Lighting the Way

In its first three days, the crowdsourced fundraising campaign for the Kosher Switch nearly met its $50,000 goal.

NEW YORK — It promises a revolutionary innovation that could transform Jewish Sabbath observance. By changing the way a light switch works, the patented Kosher Switch offers a novel — and, its backers say, kosher — way to turn light switches (and, perhaps, other electrical appliances) on and off during Shabbat, circumventing one of the… Read More

Sense of Urgency

FBI Director James Comey (Photo United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Addressing the guests of the United States Holocaust Mem-orial Museum’s 2015 National Tribute dinner, keynote speaker FBI Director James Comey called the Holocaust the most significant event in human history. “It is of course significant because it was the most horrific display in the world of inhumanity,” Comey told the 1,000 donors, dignitaries and survivors… Read More

Taking on the ‘Israel Lobby’

Richard Falk, professor emeritus at Princeton University, accuses the United Nations of being biased against the Palestinians. (National Press Club)

A daylong seminar — “The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the U.S.? Is It Good for Israel?” — was convened last Friday to discuss the so-called Jewish lobby’s power to influence politicians on Capitol Hill and the Obama administration. Such perspectives are rarely heard, but a safe space was provided by the National Press… Read More

Damage Control

041715_indiana

The talk at Rabbi Michael Friedland’s Seder table in South Bend, Ind., was about Memories Pizza in the small Indiana town of Walkerton. Not that the celebrants already had tired of unleavened food — rather, they were bemused at how the restaurant owner’s stand in favor of the state’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act was… Read More

The Struggle Continues

Ilya and Luba Tolkachov and their 22-month-old son live in a tiny one-room Kiev apartment, which they share with with Ilya’s mother. (Ben Sales)

KIEV — In a crowded room of the Tolkachov family’s tiny apartment here, a couch and twin bed sit kitty-corner from each other, sandwiching a small crib. In another corner, a wooden table is cluttered with a computer and some toys. Since October, three generations of the Tolkachov family — grandmother, parents and 22-month-old baby… Read More

Outnumbered!

American Muslims are expected to be more numerous than American Jews by the year 2035, according to a new study. 
(Adam Berry/Getty Images)

In 20 years, there will be more Muslims in North America than Jews, according to a new Pew Research Center report. The report, which was released April 2, also found that more American Jews are leaving Judaism than non-Jews are joining the Jewish people. According to “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050,”… Read More

The Fight Is On

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) 
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was defiant in his news conference Wednesday evening, telling the media and cheering supporters in both English and Spanish at a Newark hotel ballroom that he will fight the indictment brought against him by the U.S. Department of Justice earlier that day — maintaining his innocence as he has throughout the… Read More

Did They or Didn’t They?

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) sits with President Barack Obama during a meeting in the Oval Office in March 2014. (Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

Experts on intelligence matters in the United States are brushing off last week’s allegations from anonymous Obama administration sources alleging Israeli espionage concerning the multilateral nuclear negotiations. Scholars such as Michael Makovsky at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) dismissed the allegations, first published in The Wall Street Journal, and accusations that Israel… Read More

Vastly Different Candidates

Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards are two Democrats battling for 
Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s seat.

As politicians throughout the state contemplate the wisdom of mounting a bare-knuckle Senate campaign, only Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards have officially declared their candidacies for the seat being vacated by outgoing Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski. But while both are longtime Democrats, they could not be more different in how they are perceived… Read More

A Clean Break on Campus

The Hillel student board at Swarthmore College in 2013-14, when Swarthmore became the site of the nation's first Open Hillel.
(Courtesy Sarah Revesz)

NEW YORK — Swarthmore Hillel’s student board voted to drop its affiliation with Hillel International and change its name, citing Hillel International’s restrictions on Israel issues. Following an extended debate, the 11-member board elected late March 16 in a 7-3 vote to drop the affiliation, effective immediately (one board member was absent). In December 2013,… Read More