United States

On this day: Ethel Rosenberg is born

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2010

From a New York Jewish family, Ethel Greenglass was one of only two people in American history to be executed for spying during peacetime. The other was her husband, Julius.

After a lengthy trial, the Rosenbergs were found guilty of passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. It was the height of the Red Scare and Joe McCarthy’s witch-hunt. Americans were consumed with rooting out those people who were not true “patriots”.

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Steve Jobs fights Jewish journalism student

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2010

A Jewish student from New York spent Yom Kippur thinking about Steve Jobs after she received an email from the Apple chief executive telling her to leave him alone.

Chelsea Kate Isaacs described Mr Jobs as rude after he refused to help her with her university coursework. The 22-year-old former model, who studies journalism at Long Island University, had asked him for a comment for an article she was writing about the iPad. The university has launched an initative providing students with iPads.

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Hebrew schools for non-Jewish children

By Paul Berger, September 21, 2010

It's Thursday morning and 25 boys and girls are leaping on the spot in four lines, counting out jumping jacks in Hebrew.

"Echad! Shtayim! Shalosh!"

These are second grade students at the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Brooklyn, in which children - the majority of whom are not Jewish - study a large part of their curriculum in Hebrew.

When it opened last year, the HLA was only the second Hebrew-language charter school in America. Within a few years it could be among up to 30 such schools.

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Israel may swap spy for settlement freeze

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2010

Israel is believed to be considering a peace deal under which construction in the West Bank would remain halted in return for the freeing of a Jewish American jailed by the US for spying in 1987.

A freeze on settlement building is due to expire on September 24 and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has warned that he will leave the recently revived Middle East talks if it is not extended.

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Free speech: the burning issue

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 21, 2010

Prior to the recent anniversary of the Islamist attacks on the World Trade Centre and other American targets, an obscure American pastor threatened to publicly burn copies of the Koran on the lawn of his church in Gainesville, Florida.

The publicity given to this (subsequently withdrawn) threat sparked worldwide condemnation. Other Christian communities in the neighbourhood were joined by leaders of Muslim and Jewish congregations in berating pastor Terry Jones and his self-declared "International Burn a Koran Day."

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Ex-Islamist Husain to fight extremism in USA

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2010

Ed Husain, the Muslim co-founder of a British counter-extremism organisation is to take the “battle of ideas” to America.

Mr Husain, who set up the Quilliam think tank in 2007, will leave the organisation this November to become a senior fellow at the US Council for Foreign Relations (CFR).

He is also planning to take on an academic role at an American university and work on a follow-up book to The Islamist.

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Stewart plans Washington anti-Tea Party rally

By Jennifer Lipman, September 19, 2010

Jewish satirist is leading the fight against America’s right wing Tea Party movement in the run-up to November’s mid-term elections.

Jonathan Leibowitz, better known as The Daily Show presenter Jon Stewart, has announced plans for a "Rally to Restore Sanity” with a “Million Moderate March” on Washington.

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US adviser: Israeli-Palestinian talks are a charade

By Marcus Dysch, September 17, 2010

A senior military strategist and former US government adviser has launched a blistering attack on the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, deriding the process as a "charade".

Edward Luttwak, a senior associate at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington DC, said the "interference of frivolous people" would not bring about peace in the Middle East.

The process was, he said, "a perverse, deeply perverted mechanism that masquerades in humanitarian clothes".

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Spielberg's rabbi in adultery storm

By Paul Berger, September 16, 2010

Last year, Tobi Rubinstein-Schneier bought her husband Rabbi Marc Schneier an endangered Asian lion as a 50th birthday present.

This year, it is the high-flying, 51-year-old rabbi's career that is endangered as his wife files for divorce in a bitter lawsuit.

Rabbi Schneier is being accused of an affair with a woman in her thirties, which resulted in her pregnancy. As a result of the allegations, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the world's largest Orthodox rabbinical group, is now considering expelling him from their organisation.

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Orthodox Jews spotlight sex abuse

By Paul Berger, September 7, 2010

Two of America's leading Orthodox organisations will co-sponsor an event to highlight child sexual abuse in the US Jewish community.

National Jewish Child Abuse Prevention Week, which launches in Chicago on October 17, is backed by the highly influential Orthodox Union and by the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the world's largest Orthodox rabbinical group.

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