At Long Last State Department’s human rights report released after four-month delay

Secretary of State John Kerry, according to a spokesperson, is “very excited” about the release of the Human Rights Reports.
(United States Department of State )

The State Department was set to release the long overdue Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on June 25, after a delay, the longest ever, that spurred speculation in some political spheres that it was done in an effort not to upset Iran during ongoing nuclear negotiations, a charge the State Department denied. The Human… Read More

Uncertain Future BDS ties to trade package riles pro-Israel community


Despite unprecedented Democratic backing, including the overwhelming support of the Senate Finance Committee that approved it more than a month ago, Congress’ only legislative volley in the war against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement faces an uncertain future on Capitol Hill. In advance of a likely vote Wednesday on the so-called Trade Promotion… Read More

‘This is Just the Beginning’ Local, national Jewish organizations reach out to AME Church community in Charleston

Charleston residents during a prayer vigil outside the Morris Brown AME church

After nine people were killed by 21-year-old gunman Dylann Roof during a prayer study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Thursday, many, including the local Jewish community in Charleston, S.C., reached out to comfort and support their neighbors and publicly denounced the act as a hate crime against the African-American community. Rabbi Stephanie… Read More

Off the Mark Obama’s latest wooing of Jews not working, poll suggests

President Obama speaking at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C., May 22, 2015.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — It’s early days for the White House’s latest charm offensive among American Jews, but a new poll suggests that the wooing effort is having little effect. The poll, published June 10 by J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group that generally backs President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies, shows Obama stuck at the same… Read More

On the Table Domestic security concerns, Iran dominate OU mission to D.C.


Local leaders and other attendees of the Orthodox Union Leadership Mission to Washington, D.C., made clear to Congress their concerns over ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran and domestic security funding for Jewish institutions. More than 120 lay leaders and modern Orthodox clergy from nine states gathered on Capitol Hill June 3 for a packed day… Read More

Medal of Honor President awards medal posthumously to Jewish WWI serviceman

President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor posthumously to Sgt. William Shemin as daughters Ida Shemin and Elsie Shemin-Roth proudly accept the honor. (Suzanne Pollak)

Three sisters looked on with a mixture of pride and tears, as their great-grandfather, Sgt. William Shemin, was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously by President Barack Obama. “It’s unbelievable. It’s so exciting,” said Alice Philips-Roth of Missouri. Her sisters, Julie and Emily, said they didn’t know which was better — to watch as their… Read More

Disaster Relief on the Way for Houston

Rabbi Joseph Radinsky, rabbi emeritus of United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston, was among those who had to be rescued from their homes by watercraft after Houston was hit with heavy flooding, May 26, 2015. (Robert Levy)

It has been more than 36 hours after massive flooding crippled parts of Texas and Oklahoma and Jewish organizations in Houston are beginning to evaluate the impact of the storm in order to determine which areas are in need of assistance. “It’s hard to get the big assessment because people are still letting us know… Read More