WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama spoke with the rabbi of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during a series of calls to friends and families of victims of the weekend shooting in Tucson.
A White House official said Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Tucson's Congregation Chaverim was among the Tucson-area officials, victims and families Obama reached Monday in the wake of the Jan. 8 attack that left Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, critically injured and six dead.
NEW YORK (JTA) -- Just hours after Debbie Friedman’s death, more than 400 people turned out for a memorial service for the popular songwriter who is widely credited with reinvigorating synagogue music.
Friedman's funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, near Los Angeles.
The memorial event, held Sunday night at the JCC in Manhattan, had been slated originally as a healing service to offer prayers for Friedman, who was hospitalized in Southern California for several days with pneumonia.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Anti-Defamation League said it is "critical" to determine whether the man alleged to have shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was influenced by hate speech.
"It is critical to determine whether the alleged shooter, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, acted alone or with others, and whether he was influenced by extremist literature, propaganda or hate speech," the ADL said in its statement Sunday.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The event was typical Gabrielle Giffords: no barriers, all comers -- Democrats, Republicans and independents welcome to talk about what was on their minds and in their hearts.
While she was deep in a conversation with an older couple about health care -- the issue for which she was willing to risk her career -- a gunman strode up to the Arizona congresswoman and shot her point blank in the head.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The 8th District in southern Arizona represented by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords comprises liberal Tucson and its rural hinterlands, which means moderation is a must. But it also means that spirits and tensions run high.
Giffords’ office in Tucson was ransacked in March following her vote for health care reform -- a vote the Democrat told reporters that she would cast even if it meant her career. She refused to be cowed, but she also took aim at the hyped rhetoric. She cast the back-and-forth as part of the democratic process.
(JTA) -- Debbie Friedman, a popular singer and songwriter who is widely credited with reinvigorating synagogue music, has died.
Friedman died Sunday after being hospitalized in Southern California for several days with pneumonia. She was in her late 50s.
"Debbie influenced and enriched contemporary Jewish music in a profound way," read a statement published Sunday on the website of the Union for Reform Judaism. "Her music crossed generational and denominational lines and carved a powerful legacy of authentic Jewish spirituality into our daily lives."