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  • Comings and Goings: Reconstructionist rabbis pick gay leader, Kirschbaum leading ORT America

    Some comings and goings in the Jewish community: Rabbi Jason Klein becomes the first openly gay leader of a major American Jewish denomination’s rabbinic association and Linda Kirschbaum was elected to a three-year term as national president of ORT America.

  • James Franco takes time out of his busy schedule to make this great PSA.

    James Franco, the renaissance man of our generation, has two movies out right now. One of them, “Oz the Great and the Powerful” is the biggest movie in the world, though it has been critically panned. The other, “Spring Breakers,” is an indie darling that pushes the limits on teenage sexuality and violence. Yet, despite…

  • What Obama should do in Israel

    As President Obama begins his Middle East trip today, there’s no shortage of advice for what the president should do while he’s in town. From Washington, 77 U.S. senators signed onto a letter urging Obama to use the trip as an opportunity to show he stands by Israel. Some Israelis already are unhappy about Obama’s…

  • Prospect Park urges Jews not to throw chametz in lake.

    In a strange twist, Prospect park has issued a communal memo urging the Jewish community not to dump Chametz (leavened bread) into the park’s lake. They explain that the dumping of bread actually causes damage to the fowls in the lake. “For many years people have brought chametz to Prospect Park to throw into the…

  • Israeli Embassy’s Trailer for Obama’s Visit To Israel: A Closer Look

    If you haven’t heard yet, President Obama is in the Mideast this week. But that’s not the really big news story surrounding the visit. More noteworthy than the turmoil in the region, the stagnant peace process, and the history of tension between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, we finally get to see the long awaited-trailer, of Obama’s visit to Israel, courtesy the Israeli Embassy! That’s right: a trailer:

    We are as confused as you are by this video. Who does trailers for political trip? Was this made by a bunch of sixth graders? Here’s how the video breaks down, scene by scene:

    Scene #1: We watch Air Force One fly to Israel, the only blue country in a mass of brown countries — which is how maps work, by the way.

  • Arguing Zionism, settlements, and threats to the peace process

    This past weekend saw a flurry of articles and arguments surrounding the peace process and settlements in the state of Israel. Ben Ehrenreich, a novelist and features writer, wrote a long piece in the New York Times Magazine about the Palestinian village Nabi Saleh, where residents have been demonstrating every Friday against the encroachment of…

  • The pope’s Jewish baggage

    When the world learned that Jorge Mario Bergoglio had been named the new pope, Jews familiar with the man now known as Pope Francis rushed to talk about his warm dealings with the Jewish community in his native Argentina. As the JTA Archive documents, the Jewish-papal relationship has been filled with ups and downs over…