Tag: New York

ACLU urges senators to oppose bill targeting Israel boycotts

NEW YORK (JTA) — The American Civil Liberties Union called on U.S. senators to oppose a measure targeting boycotts of Israel and its settlements.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, introduced in March by Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, would expand 1970s-era laws that make illegal compliance with boycotts of Israel sponsored by governments — laws inspired at the time by the Arab League boycott of Israel — to include boycotts backed by international organizations. Those adhering to boycotts would be the subject of fines.

While the measure is aimed at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, it also targets efforts…

Trump’s lack of State Department appointments can hurt Israel, experts say

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Carmel Shama HaCohen, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, is second to none in his admiration for the Trump administration’s United Nations envoy, Nikki Haley. In fact, he’d like to clone her.

Shama HaCohen appreciated Haley’s efforts in trying to head off last week’s vote by UNESCO’s Heritage Committee naming Hebron’s Old City an endangered heritage site. And he believes the joint U.S.-Israeli bid to kill a resolution Israel saw as one-sided might have succeeded had a U.S. official of Haley’s caliber been onsite in Krakow, where the vote took place. (Haley conducted her efforts…

Israeli rabbinate ‘blacklisting’ American rabbis

(JTA) — Some 160 rabbis, including several prominent American Orthodox leaders, appear on a list of rabbis whom Israel’s haredi Orthodox-dominated Chief Rabbinate does not trust to confirm the Jewish identities of immigrants.

Rabbis from 24 countries, including the United States and Canada, are on the list. In addition to Reform and Conservative rabbis, the list includes Orthodox leaders like Avi Weiss, the liberal Orthodox rabbi from the Riverdale section of New York, and Yehoshua Fass, the executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, a group that encourages and facilitates American immigration to Israel.

The Chief Rabbinate controls all Jewish marriage in Israel, and…

A history of the World Jewish Congress is a portrait of modern Jewry

NEW YORK (JTA) — Rabbi Stephen Wise and Nahum Goldmann convened the founding plenary assembly of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva, Switzerland, in August 1936, in the shadow of ever increasing persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. It was the first time that Jewish leaders from different countries joined together as a decidedly activist and political body, rather than a philanthropic one, for the express purpose of representing Jews around the world.

Since then, the WJC’s sometimes hotly debated endeavors have included obtaining reparations and restitution for Holocaust survivors, repairing frayed ties with the Catholic Church and publicly…

This Chicago lawyer’s life was saved by 2 Israeli Nobel Prize winners

This story is sponsored by the Israel Cancer Research Fund.

When Jeffrey Kriezelman first started feeling the pain in his back, he shrugged it off as the vestige of an old baseball injury.

A busy immigration lawyer whose Chicago firm helps immigrants and asylum seekers gain lawful status in the United States, Kriezelman also was an avid athlete who had spent many seasons playing outfield in a men’s senior baseball league. Between sports and long hours at the firm he ran, Kriezelman, in his early 60s, didn’t have time to give pain much thought.

But weeks went by and the pain…