The United States and five other major powers are closer than ever to a deal with Iran that would end a 12-year-old nuclear standoff, though more tough negotiations lie ahead, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.
Last Thursday, 81-year-old Holocaust survivor Eva Kor approached Oskar Groening, a former member of the SS at Auschwitz-Birkenau who is on trial for 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, and offered her hand.
Groening took it, brought her in close, and kissed her on the cheek.
A huge donation is about to transform the only Jewish day school in the nation’s capital.
A heavily haredi Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn boasts New York City’s highest birth rate.
A Holocaust survivor who publicly forgave and embraced a 93-year-old former Nazi officer on trial has angered plaintiffs in the case after saying the government should stop the prosecution.
Meet Dr. Alison Feit, the Harriet Tubman of the underground sexuality railroad in the Orthodox Jewish community, uses her psychoanalytic training and her knowledge of Orthodox Jewish culture to help Orthodox teens struggling with sexuality and their communities that are trying to understand how to make spaces for them.
On Sunday, The New York Times, a 52-floor-high bastion of hard-hitting journalism, (kind of officially) announced that it will be cancelling its bridge column after 80 years. The decision, I imagine, is a cost-cutting move that probably came after bean counters crunched the paper’s numbers and provided higher-ups with bulletproof evidence that commentary about the ancient game—and the space that holds it—is no longer read widely enough by bubbes and zaydes from their terraces in Florida, and therefore should be snipped in favor of advertisements about, say, some totally hashtagable tech conference.
As a tribute, current bridge columnist, Phillip Alder, remembered the column’s history:
Amnesty International is under fire after rejecting a resolution that called on it to campaign against anti-Semitism in Britain. The motion, which failed by a vote of 468-461, was the only resolution rejected at the organization’s entire annual conference this past week.
“Our membership decided not to pass this resolution calling for a campaign with a single focus,” Amnesty UK press officer Neil Durkin told the Jewish Chronicle. But it quickly emerged that the organization had devoted an extensive report exclusively to anti-Muslim discrimination in Britain as recently as 2012, raising the question of why the same could not be done for Jews.
Last May, David Blatt led Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, a Israeli professional basketball team, to an overtime victory over Real Madrid to take the Euroleague Championship. Shortly thereafter, Blatt was swooped up by the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, whose management outfitted his roster with otherworldly players, including LeBron James, who came back home from Miami (vomit; brought to you by Sprite), to play alongside guard Kyrie Irving, who’s handles are just downright sick, if not illegal (he travels with the best of them).
The Cavs also traded for Kevin Love from Minnesota and later signed spark-plug J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks, whom Blatt called a “godsend” in February. In Thursday’s game 3 in Boston, both Love (23 points, 9 rebounds) and Smith (15 and 5) were instrumental in helping the Cavs to victory over the Boston Celtics to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
A new Israeli government that does not back a two-state solution will make the U.S. job of defending Israel “a lot tougher,” according to a top State Department official.
When Sigal Samuel went to India to find the source of her family’s mystical rituals, she got initiated into a Kabbalistic secret society — and Bollywood, to boot.
The death toll resulting from Saturday’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, including a 6.7-magnitude aftershock a day later, is climbing towards the 4,000 victim mark. Nearly 7,000 injuries have also been reported, including in neighboring India and the Tibetan regions of China and Bangladesh.
“The most worrying thing to me is the aftereffect,” Samaj Gautam, a doctor in Kathmandu, told The New York Times. “Sanitation, disease, these are also serious worries.”
The Limmud Jewish learning conference in Moscow attracted nearly 1,500 participants, making it the second-largest event of its kind worldwide.
A French Jewish man from suburban Paris area told police he was assaulted by younger Arabs outside his synagogue.
Swastikas along with personal slurs and epithets were painted on a fraternity house on the Stanford University campus.
Caught in the scrum of day-trippers haggling over brightly colored glazed ceramic skulls and $20 cigars purportedly from Havana, the reverberating amplified guitars blasting hard rock from the two dozen or so bars lining both sides of Hidalgo Avenue, and the scent of fresh churros and bacon-wrapped hot dogs drifting through the humid air from vendor carts across the plaza from the Church of the Immaculate Conception with the towering statue of the Virgin Mary for a steeple, it’s not long before your Ashkenazi sixth sense of heightened cognitive dissonance kicks in.
First you come upon the hand-lettered messages in cursive Hebrew slapped across display windows and easels poking out of sidewalk restaurants and loncherias, $35-a-night hotels, dive shops, day spas, ice cream parlors, jewelry showrooms, and bikini boutiques. Then an advertisement for today’s special, shakshuka, the North African tomato, garlic, and vegetable dish popular with young Israelis, comes into focus from a post inside the New Age Mogagua coffee shop.
A young woman who belonged to my synagogue took her own life in December at age 26. She had served on the chesed committee—welcoming new members, visiting the sick, and comforting the bereaved—and now a call went out to the congregation to volunteer their time on her behalf, to sit shmira.
Shmira, which literally means guarding, is one of the prescribed Jewish rituals surrounding death. The group in charge of these customs is called the Chevra Kedisha (literally “holy group/community”), which attends to the preparation and protection of the body between death and burial—a time when it’s believed the soul hovers in a sort of liminal space. Someone must clean and dress the body, and someone must sit shmira at all times.
Two friends from Crown Heights who traveled to Nepal on a hiking trip have not been heard from since the devastating earthquake which rocked the country on Saturday.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Hillel deny they did an end run around strict national pro-Israel guidelines when they hosted a co-sponsored event with a pro-Palestinian student group.