(JTA) – The Conservative movement ordained its first openly gay rabbi during ceremonies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
Rachel Isaacs, 28, was ordained at JTS on May 19. She told the Forward that she began her rabbinical training at the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, but switched to the Conservative seminary after it began admitting openly gay and lesbian students in 2007.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The United Nations "should not delude" the Palestinians into thinking that a unilateral declaration of a state will lead to its establishment, Israeli President Shimon Peres told a U.N. official.
Israel supports the establishment of an independent state, but one achieved through "direct and discreet" negotiations, Peres told U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Ashe-Rose Migiro Sunday during a meeting in Jerusalem.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- U.S. Senators introduced an enhanced Iran sanctions bill matching one recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The crux of both bills is a ban on business with any entity that does $1 million in a single trade with Iran's energy sector, or $5 million over one year. The current threshold is $20 million in business per year.
(JTA) -- The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to confirm Daniel Shapiro as America’s next ambassador to Israel.
Shapiro was nominated to the post in March by President Obama. At the time he was serving as senior director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council. He had coordinated Jewish outreach for the Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
The president’s nomination of Shapiro was praised by a wide range of Jewish groups.
(JTA) -- President Obama should raise the issue of restitution of private Jewish property during his meeting this week with Polish officials, a Jewish group has urged.
The World Jewish Restitution Organization made the request two days before Obama meets Friday with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
The request follows a similar one contained in a letter to Obama from U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) and U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), chairs of the Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki...