‘A Great Meeting Place of Ideas’ Jews from across country to gather in D.C for National Retreat

Attendees of the 2014 National Jewish Retreat mark the end of Shabbat on Aug. 9 with a musical Havdalah ceremony at the Palmer House Hilton.

The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, the adult education arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, will host its 10th annual National Jewish Retreat at the Omni Shoreham resort in Washington, D.C.,  from Aug. 11 to Aug. 16, featuring some of the most influential rabbis and lay leaders from across the country as guest speakers, with an expected… Read More

Jewish Groups Decry UCC BDS Resolution ‘It contributes nothing to peace’

Demonstrators take part in a boycott, divestment and sanctions protest against Israel in Melbourne, Australia.

The United Church of Christ passed a resolution Tuesday calling for the boycott and divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. The resolution, which passed 508-124 at the 30th General Synod in Cleveland, was submitted by the Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC, which represents 167 UCC congregations in New… Read More

What Next? Orthodox Jewish groups brace for consequences of gay-marriage ruling

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WASHINGTON — The name that keeps coming up when Orthodox Jewish groups consider the consequences of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision extending same-sex marriage rights to all states has little to do with Jews or gays. Bob Jones University, the private Protestant college in South Carolina, lost its tax-exempt status in 1983 when the… Read More

Law of the Land Jewish groups react to SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage

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The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling announced last Friday morning, approved same-sex marriage for residents in all 50 states. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” Kennedy wrote in an opinion joined by… Read More

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

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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
(RICHARD ELLIS/EPA/Newscom)

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.

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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