(JTA) — President Donald Trump signed into law a bill to extend disaster assistance by Federal Emergency Management Agency to houses of worship.
On Friday morning, Trump signed a two-year budget measure that included the provisions extending assistance. The government had shut down overnight, as lawmakers were unable to agree on the larger budget bill.
Last month, FEMA adopted a policy to allocate disaster aid to houses of worship, reversing years of policy that excluded such aid. The law makes that policy permanent, as a future president could have reversed the FEMA policy.
Under previous rules, relief funds could not…
(JTA) — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York by the estate of a German-Jewish businessman seeking the return of a Picasso painting sold in order to flee the Nazis.
The family of Paul Leffmann did not adequately show that the late businessman sold the masterpiece “The Actor” under duress, which would have mandated its return to the family, Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan ruled Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Laurel Zuckerman, Leffmann’s great-grandniece, is the executor of the estate of Leffmann’s wife, Alice. She sued for more…
JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli pop star is set to get her big break on Broadway.
Shiri Maimon reportedly received an offer to play the starring role of Roxie Hart in the hit musical “Chicago.” The offer was first reported on Israel’s Channel 10 television.
Maimon, 36, recently starred in a production of “Evita” at Habima, the national theater of Israel in Tel Aviv, where she reportedly was seen by the “Chicago” producers. They invited her to come for a series of meetings and an audition in New York.
Maimon recently completed her third season as a celebrity judge…
(JTA) — Paul Simon says he is going to stop touring, save for the “occasional performance” for charity.
“I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I’d consider bringing my performing career to a natural end. Now I know: it feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating, and something of a relief,” the beloved Jewish songwriter said in a statement Monday.
Simon, 76, noted that the death of his longtime guitarist Vincent N’guini last year contributed to his decision, along with the amount of time he spends away from his family during a tour. His…
(JTA) — Sam Bloch, a Holocaust survivor who committed much of his life to ensuring that the murder of millions of Jews would not be denied and the lives they led would not be forgotten, has died.
Bloch, who was an executive of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for 50 years, died Sunday. He was 94.
He was one of the principal organizers of historic survivor gatherings in Jerusalem, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York. The New York Times published a lengthy article about Bloch and his family in 1981 as they prepared to attend the World…