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  • A Torah scroll makes its way from Iowa to Paraguay, telling a story about modern Judaism

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (JTA) — One family after another hurried through Erin Jones-Avni’s front door, anxious to get their first glimpse of the new arrival — to admire its ornate silver breastplate and touch its satiny mantle. “People just kept coming, and they’d make a beeline for the Torah,” she told JTA from her home…

  • Eight books for Hanukkah — or anytime

    (JTA) — When Hanukkah comes, it hangs around for more than a week. That means plenty of gifts to give, as well as ample time for procrastinators. For your favorite Person of the Book, you can’t go too wrong with giving, uh, a book. We have eight of them here, from the culinary to the…

  • Judah Maccabee went to the doctor. Then the anti-vaxxers got very mad.

    (JTA) — Like any self-respecting author, Ann D. Koffsky checks her Amazon rankings on a regular basis. “A little bit ridiculously,” she acknowledged. Yet when she noticed the rating for her most recent book had dropped to one-star overnight, it wasn’t so funny — especially once she started reading the user reviews. “This book is…

  • Watch Robert Kraft and NFL Hall of Famers visit Israel

    (JTA) — As they step off the charter bus in Tel Aviv, you might confuse them for just another American tour group — if not for the yellow Hall of Fame jackets and all those Super Bowl rings. In July, Robert Kraft, the New England Patriots owner and celebrated Jewish philanthropist, led a high-profile pilgrimage:…

  • Authentic NY bagels have finally arrived in Kansas City

    KANSAS CITY (JTA) – Bronx-born, Queens-bred attorney Victor Bergman has lived in the Kansas City area for more than four decades — and in all that time, he hadn’t found a true New York-style bagel. “Boiled first, glossy crust, soft interior — I really missed it a lot,” he said. But here, in a suburban…

  • 9 Jewish books to read this summer

    (JTA) — Sure, winter might seem like the ideal time of year for curling up with a good book — but summer is when you might actually have time to read. So before these warm months all too swiftly fade to fall, here are some Jewish-themed titles, from a wide range of genres, to fill your…

  • Don’t pass over these 8 new books for spring

    (JTA) — You know the story: When the Israelites made their exodus from Egypt, they fled in such haste that they did not have time to grab even some light reading. And it would still be some time until Moses announced that new first edition from Mount Sinai. As Passover approaches, we don’t want you to…

  • 8 books for 8 nights of Hanukkah

    (JTA) — Hanukkah is “late” this year (no disrespect to lunar-calendar literalists), which means winter will be well underway by the time those first lights are lit. What better time to curl up with a good book than when the weather outside is frightful, but the latkes are so delightful? So, in the spirit of…

  • This Jewish woman’s research may save millions of lives

    LAWRENCE, Kan. (JTA) – Joanna Slusky places a test tube into an incubating shaker, flips the switch, and it begins to quiver. So does she. “I’m excited,” she said, showing off another gadget in her lab, a contraption that stirs solutions using a magnetic coil and a metal bar. “How great is that?” It’s pretty…

  • Jewish Republican scores gubernatorial rival for staying in Israel after Missouri twister

    (JTA) — A Jewish Republican candidate for governor in Missouri has launched an attack ad accusing his Democratic opponent of ignoring the state after a devastating tornado by staying “in luxury” overseas — in Israel. The ad, aired last week in Joplin by Eric Greitens, features images of homes laid flat by a tornado that hit Joplin and Duquesne on…