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is JTA's Associate Editor for Digital. Follow him on Twitter at @GabeFriedman563

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  • Natalie Portman gives a vegan lesson on Isaac Bashevis Singer’s life

    (JTA) — Natalie Portman is vegan, and she has made a video about another famous Jew who didn’t eat animals: Yiddish novelist Isaac Bashevis Singer. The video is an ad for PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, but it doubles as a history lesson about Singer’s life and a reminder what she…

  • California Democrats rebuke Dianne Feinstein and endorse her opponent

    (JTA) — State Democratic leaders in California officially endorsed longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s progressive opponent — and the vote backing Kevin de Leon wasn’t close. Feinstein, a moderate Jewish lawmaker who has been a senator since 1992, beat de Leon in the Democratic primary by 33 percentage points last month. But the 51-year-old assemblyman finished…

  • This conservative columnist thinks Scarlett Johansson has the right to play a transgender character

    (JTA) — Call her the next Bari Weiss. Daniella Greenbaum — a 24-year-old conservative Jewish writer who, like the prominent New York Times columnist, has a knack for irritating the left over hot button social and political issues — may have just broken into the social media zeitgeist. Last week, Greenbaum wrote a column in Business Insider…

  • Ben Stiller’s teenage punk band is reissuing its 1982 debut album

    (JTA) — Ben Stiller was not the Jewish actor who starred in “School of Rock” — that honor goes to Jack Black. But Stiller drummed in a post-punk band called Capital Punishment while growing up in New York, and it released an album in 1982, when he was about 17. The New York-based record label…

  • Emmys 2018: The Jewish nominees, from ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ to ‘Game of Thrones’

    (JTA) — “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and Sarah Silverman’s new late-night show earned Emmy nominations on Thursday. “Maisel,” Amazon Studios’ popular series set in a very Jewish 1950s New York neighborhood, was nominated for best comedy series. Rachel Brosnahan, its non-Jewish star, was nominated for best lead actress in a comedy series for her performance…

  • Sheldon Adelson sees casino opportunities in North Korea

    (JTA) — Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson hopes to “open up his business” in North Korea if President Donald Trump can end the longstanding military conflict between the rogue country and its southern neighbor. Adelson, the longtime Jewish and Republican megadonor, made the comment late last month at an event organized by Taglit-Birthright Israel in Jerusalem,…

  • Sacha Baron Cohen teases new show with video of Dick Cheney signing a ‘waterboard kit’

    (JTA) — Sacha Baron Cohen is coming back to TV, and he’s teasing his new show in an intriguing way: by telling us all it involves an interview with Dick Cheney. That’s not the only eye-opening detail, however: In a video Cohen shared Sunday on Twitter, the former vice president happily signs what the comedian…

  • Salzburg has 388 memorial plaques for Nazi victims. This man is cleaning them all.

    (JTA) — Austrian retiree Gerhard Geier isn’t Jewish, and his family wasn’t affected by the Nazis, but he’s doing something special to honor the memory of hundreds of Holocaust victims. A video by BBC News explains that Geier has set out to clean and restore the 388 “stolpersteine,” or cobblestone memorials to victims of the…

  • Rock star Perry Farrell is obsessed with an Orthodox rabbi right now

    (JTA) — Most rock music lovers know Perry Farrell as the charismatic frontman of the band Jane’s Addiction. Others know him as the guy who started the popular Lollapalooza music festival. Hardcore fans might know that he was born Peretz Bernstein to a Jewish family, and that he has been one of the more prominent…

  • ‘Drunk History’ covers the tale of Nazi Adolf Eichmann with the help of Rachel Bloom and Weird Al Yankovic

    (JTA) — “Drunk History” is a popular Comedy Central show in which stories from history are narrated by comedians who are, as the title implies, under the influence. The latest episode, set to air Tuesday night, includes a telling of the hunt for Adolf Eichmann, the main architect of the Holocaust who escaped to Argentina…