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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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  • 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…

  • Undercover video of Hasidic principal handling boy prompts sex abuse probe

    NEW YORK (JTA) – The story is an all-too-familiar horror tale: An adult in a position of power – in this case a Hasidic school principal – is accused of sexually abusing a child in his care. But one thing makes this episode very different: The encounter was captured on a hidden camera and posted online…

  • Mystery pre-Holocaust photo trove turns out to be of family of US scholars

    NEW YORK (JTA) – When documentary photographer Richard Schofield stumbled upon a trove of unidentified prewar photographs in September 2013 in the storage room of the Sugihara House museum in Kaunas, Lithuania, he knew he had found something special. The photos, dating from about 1910 through 1940, were from a Lithuanian Jewish family’s album that had…

  • Donald Trump: Obama is no friend of Israel

    NEW YORK (JTA) – In a foreign policy speech Wednesday panning President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, Donald Trump said Obama has been no friend to Israel. “Israel, our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East, has been snubbed and criticized by an administration that lacks moral clarity,” Trump said at the…

  • Great Adventure: How an amusement park goes Orthodox for Passover

    JACKSON, N.J. (JTA) – Pinchas Cohen spent most of Monday wandering around Six Flags Great Adventure under a blazing sun, wearing a knee-length black coat and carrying a big box of shmura matzah under his arm. An imposing, Russian-born Chabad-Lubavitch Hasid who now lives in Brooklyn, Cohen came to this amusement park in New Jersey with…