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  • How Judaism and a yearlong trip around the country inspired a Colorado woman to run for office

    (JTA) — Dafna Michaelson Jenet traces her political career back to conversations around the Shabbat table as a 14-year-old. She remembers hearing her parents and their friends discuss the challenges facing Cincinnati, where they were living. But the conversations would quickly be forgotten once the day of rest came to an end. “I was distressed…

  • YouTube, Facebook remove content from far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

    (JTA) — YouTube, Facebook and Apple removed content related to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. On Monday, the three companies said the content related to Jones and his website, InfoWars, violated their policies against hate speech. YouTube removed channels associated with Jones, but some channels associated with InfoWars was still available on the site, according to…

  • Former Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera travels to Israel on interfaith mission

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Former New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera traveled to Israel with a delegation from his church. The Panamanian-American former baseball player arrived in Israel on Monday as part of an interfaith mission organized by the New York Board of Rabbis and the Consulate General of Israel in New York. Rivera…

  • Blaze Bernstein murder suspect charged with targeting him because he was gay

    (JTA) — The man accused of killing Blaze Bernstein will face a hate crime charge for targeting the college student because of his sexual orientation. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office in California announced the new charge against Samuel Woodward, 20, on Thursday. Bernstein was Jewish and gay. Bernstein’s body was found in January after…

  • Netflix says it’s not offering Louis Farrakhan documentary

    (JTA) — Netflix said reports that it would offer a documentary about Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan were based on an “internal miscommunication.” “[I]t appeared to be scheduled for release on Netflix, but it is not. We apologize for any confusion this has caused,” a representative said in a statement Tuesday. The film, “The…

  • Paul Ryan discovers he’s a little bit Jewish

    (JTA) — House Speaker Paul Ryan made an unexpected discovery while learning about his ancestry: He is 3 percent Jewish. The Republican lawmaker, who is Catholic, found out about his Ashkenazi Jewish roots as part of the PBS series “Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr.,” in which famous people learn about their family histories…

  • How an Orthodox mohel snagged a role on ‘Orange Is the New Black’

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Cantor Philip Sherman gives me a call after having finished two circumcisions before noon on Tuesday. That’s a light day, he explains. On Thursday, he will be performing circumcisions for four baby boys; on Friday, he’ll do five. Sherman, 62, is a mohel (in fact he was featured as one of…

  • How 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi became a Palestinian national symbol

    (JTA) — When Ahed Tamimi left an Israeli prison on Sunday after eight months, she returned home to jubilation from friends and family in her West Bank hometown of Nabi Saleh. The 17-year-old Palestinian activist also was celebrated as a hero around the world for what some see as her bravery in confronting Israeli soldiers….

  • Roseanne Barr defends her Valerie Jarrett tweet, then veers even further off script at rabbi event

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Roseanne Barr still doesn’t think the tweet that got her TV show canceled is racist. On Thursday night at a comedy club here, the Jewish actress and comedian talked about plenty of random things while defending the bizarre tweet she aimed at Valerie Jarrett in May. Barr, 65, appeared in a conversation…

  • Seth Rogen is now the voice of Vancouver’s public transit system

    (JTA) — Seth Rogen’s latest gig is a bit different than his previous acting roles: The Jewish comedian has written and voiced announcements for Vancouver’s public transportation system. Passengers will hear announcements in his trademark deep voice about “transit etiquette,” the Vancouver Sun reported. Morgan Freeman was originally supposed to voice the messages, but the…