Israel trip encourages LGBT Jews

More than 100 Jews from 19 communities across the United States will head to Israel beginning May 26 for a weeklong trip organized by the Jewish Federations of North America and focusing on inclusion of the LGBT community. Visits with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, and seeing iconic sites… Read More

Shelly Pitterman, regional representative to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees speaks at a conference on the refugee crisis, on May 18. 
Photo by Daniel Schere

Human rights activists say refugee crisis is being framed by fear

Members of the Jewish and human rights communities say the conversation surrounding how to treat the world’s 60 million refugees, particularly those in the Middle East, is missing compassion. Events such as the massive migration of Syrian refugees to Europe, the Paris terror attacks and shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., have heightened concerns over national… Read More

Kemp Mill Elementary School: A group of parents would like to start  Ph
Hebrew classes there. Photo by Daniel Schere

Kemp Mill parents plan effort to bring Hebrew to public school

A group of Orthodox parents in the Silver Spring neighborhood of Kemp Mill is beginning to develop a plan to bring extracurricular Hebrew and Judaics instruction to their community’s public elementary school. A small group of parents, meeting last week, discussed the need to devise a realistic approach to adding Jewish education to Kemp Mill… Read More

Right Hand Man Kadishai Begin

Begin’s right-hand man spills few secrets Review

Right-Hand Man: The Biography of Yehiel Kadishai, Chief of Staff and Confidant of Menachem Begin by Menachem Michelson, translated by Jessica Setbon. Jerusalem: Geffen Publishing, 2016. 324 pages. $26. Menachem Begin is not only one of Israel’s most compelling political figures, he is one of the most fascinating politicians anywhere during the past 75 years…. Read More

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) introduced the Religious Freedom Act of 2016 that would ban religious litmus tests as a qualification for immigrants entering the United States.

Beyer bill opposes religious litmus tests for immigrants

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) introduced a bill last week that would ban the use of religious litmus tests as a means of denying admission to immigrants, refugees and international visitors coming to the United States. Beyer said he acted in response to “political rhetoric vilifying select religious groups and increasingly hostile rhetoric toward religious freedom… Read More


Center aims to bring human trafficking out of the shadows There were 118 reported cases of abduction, prostitution or slavery in Maryland in 2015

It was a night ride with law enforcement about two years ago that opened Susan Esserman’s eyes to an invisible crisis in Prince George’s County, one she wants to be much more known: human trafficking. Esserman, a Washington trade lawyer who previously served as the deputy U.S. trade ambassador during President Bill Clinton’s administration, had… Read More

Pictures and artifacts from Temple B’nai Shalom’s children of Holocaust survivors will be on display through the end of May.
Photo by Justin Katz

NoVa synagogue remembers survivors’ stories

I don’t need Yom Hashoah because I live with this every day,” says Frank Kohn, a child of Holocaust survivors. “We don’t need an observance day because we grew up with pictures of people we never knew.” Nevertheless Kohn, and other members of Temple B’nai Shalom’s children of Holocaust survivors support group contributed stories and… Read More

Rabbi Gilah Langner  Photo Provided

Kol Ami in NoVa welcomes familiar new rabbi

Rabbi Gilah Langner has been a religious school principal and an adjunct professor at several Washington-area universities. This summer, she will become the rabbi of Kol Ami Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community in Arlington. Langner will succeed founding Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, who is retiring. Langner was one of two finalists in the search, said Herb… Read More

Israel critics, friends on Dem platform panel

  The Democratic Party platform-drafting committee is top-heavy with veterans of political battles over Israel — some friendly, some critical, and including at least one major backer of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. The Democratic National Committee named the committee on Monday, a day after reports emerged that Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from… Read More

Photo courtesy of Jeff Krulik

We’ll always have Largo Long for the days of long rocker hair but no tattoos? The documentary ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’ will take you home

Thirty years ago, Jeff Krulik and John Heyn, two fledgling documentary filmmakers on a lark, took borrowed video equipment to the Capital Centre parking lot in Largo. They had no idea lighting would strike and the mini-documentary they shot became a cult classic. “John had this idea to document heavy metal fans at a concert,”… Read More

Screen shot from
GoFundMe website

GMU student remembered after death in Israel

Friends and family this week fondly remembered Matthew Brian Shor, 22, a rising senior at George Mason University. He died suddenly on May 18 during an educational and cultural trip to Israel, according to an obituary on the website of Adams-Green Funeral Home. A memorial service for Shor was held Monday at Northern Virginia Hebrew… Read More

attends the "Veep" screening at the Time Warner Screening Room on April 10, 2012 in New York City.

Morley Safer, award-winning ’60 Minutes’ correspondent, dies at 84

Morley Safer, a “60 Minutes” correspondent for 46 years who as a reporter helped turn American public opinion against the Vietnam War with his coverage showing U.S. atrocities, died Thursday. Safer, who died a week after his retirement from the CBS newsmagazine was announced, filed his last report, his 919th, in March and reportedly had… Read More

United Methodist Church rejects 4 divestment resolutions

The United Methodist Church rejected four resolutions calling for the church to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s control of the West Bank. The votes took place over the weekend at the quadrennial United Methodist Church General Conference that began May 10 in Portland, Ore. The resolutions called for divesting from three companies that… Read More