‘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

Bernie Sanders in Baltimore: “We Need Fundamental Changes”

Bernie Sanders supporters eagerly await the Democratic presidential candidate's arrival in Baltimore. (By Daniel Schere)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders visited Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood Tuesday morning, calling for increased investment in depressed urban communities across the country. “Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think we were in a wealthy nation,” he told reporters. “They would think we were in a third-world country… Read More

Candidates on Parade at Jewish GOP Gathering

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Forum in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Nearly 700 Jewish Republicans gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, D.C., on Thursday to hear from Republican presidential candidates. The forum, sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition, is the only event outside of the debates in which the 14 remaining candidates are scheduled to attend. “We absolutely need a Republican president in the White… Read More

Teen Engagement Conservative leadership emphasizes youth at biennial convention

Convention attendees from Har Shalom are (from left) Bob Sunshine, USCJ International board member; Beth Ann Spector, synagogue vice president  for membership; Carly Schmand, synagogue membership coordinator;  David Helfand, director of  youth engagement; Shelley Engel, synagogue  executive director; Cantor Henrique Ozur Bass; and Rabbi Adam Raskin. (TK)

With a focus on their movement’s youth and young families, leaders at the biennial convention of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism  expressed hope for the future. Under the banner of “Shape the Center,” USCJ CEO Rabbi Steven Wernick used his platform to push the 1,200 attendees of the Nov. 13-17 convention in the Chicago… Read More