Tag: J-Street

Their troubled brother wandered into Gaza. Now his Ethiopian-Israeli family wants US help to get him back.

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Ilan Mengistu knows his pitch to rescue his brother, Avera, should be a no-brainer to Jews — “pidyon shvuyim,” the redemption of the hostage, is among the greatest of commandments.

But Mengistu also knows that the story he has to tell is not the straightforward narrative longed for by those who would do good: Avera was not a soldier, nor was he captured exactly. He crossed into the Gaza Strip of his own volition.

Mengistu came to Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., last week with his mother to raise awareness of the plight of…

What happens now with the Iran deal

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump has said what he wants Congress to do with the Iran nuclear deal, which he has called the worst in the world: Make it better.

How does that happen? Is it possible to “fix” the deal without breaking it?

Here’s a breakdown of what Trump wants, what might happen and where the Jewish organizations, many who were fierce opponents of the original deal, are on the issue.

What Trump wants

The 2015 deal negotiated by the Obama administration, the European Union, Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China with Iran traded sanctions…

Christian Zionists still uncertain about Trump — but know they’re glad Obama is out

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Barack Obama is gone and the relief among the Christian Zionists and their Jewish friends who peopled certain corners of Washington, D.C., this week was palpable.

Gary Bauer, the veteran evangelical activist, laid it out at the opening session of Christians United for Israel’s annual conference on Monday.

A year ago, “from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the next, we had people who were not blessing Israel, they were cursing Israel,” said Bauer, who was recently named director of CUFI’s Washington office.

Now, Bauer said to applause, Pastor John Hagee, CUFI’s founder, was…

Fed-up Reform leaders are thinking twice about their donations to Israel

NEW YORK (JTA) — Daryl Messinger knows she’s going to visit Israel again. But the next time she flies there, it won’t be on El Al.

Messinger, the chair of the Union for Reform Judaism, will be boycotting Israel’s national airline as part of her protest of the Israeli government’s two votes last week that empowered its Orthodox sector at the expense of more liberal groups. She’s also going to make a point of buying non-kosher wines produced in Israel — a show of support for Jews who don’t observe traditional kosher laws.

“I want to make sure my…

American Jews really care about pluralism. But it’s not just about pluralism.

(JTA) — The Great Jewish Revolt of 2017. The Bar Kotel Rebellion. The Diaspora Strikes Back.

Whatever you call it, last week’s clash between American Jewish leaders and the Netanyahu government felt louder, angrier and more significant than previous clashes over pluralism in Israel.

That may be because it wasn’t only about pluralism.

That’s not to say that pluralism isn’t important. The non-Orthodox Jewish groups who fought hard for a space and a say at the Western Wall — only to see the agreement frozen — want their versions of Judaism to be treated with respect in Israel. They knew that…