Day School Groups Plan Merger New national organization to speak for 375 day schools

The Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School. (Henry H. Lewis Contractors, LLC via Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School)

Regional day school heads are expressing support for a merger announced last week of five North American Jewish day school organizations. Those groups represent more than 375 schools from across the denominational spectrum. “It’s very exciting news for the  entire day school field,” said Rabbi Mitchel Malkus, head of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School,… Read More

Eliminated! OU Advocacy closes its Maryland office

Attendees of last summer’s OU Advocacy’s legislative breakfast chat with Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford. (Anthony Marill Photography)

There is no one staffing the Orthodox Union’s Maryland Advocacy office now that the new legislative session in Annapolis is underway. The position of regional director, the organization’s only full-time staff position dedicated to Maryland issues, was eliminated Dec. 31. Maury Litwack, director of state political affairs for OU Advocacy Center, confirmed no one has… Read More

One-Upmanship Candidates seek more than votes with pro-Israel pandering

Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has made little secret of his effort to score pro-Israel political points. (EPA/CJ GUNTHER/Newscom )

Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) put forward legislation last week to force the current administration to move the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The bill has little chance of getting through Congress, but it’s yet another example of a presidential candidate, in this case Cruz, loudly proclaiming… Read More

‘Human Rights Are Human Rights’ Left and right make common cause on alleged torture of Jewish Duma suspects

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, protests at a New York demonstration organized by the right-wing Americans for a Safe Israel.

The issue of torture in Israel has received unusual attention in recent weeks because of the identity of the alleged victims. Human rights groups say nothing is new in the allegations that Jewish youths, arrested in connection with an arson attack over the summer that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents in the West… Read More

Advancing NGO bill Israel’s Cabinet fires another shot at its critics

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, (far left), and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. (AMIR COHEN/Photo via Newscom)

TEL AVIV — Its backers call it a victory for transparency. Opponents say it smacks of dictatorship. Either way, a new bill requiring certain Israeli nongovernmental organizations to publicly declare their foreign government funding is moving toward passage after it was approved by a Cabinet committee on Sunday. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked,  who proposed the… Read More

All In on Climate Jewish organizations back Paris pact

COEJL Manager Liya Rechtman (center) leads an interfaith prayer service in the Green Zone of the COP21 climate summit in Paris. (Photo provided)

The organized American Jewish community reacted positively to the Paris climate agreement signed this month by almost 200 nations. The Dec. 12 accord aims to significantly curb carbon emissions in order to avert dangerous climate change, but those elements of the community backing the agreement say the deal is only the beginning and that Jewish… Read More

‘There’s an Urgency’ Former Maryland attorney general to lead Pennsylvania’s ‘porngate’ investigation

Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler

A Washington, D.C. law firm has been officially contracted to pore over thousands of emails on Pennsylvania state servers as part of an independent investigation into a scandal locally dubbed as “porngate.” The final signature needed on the contract between the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and BuckleySandler LLP was added on Dec. 10, and… Read More

Baltimore Residents Protest and Call for Reform After Porter Mistrial

Protesters chanted outside of City Hall Wednesday evening.

Dozens of police officers stood on corners on Fayette Street in downtown Baltimore just after a mistrial was announced Wednesday afternoon in the case of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter, the first of the six officers who face various charges in the death of Freddie Gray. Blocks away, other officers stood behind barricades in front… Read More

Negotiating Interfaith Burial As time goes by, where to bury is becoming more and more of an issue

Nearly two years ago, Rabbi Jillian Cameron stood in a Catholic church in a deeply religious community in Massachusetts and gave the eulogy for her grandfather at the request of her relatives. When her grandfather’s casket was lowered into the ground, Cameron’s mother leaned over to her and whispered, “Can you stay and say Mourner’s… Read More