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

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  • Stephen Hawking once boycotted Israel, but an Israeli academic inspired one of his biggest discoveries

    (JTA) — Stephen Hawking, the famed physicist who died Wednesday at 76, had a publicly strained relationship with Israel. Although Hawking visited the country several times, giving lectures at Israeli and Palestinian universities, he pointedly boycotted an academic conference in Jerusalem in 2013 on what a spokesman at the time said was the “unanimous advice” of his…

  • Spotify is finally coming to Israel

    (JTA) — Spotify, the streaming service that offers access to millions of songs, is now available in Israel. The platform’s ad-free service will cost less per month in the Jewish state than it does in the U.S. — 19.90 shekels, or about $5.80, as opposed to $10 here. The company expanded to a few other…

  • Albert Einstein’s violin sells for over $500,000

    (JTA) — The quirky Jewish physicist would have been proud. A violin once owned by Albert Einstein sold for $516,500 at the New York-based Bonhams auction house on Friday. The instrument, which eportedly was gifted to the scientist in 1933 by Oscar Steger, a member of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, went for over three times…

  • Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein expected to step down by end of the year

    (JTA) — Lloyd Blankfein, one of Wall Street’s most powerful players during his 12-year tenure as CEO of Goldman Sachs, reportedly is preparing to leave his post by the end of the year. Blankfein could be replaced at the investment bank by one of its co-presidents, Harvey Schwartz and David Solomon, The Wall Street Journal…

  • Barbra Streisand cloned her dog

    (JTA) — Barbra Streisand usually makes headlines for something to do with her art, like winning an award or releasing an album. On Tuesday, Variety revealed something a little more bizarre: that she owns two clones of her now deceased dog. During a photo shoot meant to accompany a Variety cover story interview, the legendary…

  • Guns could have saved Jews during the Holocaust, Alaska congressman says

    (JTA) — A congressman from Alaska suggested that Jews were “put in the ovens” by Nazis during World War II because they did not have guns. “How many millions of people were shot and killed because they were unarmed? Fifty million in Russia,” Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, said at a conference last week in Juneau….

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda sang in Hebrew in a Jewish a cappella group in college

    (JTA) — You may have known that Lin-Manuel Miranda, Broadway darling and creator of the musical “Hamilton,” sang a “Fiddler On The Roof” song at his wedding party. But did you know that he was also in a Jewish a cappella group in college? On Sunday, Wesleyan student Lisa Stein posted a video of Miranda…

  • Why ‘Black Panther’ might also be a milestone in black-Jewish relations

    (JTA) — If you have checked in on the pop culture zeitgeist at all in the past week, you know that the film “Black Panther” is breaking box office records and Hollywood assumptions about race. The well-received Marvel flick was written and directed by African-Americans (co-written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, and directed…

  • Comedian Jena Friedman: We should treat neo-Nazis the way we treat women

    (JTA) — Jena Friedman is one of those comic talents who fly under the public radar, despite having an impressive resume in the industry. She was a writer for the “Late Show with David Letterman” and producer for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and she has appeared in clips on channels ranging from MSNBC…

  • Aly Raisman’s nude photo shoot sends empowering message about surviving abuse

    (JTA) — Aly Raisman posed nude for Sports Illustrated for the second year in a row. But this year, the Jewish Olympic gymnast added a message to her photos. While posing for the magazine’s annual swimsuit issue, Raisman was also included in a new campaign associated with it called “In Her Own Words.” In the…