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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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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. moves to create panel to examine assets

    WASHINGTON, April 1 (JTA) — Jewish groups welcomed a move this week by U.S. lawmakers to create a presidential commission to examine Holocaust victims’ assets in the United States. The proposed commission would be charged with examining the fate of dormant bank accounts, artworks, insurance policies, looted gold, and a range of other assets that…

  • U.S. Supreme Court questions merits of case involving AIPAC

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (JTA) — A 9-year-old legal battle involving the American Israel Public Affairs Committee neared its culmination with arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court last week that left its outcome as unpredictable as ever. In a closely watched case that could have broad implications for groups that lobby in Washington, the justices began…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Swiss banks face boycott threat as settlement talks reach impasse

    WASHINGTON, June 14 (JTA) — Swiss banks are on the verge of facing a renewed boycott threat as U.S. public finance officers prepare to meet early next month. New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi has asked state and local finance officers to reconvene July 1 amid reports that talks between the banks and Jewish representatives…