Wake-Up Call For Russia’s Jews, Nemtsov murder is reminder of their vulnerability

Thousands of demonstrators in Moscow protest the murder of Boris Nemtsov.
(Alexander Aksakov/Getty Images)

During the past two years, Dima Zicer has skipped several political rallies opposing the chauvinistic policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin. A Jewish scholar of education from St. Petersburg, Zicer, 55, has limited hope for change in a country that is ranked 148th in the Press Freedom Index and where several of Putin’s critics have… Read More

Children ‘Had Faces of Angels’

An Orthodox Jew stands near 
the burial plots for seven children from the Sassoon family before their burial in Jerusalem on March 23. The seven children died early on Saturday when flames ripped through their Brooklyn home in one of New York City’s deadliest fires in years, officials said. Police identified the children who died as Yaakob Sassoon, 5, Sara, 6, Moshe, 8, Yeshua, 10, Rivkah, 11, David, 12, and Eliane, 16. (BAZ RATNER/REUTERS/Newscom)

The Brooklyn father who lost seven of his eight children in a home fire called his kids “a sacrifice” to the community. Gabriel Sassoon sobbed as he tried to recite the names of his late children during a eulogy Sunday at a Jewish funeral home in the heavily Orthodox Borough Park section of Brooklyn, the… Read More

Israeli Innovation Extends to Weed

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Israel is widely known as the “startup nation” for the plethora of innovation coming out of its tech-savvy entrepreneurs and researchers. And when it comes to medicinal cannabis, Israel does not disappoint. From state-of-the-art vaporizers to groundbreaking research, Israel continues to advance the idea that marijuana can be used to treat a host of diseases,… Read More

All About Bibi On Election Day in Israel, change comes as decisive victory

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BEERSHEVA, Israel — When he called for new elections late last year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cast the contest as a referendum on his rule. On Tuesday, amid early energetic turnout and anecdotal evidence of successful get-out-the-vote operations by Netanyahu’s political enemies on the left, the prime minister got what he wanted. Put simply,… Read More

The Somali Connection Muslim, Jewish communities unite to combat terrorist recruitment

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As the U.S battles Islamist terrorism abroad, cities such as Minneapolis, with its large Muslim Somali population, have emerged as ground zero in the psychological and sociological battles at home. Somali community groups there have joined forces with the federal government to prevent terrorist recruitment as well as anchor, educate and support young Somalis in… Read More

Bibi or Bougie? Despite focus on security, Israeli elections could come down to social issues

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Israelis will head to the polls early next week to cast their votes for the country’s 20th Knesset. As Election Day draws closer, the question has become: Will Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retain his position, or will Isaac Herzog, the not-as-charismatic leader of the opposition Labor Party and its joint Zionist Union slate with Hatnuah,… Read More

AIPAC Doubles Down Focus on Iran

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke to a crowd of over 2,000 people at this year's JFNA GA. The keyword: security.

Organizers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee told attendees of its Policy Conference 2015 that unlike previous years –where a number of issues and pieces of legislation made up the slate of lobbying initiatives – this Tuesday delegates should focus solely on “stopping Iran.” “When we go to the Hill on Tuesday, we will… Read More

Center of Attention In Lithuania, Yiddish teacher becomes unlikely bulwark against far right

Dovid Katz has become a target of scorn for speaking out against 
ultranationalist groups in Lithuania.
(Photos by Cnaan Liphshiz)

KAUNAS, Lithuania — Dovid Katz isn’t typically a hard man to miss. With his bushy charcoal beard, heavy physique and trademark all-black outfits, Katz, a New York-born scholar of Yiddish, resembles a character from a Harry Potter film. But at one of Europe’s more unusual neo-Nazi marches, complete with ultranationalists clad in medieval armor and… Read More

Power Player Oren lends foreign policy bona fides to new Israeli party Kulanu

Michael Oren, former diplomat and noted historian, may be the only American-born member of the next 
Israeli parliament.
(Gideon Markowicz/FLASH90)

TEL AVIV — Michael Oren, New York-born and educated at Columbia and Princeton, begins an interview in Hebrew. Though he quickly switches to English, Oren interrupts himself every so often to translate a word into Hebrew for his assistant. It’s a bilingual bridge he has spanned in one capacity or another for decades, first as… Read More

Tough Question Where does war authorization aimed at ISIS leave Iran?

Secretary of State John Kerry is flanked by Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France at U.N. headquarters in Geneva following nuclear talks with Iran in November 2013. Some U.S.
lawmakers fear that a focus on fighting ISIS will distract from preventing a nuclear Iran.
(Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON — Don’t make the enemy of your enemy your friend. That’s the message some lawmakers hope to convey to the Obama administration as they consider its request for a war authorization to combat ISIS. Concerns about how best to shape such an authorization without empowering Iran — a concern shared by Israel — are… Read More