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

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  • 10 inspiring Jews who died in 2017

    (JTA) — It’s always difficult to whittle down the list of influential Jews who died in a given year, but this year the task seemed to be especially tough. From a pioneering LGBTQ activist to a pair of legendary comedians to a 104-year-old haredi Orthodox rabbi, here are some of the Jews we lost in…

  • Jake Tapper blasts human rights violators who criticized Israel at UN

    (JTA) — Jake Tapper is calling out many of the countries who rebuked President Trump and Israel at the United Nations on Thursday. After 128 countries voted to condemn Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and eventually move the U.S. embassy there, the CNN anchor let loose on “The Lead.” He sharply criticized…

  • JTA’s most read stories of 2017

    (JTA) — It’s been a busy year here at JTA, where we’ve published thousands of stories covering topics as diverse as celebrity profiles to the rise of Europe’s right-wing to breaking the news of bomb threats at Jewish institutions across the U.S. Among the nearly 5,000 pieces we published over the past 365 days, these…

  • Lorde thanks pro-Palestinian fans who are urging her to cancel Israel concert

    (JTA) — Pop star Lorde is considering canceling her upcoming concert in Tel Aviv after pro-Palestinian fans in her native New Zealand criticized her. New Zealanders Nadia Abu-Shanab and Justine Sachs — the former Palestinian and the latter Jewish — wrote an open letter on Thursday on the website The Spinoff saying that Lorde’s scheduled performance…

  • The world’s most famous indie rock Hanukkah tradition makes a comeback

    NEW YORK (JTA) — For more than 30 years, indie darlings Yo La Tengo — guitarist and frontman Ira Kaplan, drummer Georgia Hubley (who is married to Kaplan) and bassist James McNew — has pumped out a steady stream of critically acclaimed rock music that spans an array of genres, from lo-fi grunge to psychedelia…

  • Golden Globes 2018: ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and all the other Jewish nominees

    (JTA) — “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” one of the most thoroughly Jewish shows on television, capitalized on its strong reviews by earning a Golden Globe nomination for best television series, musical or comedy. The Amazon Studios sitcom created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the Jewish writer who is best known for the early 2000s hit “Gilmore Girls,”…

  • Orthodox Israeli singer covers eyes with tape at concert to avoid seeing women dance

    (JTA) — A popular haredi Orthodox singer covered his eyes with tape during a Jerusalem concert so he would not have to see women dancing. Watching women dance is forbidden in Orthodox Jewish law, but Yonatan Razel’s move on Sunday is being called unprecedented. He covered his eyes for a few minutes at the International…

  • Bette Midler says that Geraldo Rivera drugged and groped her

    (JTA) — Former NBC anchor Matt Lauer is among the latest in a string of high-profile media men — beginning with Harvey Weinstein — to get hit with allegations of sexual assault. Lauer’s story and subsequent firing prompted fellow TV personality Geraldo Rivera to weigh in on the slew of sexual harassment accusations. Rivera, who…

  • Why so many African-American pro basketball players love Israel

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Chris Watson played four standout years of basketball at Niagara University, where he became one of the upstate New York school’s all-time leading scorers. So when the 6-7 forward-center went undrafted by an NBA team in 1997, he set out to play on a professional level internationally. He played two years…

  • When Orthodox fashion designer’s husband suddenly died, online supporters raised $1 million for her family

    (JTA) — A few months back, Simi Polonsky was posting photos of herself on Instagram dressed in colorful modest-chic outfits — the kind of fashionable clothing that nonetheless adheres to Orthodox Jewish dress standards. Polonsky is a co-founder of The Frock NYC, a fashion label created in 2010 that has built substantial buzz as the…