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  • Ukrainian Jewish fighter touted as ‘hero, symbol of resistance’ to Russia

    With his gray beard, AK-47 assault rifle and camouflage fatigues, Asher Joseph Cherkassky looks like an Eastern European version of Fidel Castro. But Cherkassky’s look is no attempt to emulate the Cuban revolutionary or any of his bearded associates. Rather, it is the result of his being an Orthodox Jew who is also a fighter… More ▸

  • From the Archive: Synagogues under fire

    Jews around the world mourned Tuesday after two Palestinians entered Jerusalem’s Kehillat Yakov synagogue during morning prayer services and went on a killing rampage that left five dead and several more wounded. Sadly, it wasn’t the first time a synagogue was attacked by Palestinians or their sympathizers. On Aug. 29, 1981, two Palestinian terrorists wearing yarmulkes and… More ▸

  • N.J. rabbi: Arabs in Israel ‘must be vanquished’

    The rabbi of a major modern Orthodox synagogue in New Jersey has written a blog post that calls for Israel to collectively punish Arab Israelis and Palestinians until they realize “they have no future in the land of Israel.” In the post, written Friday and titled “Dealing with Savages,” Rabbi Steven Pruzansky of Congregation Bnai… More ▸

  • And the only state without a Chabad is…

    Some 4,200 Chabad rabbis from more than 80 countries are gathering this weekend in New York for the annual conference of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries. In the year since they all last got together to attend workshops, listen to keynote lectures from the likes of former Sen. Joseph Lieberman and pose for their “class picture” — a… More ▸

  • Do you know a teen who deserves a shout-out?

    We’re looking for teens whose social action work is worthy of attention — to highlight in our Teen Heroes column. Please send your suggestions to teens@jta.org. More ▸

  • In wake of religious violence, American leaders celebrate interfaith success

    It was just hours after two Muslim terrorists entered a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Jews at a morning prayer service, but it was a world away. On Tuesday about 30 high-profile Muslim and Jewish scholars and leaders came together for a kosher-halal lunch (arugula salad, salmon with a fried potato on top, tiramisu for… More ▸

  • In Spain’s Palestine vote, the fine print makes all the difference

    You wouldn’t necessarily know it by scanning Spanish news sites, but Israel just scored a major diplomatic victory in the Spanish congressional vote on whether to recognize Palestinian statehood. Most Spanish websites reported in their headlines that the Congress of Deputies, Spain’s lower house, unanimously passed a nonbinding motion that called on its government to “recognize… More ▸

  • Centralizing Orthodox conversion: Good or bad?

    With the Barry Freundel scandal fueling debate about Orthodox conversions in America, dueling JTA Op-Eds take on the efficacy of the Rabbinical Council of America’s centralized conversion system, known as GPS. Rabbis Avi Weiss and Marc Angel argue that centralizing conversions makes abuse of power more likely, causes converts extra emotional distress, undermines local rabbis and makes it… More ▸