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

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  • Times of Israel website hacked by Turkish group

    (JTA) — The Times of Israel’s website was hacked by a Turkish group on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. On Thursday morning, the English-language news site’s homepage featured an image of children waving a Turkish flag and a line that apparently vowed to protect “Palestine” and Gaza. Underneath that was a Quran verse…

  • Scarlett Johansson cries when she discovers her family’s tragic Holocaust history on ‘Finding Your Roots’

    (JTA) — Scarlett Johansson knew that her mother’s side of the family came from Jewish communities in Eastern Europe, but she didn’t know much else about her Jewish ancestors. But when the movie star appeared on the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” on Tuesday night, she learned some specifics about those branches of her family tree…

  • Gabe Kapler, ex-major leaguer with a Jewish star tattoo, is named Phillies manager

    (JTA) — Gabe Kapler, a major league outfielder for 12 seasons and a coach for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic, was named manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. Kapler, who played for seven teams, has been the head of player development for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization since 2014. “I’m equal parts honored, humbled…

  • Zubin Mehta’s 5 most memorable moments with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

    (JTA) — When Zubin Mehta kicks off a tour of North American cities at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night, it won’t be his last performances with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra — but it will be close. The legendary conductor announced last December that he will step down from his post as music director…

  • Drake threw himself a bar mitzvah-themed 31st birthday party

    (JTA) — Could the world’s hottest rapper be any more of a nice Jewish boy? According to the New York Post, Drake’s 31st birthday party on Monday night was themed “Aubrey’s re-bar mitzvah.” The Jewish rapper’s real name is Aubrey Drake Graham — and 31, in case you didn’t realize, is the reverse of 13,…

  • Publisher apologizes for nursing textbook that stereotypes Jews and others

    (JTA) — The Pearson education publishing company has apologized for a section of one of its nursing textbooks that claims Jews are often “[v]ocal and demanding of assistance” during medical treatment. The page from “Nursing: A Concept-Based Approach to Learning” drew widespread ire on social media for its descriptions of how Jews, Asians, blacks, Hispanics,…

  • One of the strongest Jews in history is selling his Olympic gold medal

    (JTA) — Weightlifter Isaac Berger is considered one of the best featherweights in American history. The New Yorker, whose father was a rabbi in Israel, was a two-time world champion and an eight-time national champion. He broke several world records in his weight class (maximum of about 132 pounds) and won a gold medal at…

  • Israeli computer scientist, opera director born to Israelis win MacArthur ‘genius’ grants

    (JTA) — An Israeli computer scientist and an American opera director born to Israeli parents were among the winners of this year’s MacArthur Foundation “genius” grants. Regina Barzilay, 46, is a computational linguist based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose work includes training machines to understand different languages. Her research helped decipher part of…

  • Larry David and Bernie Sanders flip out when they learn they’re distant cousins

    (JTA) — We knew it was coming. But it was still glorious. On Tuesday’s season premiere of the PBS series “Finding Your Roots,” Larry David and Bernie Sanders — both Ashkenazi Jews born in New York City — discover they are distantly related cousins. Even though David leaked the news back in July, it doesn’t detract from the…

  • Greta Gerwig regrets signing an Israel boycott letter

    (JTA) — Indie film darling Greta Gerwig may have changed her mind on the issue of Israel boycotts. In July, she signed a letter along with 60 other artists urging Lincoln Center to cancel performances of “To The End Of The Land,” a play based on a novel of the same name by famed Israeli…