Borts quits Newcastle Reform

By Cathy Forman, March 29, 2012

Newcastle Reform's Rabbi Barbara Borts has resigned because she "wants to move on".

Rabbi Borts has given six months' notice to the 150-member congregation she has served on a part-time basis since 2008.

"I have had a good time here," she said. "They are a great bunch of people. If they need help I will continue to help them. I am not leaving them in the lurch."


Santorum paid to speak to Messianic Jews group

By Jennifer Lipman, March 23, 2012

The Republican presidential hopeful, Rick Santorum, spoke at a Messianic Jews convention in 2010, it emerged this week.

Mr Santorum, who remains the main obstacle to Mitt Romney's chances of the party's nomination, is known for his conservative views on issues such as abortion, homosexuality and birth control, inspired by his devout Catholicism.


Streisand to sing for Israeli soldiers

By Jennifer Lipman, November 30, 2011

Barbra Streisand is to entertain Israeli soldiers for an evening next week.

The globally celebrated star will perform at a gala dinner organised by friends of the IDF in Los Angeles on December 8.

Among the more than 1,000 guests will be the former IDF chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, and Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander.


Another blow in California for anti-circumcision activists

By Jennifer Lipman, October 3, 2011

The Governor of California has signed a law which will effectively prevent groups from attempting to ban circumcision.

Jerry Brown said on Sunday that he had signed the bill making it illegal for local authorities to ban the practice.


Baron Cohen wins Bruno lawsuit

By Jennifer Lipman, September 15, 2011

A judge in California has ruled that Sacha Baron Cohen is not responsible for injuries sustained by a woman who tried to remove him from an event during the filming of Bruno.


Elvis songwriter Jerry Leiber dies in Los Angeles

By Jennifer Lipman, August 23, 2011

The man who wrote the lyrics for famous hits by Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones has died at the age of 78.

Jerry Leiber and composer Mike Stoller were behind some of the most memorable songs of the 1950s and 1960s, including Presley's Jailhouse Rock and Hound Dog, both of which topped the charts.


Paintings of Hitler's parents up for auction

By Jennifer Lipman, August 3, 2011

A California auction house is hoping to fetch more than £60,000 from the sale of two paintings said to feature Adolf Hitler's parents.

The oil paintings, both from the 1930s, are being sold by a San Diego auction house.

They feature Alois and Klara Hitler at Berghof, Hitler's holiday home in the Bavarian mountains.


Victory in San Francisco circumcision ban fight

By Jennifer Lipman, July 29, 2011

Jewish groups in San Francisco were celebrating on Thursday evening after a judge ordered the proposed ban on circumcision to be removed from a ballot.

Judge Loretta Giorgi ruled that the measure was "expressly preempted" because under Californian state law cities cannot regulate medical practice.


Judge could strike San Francisco circumcision ban from ballot

By Jennifer Lipman, July 28, 2011

A San Francisco judge is expected to announce today whether she will go ahead with plans to prevent a vote on a proposal to ban circumcision.

Judge Loretta Giorgi could strike the proposal from the ballot on the basis that it could not be passed anyway because medical procedures are the responsibility of states rather than individual cities.


Lesbian couple banned at Gertrude Stein show

By Jennifer Lipman, July 20, 2011

The San Francisco Jewish Museum has cautioned a security guard after he refused to allow two women to hold hands at an exhibition of the work of prominent lesbian artist Gertrude Stein.

The couple was reprimanded by the guard, who told them they could not hold hands.