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  • Seeking to Relaunch Career, Disgraced Rabbi Fights Against Sexual Allegations

    A disgraced American rabbi with a tangled history of alleged sexual misdeeds is relaunching his career as a spiritual mentor and backtracking from an apparent confession he signed two years ago. Rabbi Mordechai Gafni acknowledged his “sickness” in 2006 after several students at his Israeli institute claimed they were lured into sexual liaisons through deception… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A new Web site will create comprehensive, interactive online memorials. is a free initiative that permits a family administrator to capture the history and impact of a loved one. It can include a biography, timeline, photos, videos, family tree and funeral information. Family and friends can visit the site and contribute stories and memories,… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A book about the preservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah is Australia’s Book of the Year. “People of the Book,” by Geraldine Brooks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, was selected at the Australian Book Industry Association’s awards ceremony on Monday night. Brooks was inspired to write the bestselling… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Aharon Appelfeld became the latest Israeli author to win an Italian literary prize. Appelfeld was awarded the Grinzane Cavour’s 2008 special prize for his novel “Badenheim, 1939.” Other Israeli authors to receive a Grinzane Cavour Award include A.B. Yehoshua; David Grossman, who won for foreign literature in 1994 and 1997; Amos Oz, for Mediterranean culture… More ▸

  • In Campaign Season, Pelosi Takes Israel Fight to Gop

    Almost eight years of President Bush have “made matters worse for Israel” — that’s how the Democrats intend to make their case to Jewish voters. This was the message from the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, in an exclusive interview May 20 with JTA, just hours after her return from Israel…. More ▸

  • San Francisco’s New Museum Owns No Art, Focuses on Ideas

    The Contemporary Jewish Museum, set to open June 8 in its new San Francisco location, is a mind-blowingly grand celebration of what Jewish sensibilities can contribute to the American cultural experience. It’s also the latest example of the Jewish museum as event rather than institution. Several things set this ambitious new creation apart. First is… More ▸

  • Adam Mansbach: Appreciation or appropriation?

    Kind of weird last Tuesday night listening to Adam Mansbach, a nice Jewish boy from Newton, MA, tell a bunch of white Jews at the San Francisco JCC he was a dope emcee who grew up listening to hip hop. Sure, Jewish kids are fascinated by black culture, said the 32-year-old Berkeley author of “The… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Israel is holding a Palestinian terrorist accused of undergoing military training in Iran. The Shin Bet announced Monday that it is holding a Palestinian who was detained by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip last month, and who confessed to training in Iran. The Palestinian belongs to a Gaza-based armed offshoot of Fatah. According to… More ▸

  • With Rock Music, Islamic Teachings, Ex-premier Fights for Moderate Islam

    In its telling, the story of a notorious lynching of Jews is not unusual. The storyteller, however, is: Abdurrahman Wahid, the former Indonesian president, and a leading Muslim scholar. In an interview with JTA, Wahid, who traveled to the United States and then Israel in recent weeks to preach his message of Muslim tolerance, revealed… More ▸

  • Jews and Power

    The Jewish culture folks over at Nextbook are putting on the latest installment of their Festivals of Ideas series Sunday in New York. Among the literati lined up to talk about Jews and Power: Cynthia Ozick, Shalom Auslander, Ruth Wisse, and Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg. Nowhere on the Web page, however, is it noted the irony… More ▸