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is JTA's Associate Editor for Digital. Follow him on Twitter at @GabeFriedman563

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  • Drake breaks record with 13 honors at Billboard Music Awards

    (JTA) — Drake continued his record-breaking ways, taking home 13 honors at the Billboard Music Awards, including as top artist. The Jewish rapper also won as top male artist, top Billboard 200 artist and top rap artist on Sunday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on the way to snapping the Billboard awards mark…

  • This Israeli film about Orthodox Jews is a surprise hit overseas

    (JTA) — It’s safe to call the Israeli film “The Women’s Balcony” the opposite of a Hollywood blockbuster. The movie, directed by Emil Ben-Shimon, is a sensitive, slice-of-life story that focuses on the rift caused in a modern Orthodox community in Jerusalem when a Hasidic rabbi offers to fill in for the congregation’s leader, who…

  • Kevin Pillar suspended by Blue Jays for homophobic slur

    (JTA) — The Toronto Blue Jays suspended their center fielder Kevin Pillar for two games after he hurled an anti-gay slur at an opposing pitcher. Pillar used the slur against Jason Motte of the Atlanta Braves during a game Wednesday night when he thought the pitcher tried to “quickpitch” him — throw a pitch before…

  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged to deport former Nazi guard living in New York City

    (JTA) — A New York congressman has asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to deport a former Nazi guard living in New York City. Rep. Joseph Crowley, a Democrat, sent Tillerson a letter on Tuesday urging him to deport Jakiw Palij, 92, of Queens, who was a guard at the Trawniki concentration camp in occupied…

  • Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler met US ambassador David Friedman at the Western Wall

    (JTA) — Just another day at the Western Wall. Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, who is in Israel to play a concert, ran into the new U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, at the holy site on Monday. The grizzled rocker and the white-haired diplomat were quite the odd couple, making for an interesting photo op….

  • Robert De Niro’s Jewish roles: A very short list

    (JTA) — Yeah, I’m talking to you, De Niro. What’s with your short list of Jewish roles? Of course, Robert De Niro is not Jewish. The two-time Academy Award-winner is best known for mining his own Italian heritage for many of his iconic characters — from boxer Jake LaMotta in “Raging Bull” to mafioso Vito…

  • Watch this Moroccan-Jewish comedian skewer Trump’s travel ban

    (JTA) — Gad Elmaleh is one of the most popular comedians in France, where he has performed to arenas full of thousands of fans. But last year, the Jewish standup decided to move to New York, to challenge himself to succeed in English. He’s no stranger to international moves: He grew up in a Sephardic family…

  • When Hitler was a popular Jewish last name in New York

    (JTA) — “Herr Adolf Hitler of Germany would be covered with confusion if he dared to enter the strictly kosher home of Mrs. Rose Hitler, pretty young Jewish housewife, who lives at 233 E. 92nd Street, in the heart of Brooklyn’s Brownsville.” That is the start of an improbable JTA article from June 1933, entitled…

  • Fidget spinner was invented to stop Palestinian kids from throwing rocks at Israelis

    (JTA) — Do we have Palestinian rock throwers to thank for the fidget spinner? The inventor of the ubiquitous stress-reducing toy says she came up with the idea during a trip to Israel in the 1980s, during the First Intifada, as a way to distract the “young boys throwing rocks at police officers.” Catherine Hettinger…

  • Debra Messing bashes Ivanka Trump as ‘one Jewish mother to another’

    (JTA) — Tell us how you really feel, Debra Messing. Accepting an award from GLAAD, an LGBT advocacy group, on Saturday night, the Jewish actress implored Ivanka Trump to stand up to her father, President Donald Trump, on a number of issues, from healthcare to immigration policies to LGBTQ rights, Messing, who starred on the…