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

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  • Knesset passes law blocking mikvah access for non-Orthodox conversions

    (JTA) — The Knesset passed a controversial bill that allows local Orthodox rabbinates to bar non-Orthodox Jewish conversion ceremonies in publicly funded mikvahs. The bill, which was introduced by the haredi Orthodox United Torah Judaism party and opposed by many North American Jewish leaders, was passed Monday night in a 41-35 vote, The Jerusalem Post…

  • Jewish death row prisoner in Kentucky sues for exclusion from kosher meal program

    (JTA) — A Reform Jewish death row prisoner in Kentucky is suing the penitentiary where he is incarcerated for kicking him out of the state’s kosher food program. In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court, William Harry Meece claimed he was being unfairly penalized for eating rotisserie chicken that had not been certified…

  • Ben-Gurion favors West Bank withdrawal in footage from 1968

    (JTA) — Newly rediscovered footage of a 1968 interview with David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, shows him opposing West Bank settlements and instead favoring the return of most of the land Israel captured in the Six-Day War. The six-hour interview with Ben-Gurion — segments of which appear in a new film called “Ben-Gurion Epilogue” — had been…

  • Palestinian Authority to sue UK over Balfour Declaration

    (JTA) — With the 100th anniversary of a key Zionist declaration approaching, the Palestinian Authority said it plans to sue Britain for issuing the edict. The P.A.’s foreign minister, Riyad al-Malki, told Arab League leaders in Mauritania on Monday that the Palestinian Authority will sue over the Balfour Declaration, saying it led to all “Israeli…

  • Hasidic camp bus crash in Poconos injures at least 9

    (JTA) — An accident involving a minibus bringing Jewish campers home from a trip in Pennsylvania injured at least nine teenagers. The Brooklyn-bound bus flipped over and rolled onto its side around 2:30 a.m. Friday on Route 423 in the Pocono Mountains, News 12 Brooklyn reported. The driver, identified as Bernard Zitroenbaum, 32, of Brooklyn,…

  • Several dead, injured in Munich shooting near site of ’72 Olympic massacre

    (JTA) — Several people are dead and injured, and parts of the city are under lockdown, in what is suspected to be a terror attack near the site of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Three gunmen are at large after opening fire at Munich’s Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall, several media outlets reported. The shooting began in…

  • Leaked Democratic email indicates potential effort to smear Sanders as atheist

    (JTA) — A top Democratic National Committee official reportedly suggested in May that “someone” should draw attention to Bernie Sanders’ atheist beliefs. In an email leaked Friday by WikiLeaks, the DNC’s chief financial officer, Brad Marshall, suggested that the party should “get someone to ask” about “his” religious beliefs, The Intercept reported. “It might [make]…

  • Israeli investigation disputes claims that Jewish extremists behind new Duma fire

    (JTA) — Palestinian and Israeli officials are offering competing explanations for a fire that broke out next door to the West Bank home where a Palestinian baby and his parents were killed in an arson attack allegedly by Jewish extremists. Reports of a fire early Wednesday morning near the house where the three Palestinians were killed in…

  • At $153.4M, NY federation campaign grows for 4th consecutive year

    NEW YORK (JTA) — At a time when many Jewish federations are reporting flat or declining fundraising, North America’s largest Jewish philanthropy said its annual campaign revenue has increased for the fourth consecutive year. UJA-Federation of New York announced Tuesday it had raised $153.4 million through its 2016 annual campaign, which ended June 30, up by $2.6…

  • Orthodox beatboxers cut from ‘America’s Got Talent’

    (JTA) — Two Orthodox Jewish beatboxers failed to advance on “America’s Got Talent” after wowing the judges in the initial round of the TV competition. Ilan Swartz-Brownstein and Josh Leviton, both of Manhattan, did not survive in the “Judge Cuts” episode that aired Tuesday night, The Oregonian reported. The show showed a brief segment of their…