur Jewish connections, study finds

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Families that receive free Jewish children’s books from the Massachusetts-based PJ Library say the program has helped them feel more connected to their Jewish communities, with interfaith families especially saying it has spurred them to celebrate Jewish holidays and Shabbat and to learn more about Judaism, a new study found. The study,…

  • Former anti-Semitism envoys call on Congress to fund the office

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Two former officials who served as the State Department’s special envoy to combat anti-Semitism called on President Donald Trump to fill the position and said they expected Congress to fund the envoy’s office in the coming budget. The office of the envoy, whose job is to monitor and document anti-Semitism around…

  • Suspension of Western Wall deal leaves Jewish leaders feeling betrayed

    This story has been updated. (JTA) — They’ve tried strongly worded statements. They’ve tried private meetings with the prime minister. They’ve tried negotiations, protest and prayer. But for the past five years, despite broad internal consensus and consistent pressure, the American Jewish establishment has been unable to persuade Israel’s government to create an equitable space…

  • Most rabbinical schools lack parental leave policies — and students are not happy about it

    NEW YORK (JTA) — A few weeks after her first daughter’s due date, Catherine Clark was set to begin her fifth and final year at the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Conservative rabbinical school. Clark was excited to graduate and ecstatic to become a mother at age 40. But because the school has no policy for parental…

  • Houston Jewish federation hires its first woman CEO

    (JTA) — Houston’s Jewish federation has hired its first woman as CEO. Avital Ingber was announced Thursday as the successor to Lee Wunsch, who has served in the post for 18 years and been with the federation for three decades. The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston raises and distributes some $13 million in philanthropy each…

  • 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…