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Uriel Heilman Twitter RSS

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


  • For poker champ Ari Engel, kipah works to his advantage

    Winning one recent tournament, this son of an Orthodox rabbi took home $136,500. Engel estimates that he has grossed $5 million playing poker over the last decade.

  • USY drops ban on interdating

    At its annual conference, the Conservative movement’s youth group voted to relax its rules barring its teenage board members from dating non-Jews. USY also decided against requiring the board to be Shabbat observant.

  • For Cuban Jews in U.S., rapprochement with Castro regime cause for concern

    For those old enough to remember the most brutal years of the Castro regime, there is deep concern that rapprochement with Washington will extend the life of a dictatorship whose crimes can be neither forgotten nor forgiven.

  • Causing stir, prominent Conservative rabbi considers breaking intermarriage ban

    Rabbi Wesley Gardenswartz of Temple Emanuel in Newton, Mass., proposed a new synagogue policy that would have him officiate at interfaith weddings for couples who commit to a “Covenant to Raise Jewish Children.” But something changed his mind.

  • Randi Weingarten: A guy I met at Shabbos dinner tried to rape me

    In the wake of the flawed Rolling Stone article about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, one Jewish woman with a national profile tells the story of her own near rape.

  • For Americans aiding Israeli soldiers, rules of engagement vary

    Because U.S. law bars sending weapons or combat equipment to foreign armies and the Israel Defense Forces does not want to be seen as a charity case, sending U.S. Jewish aid to Israeli soldiers can be a bit of a touchy subject.

  • With Herzliya condo project, Schneier pitches Hamptons-style Zionism

    Rabbi Marc Schneier of The Hampton Synagogue wants affluent Diaspora Jews to go beyond opening their checkbooks for Israeli causes. He’s wants them to buy real estate in one of Israel’s toniest beachfront communities.

  • Extreme views on Arabs don’t inhibit shul’s embrace of Rabbi Pruzansky

    The rabbi of the largest Orthodox shul in Teaneck, N.J., says Arab stone throwers should be shot and the mosque on the Temple Mount should be moved to Saudi Arabia. His congregation — and mainstream Orthodox institutions — shrug.

  • At Kosherfest, a mad dash to sample the ‘facon’

    A growing number of companies are going after more restricted segments of the kosher market, including organic and gluten-free.

  • Centralizing Orthodox conversion: Good or bad?

    Rabbis Avi Weiss and Marc Angel face off against Rabbi Mark Dratch in dueling JTA Op-Eds about whether the Rabbinical Council of America’s centralized conversion system, known as GPS, is good or bad for conversion.