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JANUARY

www.lesliebarbaro.comLila Kagedan, the first graduate of Yeshivat Maharat to take the title “rabbi,” is hired by an unnamed American Orthodox synagogue. Photo courtesy of Yeshivat Maharat.

 

news-ronald-liebowitzBrandeis University in Waltham, Mass. announces the appointment of Ronald D. Liebowitz as its next president.

 

MCDSOOF EC480Hungary’s “Son of Saul” – a Holocaust-themed film funded in part by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany – wins the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film.

 

A new edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf sells out in German on the first day of its release.

 

The United Methodist Church announces that it will exclude Israeli banks from its portfolio.

 

Maccabi Electra's coach David Blatt gestures at the end of the Euroleague basketball match Unicaja vs Maccabi Electra at the Palacio de los deportes J.M. Martin Carpena sports hall on October 11, 2012. Maccabi Electra won 80 - 85. AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO (Photo credit should read Jorge Guerrero/AFP/GettyImages)The Cleveland Cavaliers fire Israeli-American head coach David Blatt, who led the team to the NBA Finals last season.

 

news-michael-doublas-and-nata-sharanskyActor Michael Douglas and Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky visit three U.S. college campuses to speak to students about Israel and modern antisemitism.

 

After decades of conflict, leaders of Judaism’s three denominations reach a compromise on the future of prayer at the Western Wall.

 

 

FEBRUARY

 

news-oscarThis year’s Oscars celebrity ‘gift bag’ includes a $55K trip to Israel.

 

news-amyThe top film awards at this year’s Academy Awards go to the Hungarian Holocaust drama “Son of Saul”; “Amy,” a documentary about a died-too-young Jewish rock star; and “Spotlight,” about an investigation of church sex abuse led by a newspaper editor who is Jewish.

 

roseanne-barrComedian Roseanne Barr participates in a Jerusalem conference on fighting the BDS movement.

 

Forty Columbia University faculty members sign a petition urging the New York school to divest from companies that “supply, perpetuate, and profit from a system that has subjugated the Palestinian people.”

 

 

MARCH

 

(Caption Information) Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Leader, Nation of Islam is seen during his speech.Rosa Parks Funeral at Greater Grace Temple Church.Detroit, Mi, November 2, 2005, Detroit, MI. (The Detroit News/Clarence Tabb, Jr.)Donald Trump, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, wins praise from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for not taking Jewish money in his quest for the White House.

 

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warns the world that the Syrian government is using chemical weapons against civilians, including during the ceasefire.

 

news-robert-levinsonThe family of Robert Levinson, a Jewish-American who disappeared from Iran in 2007, hold a rally calling on the US and Iran to work together for his release.

 

news-yisrael-kristalGuinness confirms that Yisrael Kristal, a 112-year-old Holocaust survivor and Israeli citizen, is the world’s oldest living man.

 

A new survey by the antisemitism watchdog group AMCHA backs up the argument that anti-Israel activity by entities such as student groups, academics, and BDS movement advocates, contributes directly to incidents of antisemitism on college campuses.

 

news-marrick-garlandPresident Obama picks Merrick Garland to be the next Supreme Court justice. But Republican leadership refuse to give him a hearing in the Senate.

 

news-hillary-at-aipacWith the exception of Bernie Sanders, all the Presidential hopefuls speak to 18,000 of Israel’s strongest supporters at the Annual AIPAC conference.

 

The mayor of the Boston suburb that has seen several recent antisemitic incidents announces a series of initiatives to “ensure an accepting and welcoming environment” for students, residents and visitors.

 

 

APRIL

 

news-gal-gadotIsraeli actress Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman in the new blockbuster film “Batman v. Superman.”

 

Ivanka Trump, daughter of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, gives birth to a baby boy. Ivanka converted to Judaism and is the wife of Jared Kushner.

 

A Canadian legal expert who has expressed anti-Israel views is set to be appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to the post of special rapporteur on human rights issues affecting the Palestinians.

 

The University of California’s Board of Regents votes to adopt a statement condemning antisemitic behavior and an accompanying report that urges campus leaders to confront “antisemitic forces of anti-Zionism.”

 

Microsoft puts the brakes on its artificial intelligence tweeting robot after it posts several offensive comments, including “Hitler was right. I hate the jews.”

 

Se. Ben Cardin, D-Md., gestures as he speaks during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing on Caroline Kennedy, of New York, to be Ambassador to Japan, on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 in Washington. Former first daughter Caroline Kennedy she would be humbled to carry forward her father's legacy if confirmed by the Senate to be the next U.S. ambassador to Japan. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says he will try to get Congress to reauthorize Iran sanctions before year’s end, a key goal of pro-Israel activists.

 

ANKARA, TURKEY - DECEMBER 14: President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan claps during the 2015 Turkish Academy of Sciences award ceremony at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on December 14, 2015. (Photo by Yasin Bulbul/Presidency/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)Turkish President Recep Erdogan meets with Jewish leaders in Washington, D.C., to smooth ties as Turkey and Israel seek to reconcile.

