President Praises Community Efforts to Free Gross

December 17 remarks from President Barack Obama on the release of Alan Gross: “I wanted to begin with today’s wonderful news. I’m told that in Jewish tradition one of the great mitzvahs is pidyon shvuyim. My Hebrew’s not perfect. But I get points for trying. But it describes the redemption. The freeing of captives. And… Read More

Rabbis Face Off
Respected D.C. Jewish leader goes to court in rare breach-of-contract dispute

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Two well-known D.C. rabbis squared off in civil court this week, resulting in the loser being virtually barred from George Washington University’s campus. “You can call up the president of the university and wish him Happy New Year,” was all Superior Court Judge Neal E. Kravitz said that Rabbi Yehuda Steiner, affectionately called “Yudi” by… Read More

Alan Gross Comes Home
Cuba releases Jewish-American contractor amid spy swap

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U.S. contractor Alan Gross, who was imprisoned by the Cuban government for five years, returned home to Maryland Wednesday in what was dubbed by many as a Chanukah miracle. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who was informed Tuesday night by Vice President Joe Biden of Gross’ release, was at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County… Read More

Statement from Gross on Return Home from Cuba

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Upon returning home from five years of imprisonment in Cuba, Alan Gross had the following to say: “Chag Sameach.  What a blessing to be a citizen of the United States of America.  Thank you President Obama for everything you have done today. I want to acknowledge the extraordinary and determined efforts of my wife of… Read More

American, Israeli Jewry Challenge Chief Rabbinate
New coalition wants to see alternatives to ‘religious monopoly’

Rabbi David 
Ellenson

A growing number of American Jews are challenging Israel’s chief rabbinate on issues of pluralistic religious freedom. With the Orthodox rabbinate’s strict rules governing matters of marriage, divorce, burials and conversions, American Jewish leaders, along with Israeli partners, are working to spur world Jewry to demand change, citing national security concerns in Israel, religious rights… Read More

Protesters at Pitt Disrupt Talk by Former IDF Medic
One arrested, others flee at JNF co-sponsored event

PITTSBURGH — Masked protestors wielding electronic noisemakers disrupted an event co-sponsored by a pro-Israel student group at the University of Pittsburgh on Nov. 24, necessitating the intervention of campus police and culminating with the removal and citation of one protester while others fled from the scene. Approximately a half-hour into the program — which featured… Read More

All for One
New York’s Jews respond to Garner decision

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For some in New York City’s Jewish community, the announcement that a grand jury would not indict the police officer implicated in the death of an unarmed Staten Island man in broad daylight struck such a cord that some were willing to risk arrest in protest. “I do believe we have a big contribution to… Read More

United Stand
Jewish community rallies for Ferguson

At least four protests took place in Baltimore on Tuesday, Nov. 25, the day following the grand jury announcement, including those at Morgan State University, the University of Baltimore School of Law, McKeldin Square and Baltimore City Hall.

Throughout the past four months, between officiating bar mitzvahs and weddings and leading her congregation, Rabbi Susan Talve, of St. Louis’ Central Reform Congregation, has been traveling north to Ferguson, Mo., to join the protests. “There was moral outrage,” Talve said of the nights immediately following last week’s announcement that charges would not be brought… Read More

United Stand
Jewish community rallies for Ferguson

At least four protests took place in Baltimore on Tuesday, Nov. 25, the day following the grand jury announcement, including those at Morgan State University, the University of Baltimore School of Law, McKeldin Square and Baltimore City Hall.

Throughout the past four months, between officiating bar mitzvahs and weddings and leading her congregation, Rabbi Susan Talve, of  St. Louis’ Central Reform Congregation, has been traveling north to Ferguson, Mo., to join the protests. “There was moral outrage,” Talve said of the nights immediately following last week’s announcement that charges would not be brought… Read More

Welcome the Stranger

As partisans haggle over the legality of President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration, the American Jewish community is applauding an effort many Jews have long fought for. Rabbi Michael Ramberg has been working with Philadelphia’s immigrant community since he was a rabbinical student. “I’m glad he’s doing something,” Ramberg, who serves as immigration working… Read More