USY kicks off IC NOLA

USY international president Michael Benjamin Sacks rides a float inside the Hilton Hotel at opening ceremonies for IC NOLA (Photo by Alan Smason)

With colorful Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold and the music of a traditional New Orleans street parade marching band, 700 members of United Synagogue Youth (USY) joined in unison to jump, shout and celebrate the opening ceremonies of the IC NOLA (International Convention, New Orleans, LA).

For more than 20 minutes, the 19 regions represented at the convention streamed into the Grand Ballroom of the New Orleans Hilton Riverside Hotel to the powerful sounds of popular Israeli and Jewish dance music. They danced around the auditorium filling the room with their own brand of ruach, or spirit.

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Chief Rabbi Mirvis makes landmark address to Limmud UK

COVENTRY, England (JTA) — Ephraim Mirvis  became the first sitting British chief rabbi to address the annual Limmud conference, defying the opposition of  prominent haredi Orthodox rabbis in England.

Mirvis, who received a standing ovation Monday upon entering the packed auditorium at the University of Warwick, did not directly address the controversy in … Continue reading



NEW YORK (JTA) – Last spring, I found myself averting my eyes when my 4-year-old mentioned something about the Easter bunny in front of my dad.

We were at my parents’ home in Michigan for Passover and my son said, “When I get back to Brooklyn, the Easter bunny is going to bring me a basket!”

I didn’t want to see the look on my dad’s face or hear him mutter under … Continue reading

Mandela Foundation denies Mossad trained apartheid fighter

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Nelson Mandela Foundation denied an Israeli newspaper report that Mandela received training from Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency in the 1960s.

“Media have picked up on a story alleging that in 1962 Nelson Mandela interacted with an Israeli operative in Ethiopia,” the foundation said in a statement on Saturday. “The Nelson Mandela … Continue reading

Stabbing of Israeli policeman seen as part of terror spree

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli policeman stabbed in the West Bank by a Palestinian is the latest of several attacks in less than two days being called terrorist by Israel.

The policeman was admitted to a Jerusalem hospital with a knife in his back after the Monday evening attack, Haaretz reported. He had been directing … Continue reading

Court hears appeal case that Hebrew National is not 100% kosher

NEW YORK (JTA) — A Minnesota court is hearing an appeal of a lawsuit arguing that Hebrew National is falsely labeling its products as “100 percent kosher.”

The original lawsuit, filed in May 2012 by 11 plaintiffs claiming fraud and breach of contract, was dismissed in January by U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank on the … Continue reading

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