Obama Gets Candid on Middle East President speaks about Israeli policy, Iran deal at Adas Israel

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Adas Israel Congregation Senior Rabbi Gil Steinlauf.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama went on the charm offensive last week, declaring publically what his most ardent Jewish Democratic supporters have said he’s expressed privately: a love of the Jewish people and Israel. Speaking before an audience of 1,000 at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C., Obama joked about his status as the “first… Read More

Reform Biennial to Feature Presidential Hopefuls

“Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd has been tapped to host a presidential candidates’ forum at the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial in November. The NBC News political director will interview 2016 presidential candidates one-on-one and give the hopefuls an opportunity to answer questions from URJ leadership and biennial delegates at the event scheduled for… Read More

Dreams Derailed As Amtrak resumes service, communities cope with loss

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With mandated Federal Railroad Administration safety measures and rail improvements in place, Amtrak’s busy Northeast Corridor reopened Monday, just shy of one week after a deadly train derailment north of Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station claimed eight lives and injured more than 200 people. Among the dead were two Jewish victims, Rachel Jacobs, 39, the CEO… Read More

Navy Midshipmen Killed in Derailment Was Dedicated Jew, Student Justin Zemser had his eyes on being a Navy SEAL

Justin Zemser pictured on June 27, 2013, at the United State Naval Academy, days after graduating from high school.

Richard Zemser, the uncle of United States Naval Academy midshipman Justin Zemser, couldn’t say enough good things about his nephew. “He did more things in his young 20 years than anybody can imagine,” his uncle said Thursday afternoon. He was taking a break from writing what he would say the next day at Justin’s funeral…. Read More

Jewish Midshipman and Tech CEO Confirmed Dead Despite carnage, commuters not deterred

Rachel Jacobs, with her husband and child.
Photo credit: JTA

A New York-bound Amtrak train originating in Washington, D.C. derailed Tuesday night in Philadelphia, killing at least eight and injuring more than 200 people, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said. Northeast Regional Train 188 was traveling at 106 mph as it entered the sharp curve, where the speed limit is 50 mph, according to the National Transportation Safety… Read More

Glory Days In L.A.’s Koreatown, Wilshire Boulevard Temple bets big on the past for its future

Steve Leder, senior rabbi at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, saw 
opportunity in the synagogue's 
deteriorating landscape.

LOS ANGELES — The time has long since passed when the Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s address on its namesake boulevard was considered glamorous. Now the surrounding blocks are the clamorous heart of Koreatown, with all its urban grit: traffic snarls, hulking office buildings, electronics shops, dentists, and banks with signs in Korean and some in Spanish…. Read More

The Debate on Policing Jewish organizations in position to help make change

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WASHINGTON — From roundtable discussions to protests and prayers to candid talks with law enforcement officials, American Jewish communities are joining in the debate about community policing in the wake of several high-profile deaths of unarmed black men while in police custody. Officials were short on specifics, but several said that protests in Baltimore following… Read More