(JTA) -- The first African-American female rabbi will leave her congregation this summer.
Rabbi Alysa Stanton's contract with Congregation Bayt Shalom in Greenville, N.C., was not renewed, the Forward reported Thursday.
"We felt Rabbi Stanton has brought a lot of gifts to the congregation, but we felt she wasn’t a good fit for the direction we’re going,” board president Samantha Pilot told the Forward. “I can tell you with certainty that race -- I never heard that come up once during her tenure or now. It’s a non-issue."
NEW YORK (JTA) -- Songwriter Debbie Friedman has been hospitalized in Orange County, Calif.
Friedman is sedated and on a respirator, according to an email sent Wednesday from the West Coast branch of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. A source at the college told JTA Thursday there had been no change in Friedman's condition.
The email asked that prayers be said on Friedman's behalf, as well as for her mother, sister and aunt.
(JTA) -- President Obama has received a letter from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, requesting clemency for convicted spy-for-Israel Jonathan Pollard.
"I think it is important to underscore that Mr. Pollard was convicted of some of the most serious crimes that anybody can be charged (with)," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Wednesday
“We have received the letter and will review it,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
Neither spokesman said how long the review process would take and what steps were involved.
Despite doubling of home care money from Germany, needs going unmet in Broward, other counties.
Margate, Fla. — At the age of 87, Molly Gruda spends much of her day sitting in a reclining chair in her den and using a wheelchair to get around. Her primary caregiver is her husband, Sam. He’s 96.
Because she is a Holocaust survivor, Gruda is eligible for German government money, administered through the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, to provide her with a home attendant during the day for 25 hours each week. Her husband is not a survivor and thus not entitled to such help.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Helen Thomas’ decision to take her disparagement of Zionists from off the cuff (last May) to on the record (last month) has led a journalists' group to consider dropping her name from a lifetime achievement award.
The Society of Professional Journalists is revisiting its decision last summer not to change the name of its Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award after Thomas, 90, told an Arab-American group in Dearborn, Mich., last month that Congress, the White House, Hollywood and Wall Street “are owned by the Zionists.”
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- More than 500 clergy signed a letter to President Obama urging clemency for Jonathan Pollard.
The letter was delivered a day before Prime Minister Benjanim Netanyahu reportedly sent a letter to Obama issuing a formal clemency request. Netanyahu was scheduled to read his letter Tuesday evening to a Knesset plenum discussion.
(JTA) -- A letter threatening to blow up a New York City synagogue was discovered the same day as the release of a state report showing that hate crimes against Jews had risen significantly.
A letter discovered on the evening of Dec. 30 at the Congregation Ohab Zedek on the upper West Side of Manhattan threatened to blow up the synagogue on New Year's Eve, the New York Post reported. The newspaper quoted synagogue rabbi Allen Schwartz as saying that up to a dozen other synagogues received similar letters.
(JTA) -- President Obama used a recess appointment to name Robert Ford as the new U.S. ambassador to Syria.
Ford will become the first U.S. ambassador to Syria since 2005. The Bush administration recalled its ambassador from Syria in February 2005 in the wake of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Harari; evidence pointed to Syrian involvement in the murder.