 

news-congregation-mishkan-tefilaTwo historic Boston-area Conservative synagogues — Congregation Mishkan Tefila and Congregation Kehilath Israel — announce plans to join forces and cohabit on a shared campus.

 

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), along with Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and John Cornyn (R-TX), introduce a bill in the U.S. Senate to extend the statute of limitations for claimants seeking the return of Nazi-looted artworks.

 

news-bernie-sandersSenator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, doubles down on his assertion that Israel’s response in the 2014 Gaza war was “disproportionate.”

 

Nineteen Reconstructionist rabbis form their own group to protest the movement’s recent decision to allow intermarried rabbis.

 

news-hermina-hirsch-singinganthemHermina Hirsch, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, sings the national anthem at a Detroit Tigers baseball game.

 

news-simone-zimmermanBernie Sanders presidential campaign suspends Simone Zimmerman, an activist hired as the campaign’s Jewish outreach coordinator after she was found to have posted profanity-laced social media messages about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

One of the topics included at the U.S. Universities Debating Championship at Morehouse College is “This House Believes that Palestinian Violence Against Israeli Civilians is Justified.” The ADL calls the topic “outrageous and deeply offensive.”

 

news-tzipi-livniThe head of a student group at Harvard Law School apologizes for asking Israeli lawmaker Tzipi Livni “How is it that you are so smelly?” during a panel event on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

 

MAY

 

news-beit-hatfutsotTel Aviv’s Beit Hatfutsot—Museum of the Jewish People celebrates its $100 million re-launch with, among other things, a look at the life of a Jewish boy named Robert Zimmerman — aka Bob Dylan.

 

news-stevie-van-zandtBDS supporters take aim at Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in response to a rumor that the group may perform in Israel this summer — and guitarist Stevie Van Zandt fires back.

 

news-trump-antisemitismA Jewish reporter whose mildly critical profile of Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, appeared in GQ magazine, is deluged with antisemitic abuse. The candidate’s wife blames the abuse on the writer herself, saying Julia Ioffe’s article “provoked” her “fans.”

 

The Pew Research Center’s newly released 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape study has some surprising things to report about American Jews (e.g., we’re smart, we’re single, and many of us didn’t start out as Jews).

 

dionne-warwickSinger Dionne Warwick refuses to cancel a concert in Israel despite pressure from the BDS movement.

 

news-anthony-weiner“Weiner,” a film about the rise and fall of former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, wins the Grand Jury Prize for documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

 

Following the death of a 116-year-old woman, the NY Daily News reports that the oldest American is now a 113-year-old Jewish woman named Goldie Steinberg living in Worcester, Mass.

 

news-touroA U.S. federal judge awards Newport-based Congregation Jeshuat Israel control over Rhode Island’s 250-year-old Touro Synagogue, America’s oldest Jewish congregation, over New York’s Congregation Shearith Israel, which has acted as a trustee of the synagogue for 200 years – ending a dispute that threatened to shutter the historic building.

 

The United Methodist Church rejects four resolutions calling for the church to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s control of the West Bank.

 

news-cornell-westBernie Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont seeking the Democratic nomination for president, names three people to the Democratic Party platform drafting committee who are expected to elevate the issue of Palestinian rights.

 

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Violinist Itzhak Perlman performs before the NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic at the Barclays Center on January 28 , 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.The Nets defeated the Magic 97-77. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)Israeli-born violinist Itzhak Perlman cancels a concert with the North Carolina Symphony over the state’s controversial transgender bathroom law.

 

 

JUNE

 

news-antisemitic-tweetsAfter receiving a deluge of antisemitic tweets from supporters of Donald Trump, a New York Times editor calls on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to denounce the invective. But Trump remains silent.

 

The ADL recognizes the Ottoman Empire’s massacre of Armenians as ‘genocide’ — a move the ADL had previously resisted.

 

andrew-cuomoNew York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issues the first-ever executive order on the U.S. state level that targets the anti-Israel BDS movement. The order prohibits any state agency or authority from engaging in a boycott of Israel or promoting BDS activities.

 

During the closing days of her campaign, Erin Schrode, a 25-year-old California woman vying to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, is subjected to a spate of antisemitic abuse via social media and cellphone messages.

 

news-orlandoPresumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump amps up his call to cut off Muslim entry into the U.S. and monitor U.S. Muslims, in the wake of a terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida that killed 49 people.

 

news-brexitIn an historic referendum — nicknamed “Brexit” — the United Kingdom votes to leave the 28-nation European Union, sending shockwaves throughout the world.

 

 

JULY

 

Rhode Island’s General Assembly approves legislation prohibiting the state from contracting with companies that engage in boycotts of allies of the United States, including Israel.

 

Israel and Turkey reach an agreement to reconcile, ending a six-year cut in diplomatic ties.

