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is the managing editor of MyJewishLearning. Follow her on Twitter @Julie_Wiener

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  • Satmar decree bars women from higher education

    (JTA) — Hasidic rabbis from the Satmar sect reportedly have issued a decree barring women from pursuing higher education. The Yiddish-language decree says college education for girls is “dangerous” and “against the Torah,” and that “no girls attending our school are allowed to study and get a degree,” The Independent online newspaper based in Britain…

  • Tunisian pop star says he unwittingly posed with Arab-Israeli soldier

    (JTA) — A popular Tunisian singer with a following throughout the Arab world is under fire for appearing in a photograph with an Israeli soldier. Responding to critics, Saber Rebai, a judge on the Arabic version of the talent show “The Voice,” said he did not know the soldier, whom he met while Rebai crossed from Jordan…

  • Gaza’s last tiger — and 14 other animals left in zoo deemed ‘world’s worst’ — bound for Jordan

    (JTA) — The last remaining animals in a Gaza zoo deemed “the world’s worst” will be moved to Jordan via Israel. Foreign volunteers with Four Paws, an international animal welfare group, on Tuesday prepared the animals to leave the Khan Yunis Zoo, which has been closed to visitors since 2014, Agence France Press reported. The…

  • Jonathan Pollard to appeal decision on parole requirements

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Jonathan Pollard’s attorney announced plans to appeal a federal court’s ruling not to lift the restrictive parole conditions on the convicted spy for Israel. On Tuesday, Eliot Lauer said he would file a notice of appeal over the Aug. 12 decision in Manhattan District Court, The Jerusalem Post reported. In his…

  • Steven Hill, Orthodox Jewish actor who played ‘Law & Order’ DA, dies at 94

    (JTA) — Steven Hill, an Orthodox Jewish actor best known for playing a Jewish Manhattan district attorney on the hit TV series “Law & Order,” has died at 94. Hill, who sacrificed numerous career opportunities in order to observe Shabbat, died Tuesday in Monsey, New York, Hollywood Reporter said, citing Hill’s son, Rabbi Yehoshua Hill….

  • Knesset member introduces 3 bills to protect overweight people from discrimination

    (JTA) — Three bills that would protect overweight people from discrimination have been introduced in Israel’s Knesset. Lawmaker Tamar Zandberg of the left-wing Meretz party introduced each measure, Ynet reported. One bill, an amendment to the Prohibition of Discrimination in Goods or Services Law, would prohibit denying commercial services to someone on the basis of their…

  • In Israeli first, Orthodox Jerusalem synagogue hires female spiritual leader

    (JTA) — In a first for an Orthodox congregation in Israel, a woman has been hired as a spiritual leader at a Jerusalem synagogue. Karmit Feintuch will serve at the Ramban synagogue alongside Rabbi Benny Lau, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday. She will have the title “rabbanit.” A committee of the religious Zionist synagogue in the Katamon neighborhood unanimously…

  • Barbra Streisand has a Siri problem — and takes it to the top

    If you’ve ever asked Siri who starred in “Yentl,” you’ll know that the iPhone robot has a problem pronouncing “Barbra Streisand.” In an interview with NPR Saturday, legendary Jewish singer/actress Streisand said she recently complained to Apple’s CEO about its robot pronouncing the second syllable of her name as ZAND, rather than SAND, and that…

  • Former Israeli minister: Israel-Saudi peace ‘in the cards’

    (JTA) — A former Israeli minister, part of an Israeli group that met with a Saudi delegation in Ramallah last month, said Israelis could be able to visit the Gulf state “much sooner than you dream about.” In a conference call Tuesday with British media hosted by the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, Rabbi Michael…

  • On Facebook, Abbas’ Fatah boasts of killing 11,000 Israelis

    (JTA) — On Facebook, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party cited killing 11,000 Israelis as an example of its many achievements. The post appeared Tuesday on the party’s official Facebook page, according to Palestine Media Watch. The list does not mention the Oslo Accords or any other peace talks or negotiations, listing only acts of…