Menu JTA Search
  • From the Archive: Cuban Jews under the embargo

    With the negotiated release of American Jewish government contractor Alan Gross this week and President Obama announcing his plan to lift the 54-year-old economic embargo against Cuba, the United States and Cuba appear to be opening a new — and warmer — chapter in their relationship. Which should be good news for the approximately 1,400… More ▸

  • A military miracle: Hanukkah care for U.S. armed forces personnel

    On Hanukkah, Jews around the world pay tribute to the Maccabees, a small band of Jewish soldiers who pulled off an improbable military victory. Members of the Israel Defense Forces carry on that legacy today, and for Hanukkah, they too are recognized alongside their Maccabean predecessors with organizations across political stripes visiting military bases and… More ▸

  • Behind every great ‘Serial’ podcast host, a Jewish studies professor

    No spoilers here about the “Serial” season finale, but I will say this much: The episode ends with … a special thanks to a certain Jewish studies professor. That would be Benjamin Schreier, the interim director of the Jewish studies program at Penn State and the husband of “Serial” host Sarah Koenig. With “Serial,” Koenig has achieved something… More ▸

  • Jesus comes to the Hanukkah party

    Sure, his birthday usually falls around the same time as Hanukkah, but Jesus and the Jewish holiday generally don’t mix. This year, however, two Jesus-Hanukkah juxtapositions have been getting a lot of social media attention. First, there’s Bud Williams, the Springfield, Mass., city counselor who said “Jesus is the reason for the season” — at a… More ▸

  • At White House Hanukkah party, Obama emphasizes freedom and food

    I’ve been JTA’s Washington bureau chief for 11 years, but this was the first time I scored a coveted invitation to the annual White House Hanukkah party. A Washington tradition started by President George W. Bush, the party has actually expanded (to meet demand) to two: one in the afternoon and one in the evening. This year’s… More ▸

  • Despite passionate reactions, EU ruling on Hamas is a small legal glitch

    A European court ruling to remove Hamas from the European Union’s list of terrorist groups evoked passionate reactions, but the text actually makes for drab reading material. The Luxembourg-based General Court of the European Union said its ruling on Wednesday was procedural and in no way an assertion of whether Hamas merits the terrorist designation…. More ▸

  • Hummus hits the headlines

    According to a new report by the food and restaurant consulting firm Baum and Whiteman, hummus – the Middle Eastern spread that is central to both Israeli and Arab cuisine — is now more popular in the United States than salsa. Today, 20 percent of U.S. households have hummus in their refrigerators, compared to 12… More ▸

  • En route to Lugansk, lies, bribes and high fives

    In the backseat of a car headed to the rebel-held city of Lugansk, I was feeling confident about my plan for getting in and out safely to report an article about how the city’s Jewish community is coping with the war ravaging the area. I had a reliable route and crew, an Israeli passport and a good cover… More ▸