Most talked about Jewish Telegraphic Agency stories

At White House Hanukkah party, Obama emphasizes freedom and food

jta.org — I've been JTA's Washington bureau chief for 11 years, but this is the first time I scored a coveted invitation to the annual White House Hanukkah party. A Washington tradition started by President George W. Bush, the party has actually expanded (to meet demand) to two: one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

Causing stir, prominent Conservative rabbi considers breaking intermarriage ban

jta.org — NEW YORK (JTA) - Within days of floating a proposal that would have made Rabbi Wesley Gardenswartz of Temple Emanuel in Newton, Mass., the first prominent Conservative clergyman to break with the movement's ironclad rule against rabbis performing intermarriages, the spiritual leader of one of the nation's largest Conservative synagogues decided to reverse course.

Swedish lawmaker: Jews must assimilate to become true Swedes

jta.org — (JTA) - The party secretary of the far-right Sweden Democrats party said Jews cannot be "true Swedes" if they continue to identify as Jews. Bjorn Soder said in an interview this week with the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter that minority groups such as Jews, Kurds and Sami, or Laplanders, must "assimilate in order to become Swedish."
Dec 18, 2014

RT @JTAnews: Swedish lawmaker: Jews must assimilate to become true Swedes j.mp/1C7lmxk

Alan Gross released amid major U.S.-Cuba reforms

jta.org — JTA - ABC News is reporting that the United States has secured the release of Alan Gross as part of a prisoner swap and wider effort to improve bilateral relations with Cuba. Gross was leaving Cuba when he was arrested in December 2009 for setting up Internet access for the Jewish community there as a contractor for the U.S.

Gross’ release, and changes in diplomatic ties, signals new day for Cuban Jews

jta.org — WASHINGTON (JTA) - Alan Gross was imprisoned while trying to connect Cuba's isolated Jewish community to the wider world. The deal that got him released five years later may do just that and much more. Gross' flight home to suburban Washington on Wednesday with his wife, Judy, was part of a historic deal that overturns over five decades of U.S.
Dec 17, 2014

Gross’ release, and changes in diplomatic ties, signals new day for Cuban Jews jta.org/2014/12/17/new…

18 cats that are not overly excited about being Jewish

jta.org — Cats are not really connected to Judaism. In fact, looking back to biblical times, it was the ancient Egyptians who worshiped cats due to their outstanding abilities to kill pests and snakes and their general awesomeness, being all cute and fluffy and stuff.

Netanyahu cites ‘Islamic terrorism scourge’ in condolences to Australia

Dec 17, 2014

Netanyahu cites ‘Islamic terrorism scourge’ in condolences to Australia jta.org/2014/12/17/new…

Congress passes ‘ABLE Act’, liberalizing assistance for disabled

Dec 17, 2014

Congress passes ‘ABLE Act’, liberalizing assistance for disabled jta.org/2014/12/17/new…

Jewish World War I hero eligible for Medal of Honor

jta.org — WASHINGTON (JTA) - A Jewish World War I hero is eligible for the nation's highest military honor. A congressional spending bill passed last week includes a provision extending redress for soldiers deserving the Medal of Honor to Sgt. William Shemin. Elsie Shemin-Roth, now 85, from suburban St.

EU court annuls Hamas’ inclusion on terrorism blacklist

jta.org — (JTA) - A European court annulled Hamas' inclusion on a blacklist of terrorist groups, saying the 2001 decision was based on press and Internet reports and not legal reasoning.

Freshman GOPer Zeldin wins spot on foreign affairs panel

jta.org — WASHINGTON (JTA) - Newly elected U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) won a coveted spot on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. Zeldin, who defeated Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) in the Long Island-area NY-1 district, will be the only Jewish Republican in the House in the wake of the primary defeat earlier this year of former Rep.

Kerry: U.N. Statehood recognition talk ‘premature’

jta.org — WASHINGTON (JTA) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said it was premature to speculate about a possible Palestinian bid for statehood recognition at the United Nations. "This isn't the time to detail private conversations or speculate on a U.N.

Rowling confirms: Anthony Goldstein, Harry Potter’s classmate, is Jewish

jta.org — (JTA) - J.K. Rowling confirmed that one of Harry Potter's classmates in her famed series is Jewish. "Anthony Goldstein, Ravenclaw, Jewish wizard," the novelist said Tuesday on Twitter, responding to a query as to whether there were Jews at Hogwarts, the wizard school. Ravenclaw is one of four houses at Hogwarts.
Dec 16, 2014

Breaking news from Hogwarts: One of Harry’s classmates is Jewish, per @jk_rowling: bit.ly/1GNaHso

Dec 16, 2014

Rowling confirms: Anthony Goldstein, Harry Potter’s classmate, is Jewish jta.org/2014/12/16/art…

Will U.S. Jewish groups pivot left if Herzog wins?

jta.org — WASHINGTON (JTA) - Come early next year, there might be yet another world capital that opposes Israeli settlement expansion and sees Benjamin Netanyahu as principally responsible for Israel's isolation: Jerusalem. Isaac Herzog, the Labor Party leader, is faring well in the polls since Netanyahu called for new elections earlier this month and the Knesset dissolved itself.

Poll: Most Israelis see a crisis in U.S.-Israel ties

jta.org — WASHINGTON (JTA) - A poll shows the majority of Israelis believe there is a crisis in U.S. Israel relations and that the Netanyahu government has harmed the relationship. A poll commissioned by J Street, the liberal U.S.

Jeb Bush uses Hanukkah and Christmas greeting to announce presidential bid

jta.org — WASHINGTON (JTA) - Jeb Bush announced his intention to "actively" explore the presidency in a Christmas and Hanukkah greeting message. "Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!" the former Florida governor Bush said in a Facebook message posted Tuesday. He described conversations he had with his family over Thanksgiving.
Dec 16, 2014

Jeb Bush uses Hanukkah and Christmas greeting to announce presidential bid jta.org/2014/12/16/new…

Biden at Hanukkah candle lighting: Jewish heritage is American heritage

jta.org — WASHINGTON (JTA) - Jewish notions of religious freedom so informed the American ethos that it is "is fair to say that Jewish heritage is American heritage," Vice President Joe Biden said at a menorah lighting in front of the White House.
Dec 16, 2014

Biden at Hanukkah candle lighting: Jewish heritage is American heritage jta.org/2014/12/16/new…

Highlighting campus sexual assault, Jewish groups have taken a lead

jta.org — CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (JTA) - Jewish campus groups were ready for the painful national dialogue that took place in the wake of murky rape allegations at the University of Virginia.
Dec 16, 2014

Highlighting campus sexual assault, Jewish groups have taken a lead jta.org/2014/12/16/new…