United States

On this day: Ellis Island closes

By Jennifer Lipman, November 12, 2010

Ellis Island, sold by New York State to the US government for the princely sum of £5,500 at the beginning of the 19th century, was the main entry point to the US for more than six decades. At its peak some 5,000 people passed through it for inspection each day.

From 1892, when the control centre opened its doors, around 15 million immigrants passed through this island a few miles from Manhattan’s southern tip.

More than two million of them were Jewish, fleeing the pogroms Russia and around Eastern Europe and in search of a better life in the New World.

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US mid-terms: the Jewish winners and losers

By Jennifer Lipman, November 3, 2010

It was a mixed result for Jewish politicians as America voted in the 2010 mid-terms.

In what appears to have been the worst results in decades for the Democrats, President Barack Obama’s party has lost its majority in the House of Representatives and suffered defeats in key senate seats.

Richard Blumenthal, despite a tough challenge from the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, and a scandal over his claimed Vietnam record, was elected as the new junior Senator for Connecticut.

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Jewish Republican Cantor set for majority leader role

By Jennifer Lipman, November 3, 2010

The only Jewish Republican in Congress is set to become the new majority leader of the United States House of Representatives after the party made massive gains at the mid-term elections.

Eric Cantor, who won the Virginia seat he has held since 2000, has been the minority whip since 2008. The Republican landslide means he is expected to step into a more influential role.

The role is the second most powerful in the House leadership. Mr Cantor will take over from Democrat Steny Hoyer.

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Hall of Fame: Rizwan Khan

November 2, 2010


"He’s brilliant for what he does.


"I would love for us to have something like that. The Arab world is not very good at laughing at itself."








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Adamah’s real cabbage patch kids

By Jessica Elgot, November 2, 2010

Growing up in British cities, the closest Daniel Lichman and Vince Knowles came to agricultural work was planting sunflowers. But a year after finishing their studies, they were working as labourers on a very special farm.

The two are graduates of an American Jewish farming programme — the Adamah Fellowship.

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Vandals target Jewish centre on Illinois campus

By Jennifer Lipman, November 1, 2010

A Chabad house at a prestigious American university has been vandalised.

Attackers broke the bulbs and one branch of a statue of a menorah outside the Jewish centre, which serves students at the Northwestern University campus in Illinois.

Local police said they were viewing the incident as a hate crime and investigating what happened.

The Chabad director, Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein, told the student newspaper that the vandalism reinforced “the need to educate people on the importance of different religious symbols.”

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Who's who in the US mid-terms

By Jennifer Lipman, November 1, 2010

America goes to the polls tomorrow, to elect a new batch of congressmen and a third of senators.

It is predicted to be a bad result for President Barack Obama and the Democrats, with the Republicans poised to take back the house and cement support in the senate and among state governors.

Click through for the lowdown on the 2010 Jewish hopefuls.

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JFK speechwriter Sorenson dies

By Jennifer Lipman, November 1, 2010

Theodore Sorensen, John F Kennedy’s speechwriter, has died at the age of 82.

Mr Sorenson, whose mother Annis Chaikin was of Russian Jewish descent, died in New York following a stroke.
He joined the future president’s senatorial staff in 1953, when he was 25 and just out of law school.

He worked with President Kennedy during the 1960 presidential election and was one of the main figures in what came to be known as Camelot.

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Security high after Chicago synagogue cargo bomb threat

By Jennifer Lipman, November 1, 2010

Security has been stepped up at Jewish organisations in Chicago following the attempt to mail two bombs to synagogues in the city.

Jewish groups across the United States are on high alert after two packages containing explosive material hidden inside printer cartridges were intercepted on planes coming out of Dubai and East Midlands airports.

John Brennan, the US deputy national security adviser, has cautioned that there might be more attempts of the same type.

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Capitol Hill is at the end of my road

October 28, 2010

Washington is one of the most exciting cities I've ever been in - and I took a gap year in south-east Asia.

Capitol Hill is at the end of my road and my house is right by the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall. It's like living down the road from Parliament and in walking distance from St Paul's Cathedral.

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