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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…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES Shedding light, not heat, on questions about Jewish genes

    WASHINGTON, April 26 (JTA) — When researchers first discovered certain genetic mutations believed to predispose some Ashkenazi Jewish women to breast cancer, fear and confusion quickly spread through the Jewish world. While the discovery brought the promise of life-saving medical breakthroughs, it also led to a misperception that Jews are more prone to genetic defects…

  • U.S. Congress considers action on plundered artwork

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (JTA) — As the search for assets of Holocaust victims is broadening to include pillaged artworks and confiscated insurance policies, the U.S. Congress is taking a stand. The House Banking Committee was scheduled to hold hearings on Thursday to address the legal status of art objects seized by the Nazis and the…

  • U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear case involving AIPAC

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (JTA) — The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is putting on a confident face as the Supreme Court prepares to consider a case that observers say could have important implications for the pro-Israel lobby. The justices are scheduled to hear arguments on Wednesday in FEC vs. Akins, culminating a 9-year-old battle involving…