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  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Justice Blackmun is remembered for his defense of religious liberties

    WASHINGTON, March 4 (JTA) — Harry Blackmun may best be remembered for authoring the historic 1973 decision legalizing abortion, but his defense of religious liberties stands as no less important in the minds of many Jews. The retired Supreme Court justice, who died Thursday at the age of 90 following complications from hip replacement surgery,…

  • Jewish senator leads session aimed at healing bipartisan rift

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 (JTA) — A handful of senators gathered in the spirit of post-impeachment reconciliation last week at an interfaith ceremony on Capitol Hill. Sens. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), the Senate’s only Orthodox Jew, and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), a Methodist, organized the event in hopes of starting a bipartisan healing process to move lawmakers beyond…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Jewish environmentalists find ‘enormous source of inspiration

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (JTA) — They come from every corner of the country and from across denominational and generational lines. Some are affiliated with the Jewish community, some are religious, others are not. But what they all have in common is an abiding respect for God”s creations and an unrelenting commitment to environmental stewardship. In…

  • Congress urged to press Russia to curb anti-Semitism

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (JTA) — Alarmed by the re-emergence of anti-Semitism in Russia, Jewish officials are calling on Congress to bring the issue to the forefront of bilateral relations with Moscow. At a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations European Affairs subcommittee Wednesday, the officials said that Congress can play a key role in addressing…

  • Holocaust museum taps insider to direct its ‘next stage of growth

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (JTA) — After nearly a year without permanent leadership, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has tapped an insider to be the museum’s new executive director. Sara Bloomfield, a 13-year veteran of the institution and the museum’s acting director since last April, was the unanimous choice of a search committee formed in October…

  • Avowed anti- Semite elicits Jewish support in legal battle

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (JTA) — An avowed white supremacist has found some unlikely Jewish supporters as he wages a battle to gain a license to practice law. An Illinois state panel that evaluates the “character and fitness” of prospective attorneys has denied a license to Matthew Hale, the leader of the World Church of the…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Clinton acquittal brings relief to activists ready for some action

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (JTA) — President Clinton’s acquittal has brought a palpable sense of relief to scandal-weary Jewish activists, who, like many across the country, have been waiting for the impeachment cloud to lift. The relief comes at least in part from the fact that the president, who has been considered highly responsive to the…

  • U.S. Holocaust museum plans extensive educational outreach

    WASHINGTON, April 28 (JTA) — When the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum opened its doors in 1993, officials held out modest hopes, but expressed quiet trepidation, about how the museum would be received by the public. Five years and 10 million visitors later — nearly four times the number initially projected — officials are still amazed…

  • U.S. Congress heightens role in Holocaust restitution issue

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 (JTA) — As the search for assets of Holocaust victims broadens to include pillaged artworks and confiscated insurance policies, the U.S. Congress is exerting pressure for restitution. The two issues were the subject of a day-long congressional hearing last week at which 22 witnesses testified about the legal status of art objects…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Israel not making the grade in educating Ethiopian youth

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (JTA) — The rescue of Ethiopian Jewry stands as an enduring source of pride for the Jewish community — a heroic undertaking that exemplified what Israel and Zionism are all about. Operation Moses in 1984 and Operation Solomon in 1991 brought tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, where the promise…