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Judaism

  • Reclaiming Joseph’s Tomb

    At Joseph’s Tomb, a site in a Palestinian city that is sacred to Jews, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is boiled down to its very essence, writes Isabel Kershner in The New York Times. Read the story here. More ▸

  • Simchat Torah in Egypt

    Brenda Gazzar has a dispatch in The Jerusalem Post on spending Simchat Torah in Alexandria, Egypt. In the synagogue with just 25 members, minyans are hard to come by. More ▸

  • A Jewish festival where there are no Jews

    From “Studio 360:” For 18 years, the historic Jewish quarter of Krakow, Poland has been home to a Jewish cultural festival – nine days of dancing, lectures, and concerts. 25,000 people attend, most of them Poles with no Jewish family. Stephanie Rowden wondered what Jewish culture can mean in a place where it has been… More ▸

  • Why a chicken?

    Ben Harris filed a report on the feud between animal-rights activists and Chabad-Lubavitch Chasidim over kapparos. Here’s his interview with Rabbi Shea Hecht about why the pre-High Holiday ritual must performed with a chicken. Audio sound funny? Upgrade your Flash player. To subscribe to JTA’s Behind the News podcast, click here. More ▸

  • Preparing for Yom Kippur

    As society becomes fragmented and increasingly frenetic, there is more value than ever in the spiritual audit Yom Kippur provides, write Zaki Cooper and Michael Harris in the U.K. Guardian. Slate unpacks Kol Nidre – that prayer used by everyone from Neil Diamond to Beethoven, and by anti-Semites as evidence that Jews are duplicitous and… More ▸

  • Rosh Hashana Girl (and Guy) Come to Israel

    Michelle Citrin and William Levin Dina Kraft, JTA’s Israel Correspondent met up in Jerusalem with singer Michelle Citrin aka Rosh Hashana Girl and her creative partner and friend William Levin. They are the team who brought the world the two YouTube hits “Twenty Things to do with Matzah” and “I Gotta Love You Rosh Hashana”… More ▸

  • Debate on prisoner deal

    Israel has been engaged in heated debate in recent days about the efficacy of trading Arab prisoners with blood on their hands for the remains of two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah in July 2006. The Jerusalem Post’s Matthew Wagner weighs in with a piece on what the Jewish sages might have said about this… More ▸

  • Morality and realpolitik

    Perhaps feeling besieged by the overwhelmingly negative media coverage of Israel’s 60th birthday – which seemed to be more an opportunity to question the Jewish state’s future than celebrate its past – the founding president of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, Yehezkel Dror, argues in an essay in the Forward that Israel shouldn’t worry… More ▸

  • Jon Voight on his commitment to Jews and Israel

    Earlier today I had the opportunity to speak with Academy Award winning actor Jon Voight who is in Israel for the state’s 60th anniversary festivities. While here, Voight joined Chabad-Lubavitch in welcoming children evacuated from the devastated Chernobyl region of the Former Soviet Union to Israel. I spoke to Mr. Voight about his relationship to… More ▸