Talia Lavin Twitter Email RSS

is JTA's editorial assistant. She was a Fulbright scholar in Ukraine. Her poetry and nonfiction writing have been published in Tuesday Magazine, the Gamut, The Birch, Tablet, The Starry Night Review and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @chick_in_kiev.


  • Happy (belated) birthday to Zach Braff and Paul Rudd

    Yesterday, April 6, was the birthday of two of our favorite Jewish celebrities – Zach Braff and Paul Rudd. Unbelievably, the seemingly ageless Rudd turned 45. Currently filming “Ant-Man,” the sylphlike star is clearly entering middle age with grace and style. Check out his youthful abandon in this legendary lip-sync-off with Jimmy Fallon: Maybe he…

  • In Crimea, a Karaite community carries on, and welcomes Russia

    Crimean Karaites consider the Torah their holy text, yet they do not identify as Jews.

  • Meet Esther, the new (Jewish?) ‘Queen of Persia’

    Remember Esther, the “Queen of Persia” contestant who scored big points with the audience — and the king — when she touched his scepter (no innuendo intended) during the final date round? Well it turns out the winner of the Bravo reality series might just be a member of the tribe. And you know how…

  • Top 10 JTA stories from a century of Purims

    Stories from decades of Purim celebrations — featuring zeppelins, kosher vodka and fowl galore!

  • Putin’s Jewish embrace: Is it love or politics?

    Some see President Vladimir Putin as a great friend of Russia’s Jews, while others argue his motives are cynical.

  • Wounded Ukrainian protesters airlifted to Israel for medical treatment

    A volunteer effort coordinated from Kiev and Israel has allowed seven individuals wounded in Ukrainian protests to be airlifted to Israel for medical care.

  • Blast from the past: Cossacks, hundreds and ‘pogromists’ ride again

    Recent events in Ukraine and Russia have put back in the headlines some terms with ugly resonances for Jews, but their contemporary meanings are often more complex than we realize.

  • Ukraine Jews hunkering down amid turmoil

    With their country undergoing political upheaval, the Jewish community in Ukraine upgrades its security and looks with uncertainty toward the future.

  • Looking at Kiev, through blood and fire

    After spending last year living in Kiev, the author describes feelings of painful powerlessness in the current crisis.

  • When a handshake is more than just a handshake

    An Orthodox Jewish candidate for European Parliament is drawing ire for refusing to shake hands with women.