(JTA) — Robert Byrd, the longest-serving U.S. senator who criticized Israel but refrained from using his considerable power to cut its funding, has died.
Obituaries for Byrd, 92, a West Virginia Democrat, focused on the bookends to his 51-year career: His membership for several years before his election in the racist Ku Klux Klan and his unsuccessful effort to filibuster the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and his opposition in the last decade to the Iraq war.
(JTA) — The judge who is leading an Israeli inquiry into its interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla has requested a wider scope for the investigation.
Jacob Turkel, a retired Israeli Supreme Court justice, has threatened to resign unless his independent committee is given the right to conduct a full judicial inquiry, according to Israeli reports Tuesday. He also has requested to add two members to the committee.
The Jewish Week garnered two first place awards and one second-place honor in the annual Simon Rockower Journalism contest sponsored by the American Jewish Press Association.
Editor and Publisher Gary Rosenblatt won top honors for his Between the Lines column, capturing the Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary. The three columns dealt with the day school crisis, saying Kaddish and the controversy surrounding New York Times’ columnist Roger Cohen’s writing on Iran.
The Obama administration should probe whether the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation — whose activists engaged in a violent clash with Israeli soldiers aboard a Gaza flotilla ship on May 31 — is tied to terrorist groups, 80 U.S. Senators said in a letter to the president this week.
Harlem’s small and mostly African-American congregation with a very large name – The Commandment Keepers Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth – has been ensnarled in court in recent years, after nine members sold their shul building, a sale opposed by a faction of the dwindling congregation.
The Star-K kashrut certification company denied this week that it gave Kosher Sports, Inc., a company with concessions at seven sports stadiums in the eastern United States, permission to keep its trio of stands at the New York Mets’ ballpark open on Shabbat.
The New York Post reported that Kosher Sports, based in Englewood, N.J.,last week sued the Mets in Brooklyn’s Federal Court, claiming that the team has barred the firm from selling its products at Citi Field during Friday night and Saturday games while Star-K agreed to let them stay open.
Ever since the past president of an Orthodox synagogue in Las Vegas said on his rabbi’s radio program two weeks ago that “Conservative Judaism has done a lot to turn people to Jews for Jesus because it has robed Judaism of its spiritual aspects,” Conservative Jews there have been exploring ways to appropriately respond.
(JTA) — President Obama said the decision to resign by journalist Helen Thomas was the right thing to do.
Thomas, a columnist with the Hearst Corp., ended a career spanning six decades and 10 presidents on Monday in the wake of criticism of her remarks that Jews in Israel should “go home” to Poland and Germany.