Obama’s $38B Aid Package to Israel Comes with Caveats: It’s Generous, But On His Terms

Jacob Nagel, Israel’s acting national security adviser, signs a Memorandum of Understanding for $38 billion of U.S. defense  

assistance over 10 years with Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon. (Embassy of Israel)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s near parting gift to Israel, a guarantee of $38 billion in defense assistance over a decade, distills into a single document what he’s been saying throughout eight fraught years: I have your back, but on my terms. The agreement signed Sept. 14 in the State Department’s Treaty Room increases assistance… Read More

Donkey Redemption Is Rare Ritual in Judaism

The Beirig family’s donkey was adorned with a serape and jewelry on its walk to the podium. (Lori Samlin Miller)

CHERRY HILL, N.J. — The Torah is specific when it  describes what a Jew should do about his first fruits, his first harvest and his firstborn male children. Is it any wonder that it is equally precise about what to do about a firstborn donkey? Such was the subject of a rare mitzvah performed last… Read More

What’s a Republican Jew to Do?

Former White House speech writer Noam Neusner wrote an essay in the Forward, “How Republican Jews Utterly Failed To Prevent Rise of ‘Toxic’ Donald Trump.” (Photo compiliation using istockphoto.com)

Jews who vote Republican and make  national security both at home and in Israel their main issue every four years continue to wrestle with the question of the day: “Should I support Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in his bid for the White House?” Washington-area Republicans have struggled with the GOP candidate’s hostile rhetoric and… Read More

The Jewish ‘Jersey Boys’ Writers of the Baltimore-bound smash hit talk about the musical’s Jewish-Italian connection

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If there’s one thing that our Italian cousins and we Jews share, it’s a needling sense of conscience. We’re each compelled by our own personal and shrill Jiminy Cricket forever prodding us to spill the beans. About ourselves, about our worldview, our foibles, what we wish we were and, inevitably, what we wish were not…. Read More

5 Feel-Good Stories from Israel That Will Echo into the Jewish New Year

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The Jewish state has nearly made it through another Jewish year and, as always, there was plenty to kvetch about in 5776. But Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time to take stock and celebrate. Before the shofar blowing begins, here are five Israeli stories from the past year worth trumpeting. Expect them… Read More

Woody Allen’s Longtime Writing Partner on Separating the Art From the Artist

The Baltimore Jewish Times spoke this week with “Jersey Boys” co-writers Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman about their enduring personal and working relationship, including Elice’s looking upon his writing partner as a mentor. Enjoying a profoundly eclectic and prolific career of collaborations – among them: “The Muppet Show” with Jim Henson, “The Tonight Show Starring… Read More

Muslims Look to Jewish Example in Campaigning for School Days Off

Above: Students at a Muslim  elementary school in Morton Grove, Ill., pray in the school gymnasium. (Students: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

When Jessica Abdelnabbi-Berrocal wanted her local public schools in Jersey City, N.J., to close for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha in September, she looked to her Jewish heritage. The daughter of a Sephardic Jewish mother and Catholic father, Abdelnabbi-Berrocal never had any trouble celebrating the holidays of both religions as a public school student… Read More

Trump, Clinton Talk Tough on Iran Following Controversial Report

Hundreds of demonstrators in Los Angeles protest the Iran  nuclear deal in July 2015. (Peter Duke)

WASHINGTON — The Trump and Clinton campaigns issued tough-on-Iran statements in the wake of a report alleging that negotiators allowed Iran secret loopholes in the nuclear agreement. The Institute for Science and International Affairs, a think tank founded by a former United Nations nuclear weapons inspector, David Albright, said in a report released this week… Read More

What Would Heschel Say About Black Lives Matter?

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When the Movement for Black Lives published its platform last month, many Jews were shocked that in addition to its call for the end of systemic racism against African-Americans, the platform demanded an end to U.S. aid to Israel. Support for Israel made the United States complicit in the “genocide” against the Palestinians. Israel, the… Read More