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Uriel Heilman Twitter RSS

is JTA's senior writer and former managing editor. Follow him on Twitter at @urielheilman.

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  • ‘America First’: Trump doubles down on a term that makes many Jews queasy

    Donald Trump is doubling down on “America First.” After Trump used the term “America First” in late April to describe his policies, the Anti-Defamation League sent him a letter urging him to drop the historically tainted slogan — speaking for Jews and others who remember it as the name of the isolationist movement championed by a notorious anti-Semite…

  • In calling out ‘Mexican’ judge, it’s Trump vs. the American legal system

    NEW YORK (JTA) – Donald Trump sees enemies everywhere. The media is out to get him, he says. He has cast Muslims as a threat, proposing to ban them from the United States following last December’s deadly San Bernardino terrorist attack. And Mexican immigrants, in Trump’s view, include “rapists” and should be walled off from the United States. So it only makes sense, the presumptive Republican…

  • What Donald Trump has and hasn’t said about anti-Semitism

    NEW YORK (JTA) – Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is facing growing accusations that his campaign is countenancing anti-Semitism – if not encouraging it outright. Trump’s foreign policy slogan, “America First,” echoes the World War II-era noninterventionist movement championed by a notorious anti-Semite. During the height of the primary campaign, Trump delayed disavowing the…

  • Israel takes anti-boycott fight to halls of United Nations

    UNITED NATIONS (JTA) – It was an incongruous sight: The U.N. General Assembly hall filled to capacity with 1,500 cheering people waving miniature Israeli flags and singing “Hatikvah,” Israel’s national anthem. No, hell hadn’t frozen over. The occasion was a one-day conference hosted by Israel’s U.N. mission devoted to fighting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions…

  • Trump vs. Clinton: Battle of the Jewish sons-in-law

    (JTA) – Somebody had better put a mezuzah on the Lincoln Bedroom. Whoever ends up winning the election in November, one thing seems certain: For the first time in history, Jews will be in the president’s inner family circle. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have Jewish sons-in-law, and of course Bernie Sanders — in…

  • Sense of siege in Kiryas Joel amid FBI raids and scrutiny of yeshivas

    NEW YORK (JTA) – Even before FBI investigators descended last week on the Satmar Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel, there was a growing sense in this insular community that it and its unique way of life were under attack. Two months earlier, the FBI had been in the village investigating alleged fraud of a government program, and community leaders…

  • Beating health scares, Jonathan Sarna seals status as rock star Jewish historian

    WALTHAM, Mass. (JTA) – When Jonathan Sarna was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 1999 at the age of 44, it changed his life. Already a highly regarded historian at Brandeis University, Sarna was in the midst of writing his seminal study of American Jewish history when he realized with alarm that he might never finish…

  • Actress Kathryn Hahn talks about playing Rabbi Raquel on ‘Transparent’

    Kathryn Hahn’s no rabbi, but this nice Catholic girl from Cleveland plays one on TV. As Rabbi Raquel Fein on “Transparent,” the groundbreaking Amazon series about a dysfunctional Jewish family with a transgender parent (Jeffrey Tambor), Hahn has spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be Jewish.  On Monday, Hahn was…

  • New video shows 2nd boy being caressed by Hasidic principal

    NEW YORK (JTA) – A second hidden video from inside the largest yeshiva in the Satmar Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel shows a principal holding a school-age boy between his legs while kissing him in what sex-abuse watchdogs are describing as another case of abuse. The video follows the release of another hidden-camera recording that seems…

  • Sympathy for Palestinians over Israel up sharply among younger Americans, Pew study finds

    NEW YORK (JTA) – Democrats are more than four times as likely as Republicans to say they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel, according to a survey published Thursday, and sympathy for the Palestinians among Americans overall is growing. Sympathy for the Palestinians is up most sharply among the youngest American adults, growing…