Scarlett Johansson defends deal with SodaStream

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Jewish-American actress Scarlett Johansson has come under fire from human rights groups for serving as a spokeswoman for Israeli carbonated beverage company SodaStream. Oxfam International, a human rights group that Johansson is involved with, took issue with her deal due to its opposition to “all trade from Israeli settlements.” SodaStream has long been the target… Read More

State of the Union: Jewish groups’ priorities

President Barack Obama will present his annual State of the Union address before Congress and the nation this evening. Like presidents before him, Obama has traditionally used this opportunity to lay out an ambitious agenda – and he probably still will – but it would be difficult to do so without acknowledging the saga of… Read More

Columbia Community Searches For Answers

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Last Saturday morning’s fatal shooting at a popular Howard County shopping mall sent shock waves through the typically quiet suburb of Columbia, Md., with members of the area’s close-knit Jewish community joining their neighbors in mourning a sense of safety shattered by a teenager’s bullets. Lynn Green, president of local Reform congregation Bet Aviv, shops… Read More

Omnibus Spending Bill Grants Billions to Israel

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With much fanfare and six different pens, President Barack Obama signed the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2014 last Friday, capping years of Congressional budget fights and officially alleviating the sequester cuts that last year began indiscriminately slashing government spending. The bill, negotiated by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and… Read More

Medicinal Reefer Madness

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The waiting room at the Takoma Wellness Center looks not unlike a doctor’s office. Two black leather chairs bestride a coffee table, and informational pamphlets reside in a display on the back wall. A hamsa, a Middle Eastern symbol for health, happiness and good fortune, sits above one of the chairs. But in the next… Read More

Keeping The Pressure On

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Recent events — the release of Jacob Ostreicher, President Barack Obama’s handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro and the ongoing diplomatic talks with Iran — may bode well for the fate of several Americans being held hostage overseas. While each case is different, the outcomes of such figures as Alan Gross in Cuba and Robert… Read More

Supporting Stem Cell Research

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Hadassah of Greater Baltimore’s eighth annual CELL-A-BRATE event will feature a night of music and dancing with Bruce in the USA — a tribute band to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band — as well as a catered reception, drink offerings and a silent auction. The gathering promises to raise critical funds necessary to… Read More

Diary of Hate

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Adolf Hitler’s close confidant Alfred Rosenberg actively sought out his leader’s praise, but was himself deeply-committed to the cause of creating a superior race in a world without Jews. So concludes Juergen Matthas, director for applied research at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. As the point man at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum assigned… Read More

Violence Frightens Ukrainian Jews

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Two violent anti-Semitic incidents that took place in Kiev over the course of a week have alarmed the Ukrainian Jewish community. Some experts speculate that the events could be related to the political conflict that has engulfed the country since November 2013. On Jan. 11, several men attacked Hillel Wertheimer, an Orthodox Jewish and Israeli… Read More

Budget Cuts Impede Survivor Services

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Government grants and health insurance companies award a bigger share of benefits to senior citizens living in residential facilities, but Holocaust survivors are better off aging in their own homes, according to several people testifying at a two-hour Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing Jan. 15. The United States, they reasoned, must convince the German… Read More