United States

On this day: Dedication of the Touro Synagogue, in Newport

By Jennifer Lipman, December 2, 2010

Today the USA is home to the largest Jewish population in the Diaspora, but the first Jewish settlements in North America did not emerge until the 1650s in New Amsterdam, the colonial capital later renamed New York. The first synagogue in the US was not in New York, however, but in the tiny state of Rhode Island.

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US to Palestinians: Western Wall has Jewish significance

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2010

The Obama administration has rejected the controversial claim by a Palestinian official that there is no Jewish connection to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Last week Palestinian Authority minister Al-Mutawakil Taha said in a report that "this wall has never been a part of what is called the Jewish Temple.

"It was Islamic tolerance which allowed the Jews to stand before it and cry over its loss."

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On this day: the Hollywood Ten are blacklisted

By Jennifer Lipman, November 25, 2010

It can be hard to believe that in a country where freedoms and rights are at the heart of politics, vast proportions of the population were for years persecuted for their political views.

For many involved in the United States entertainment industry, the late 1940s and early 1950s were a time when answering the question “Are you now, or have you ever been, a communist?” could destroy a career.

Orchestrated by the fervent anti-communism of Senator Joe McCarthy, the Red Scare saw men and women called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)

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US blasts Israel on religious freedom

By Paul Berger, November 25, 2010

The State of Israel discriminates against non-Orthodox Jews and non-Jews, according to a US State Department report.

The critical assessment is included in the department's Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, released last week.

Among the many criticisms, the report found that Israeli state funding favours the Orthodox and that the government puts greater resources into Jewish holy places than other religious sites.

Eight countries - Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan - gave the US most cause for concern.

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Hall of Fame: Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker

November 23, 2010

"The event commemorates the holiday in the western tradition of Texas.

"Participants are encouraged to wear jeans, boots and cowboy hats, and the Chanucah story is retold around a campfire."

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Zuckerberg, Emanuel on Fortune power list

By Jennifer Lipman, November 23, 2010

The 26-year-old founder of Facebook has been placed fourth in an annual list ranking the world’s top businesspeople by Fortune magazine.

Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, who created the influential social networking site from his college dorm-room in 2004, is the highest ranked Jewish businessman on the list.

The list also includes the CEOs of Starbucks and Kraft Foods, Howard Schultz and Irene Rosenfeld.

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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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