 

news-helenn-mirrinAt a press conference while visiting Israel to host the ceremony in which the Genesis Prize was presented to violist Itzhak Perlman, Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren says she “believes” in Israel and rejects artistic boycotts of the Jewish state.

 

WASHINGTON - MARCH 03: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg smiles during a photo session with photographers at the U.S. Supreme Court March 3, 2006 in Washington DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she “can’t imagine what the country would be” with Donald Trump as president. She later apologizes for her remarks.

 

Jewish-American Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman once again earns a spot on the U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team.

 

The Republican Party platform reinstates a reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital and removes a reference to “Palestine.”

 

news-conrad-richSean Conrad Rich, a 27-year-old Jewish staffer for the Democratic National Committee, is shot dead in an apparent robbery near his D.C. home. The killer is not found.

 

news-ivanka-trumpIsrael’s Supreme Rabbinical Court rejects a conversion made by American Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, reaffirming a lower court ruling. Lookstein also converted Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

 

On the anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal, more than a dozen Democratic senators call for an extension of the existing sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

 

dean-kremer-photo-2Dean Kremer comes the first Israeli to sign with a Major League Baseball team.

 

news-hillel-warsawOn the anniversary of the 73rd anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Trinity Hillel International leaders and Jewish dignitaries from around the world (including Trinity College Hillel Director Lisa Kassow) gather in the city for the dedication of the first Hillel house in Poland.

 

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton names Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate.

 

The mayor of Atlanta, Georgia stands up to a local Black Lives Matter group demanding the city discontinue its training relationship with Israeli police officers.

 

 

AUGUST

 

news-jewish-athletesSeven Jewish-American athletes are among the U.S. delegation to the Rio Olympics. And Israel sends its largest Olympic delegation ever.

 

Republicans launch an unprecedented get-out-the-vote campaign geared to convince Americans living in Israel to vote for Donald Trump.

 

Lebanese athletes refuse to ride on a bus with Israeli athletes to get to the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics. Organizers send a second bus to transport the Israelis.

 

news-munich-olympicsAfter 44 years, the Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics are remembered at the Olympic games with a ceremony, moment of silence, and the creation of a “Place of Mourning.” Ilana Romano, left, and Ankie Spitzer, right, widows of Israeli Olympic athletes, were among those on hand for the ceremony.

 

news-black-lives-matterThe text of the platform for the Black Lives Matter movement is passed, accusing Israel of “genocide.”

 

news-handshakeAt the Rio Olympics, an Egyptian judoka athlete refuses to shake hands with his Israeli opponent, Or Sasson, after Sasson wins their match and extends his hand for a handshake.

 

On the first day of the Rio Olympics, a Saudi Arabian athlete forfeits her first-round match against an athlete from Mauritius, reportedly so she could avoid facing Israeli Gili Cohen in the second round. Saudi Arabi denies the snub.

 

news-aly-raismanAly Raisman wins the Olympic silver medal in women’s gymnastics all-around. She is team captain.

 

news-jonathan-pollardConvicted spy Jonathan Pollard, 62, who was released from prison in November after 30 years in solitary confinement, loses his bid to overturn restrictive probabtion conditions.

 

Forty American Orthodox Jewish clergy sign a letter condemning Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s “hateful rhetoric and intolerant policy proposals.”

 

The California legislature passes a bill barring all state bodies, including universities, from maintaining ties with organizations that support anti-Israel BDS activities.

 

Thirteen Jewish graves are vandalized in Belfast. In Argentina, Jewish high school students at a graduation party are attacked by students form another school wearing Nazi costumes.

 

 

SEPTEMBER

 

news-shimon-peresShimon Peres, who served as Israel’s prime minister and as Israel’s 9th president, and shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, dies at the age of 93. World leaders, including President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton are among the world leaders attending his funeral.

 

news-kissThe woman – a Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Europe – whose Times Square kiss by an anonymous sailor celebrating the end of World War II became an iconic photo, dies.

 

Marvin Krislov, the president of Oberlin College, which had been at the center of a number of free speech controversies and faced criticism for its handling of a professor who posted antisemitic remarks on social media, announces his resignation.

 

President Obama signs a document that guarantees Israel $38 billion in defense assistance over a decade – but with a few caveats.

 

The New York City Board of Elections makes voting registration forms available in Yiddish.

 

news-khan-in-chicagoLondon’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, spends a Shabbat Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s shul.

 

Two leading Christian groups – the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches of Christ, USA – blame Israel almost entirely for the conflict with the Palestinians and call on the U.S. to cut defense aid to the Jewish state.

 

Jalal Masarwa as Anuar and Lamis Ammar as Layla in Elite ZexerFor the first time, Israel selects a film entirely in Arabic – “Sand Storms” – to represent the country at the Academy Awards.

 

“Vaybertaytsh,” a new feminist, Yiddish-language podcast airs its first episode. Two days later, it draws some 300 listeners.

 

 

OCTOBER

 

Residents of the Belarus birthplace for Shimon Peres gather outside his childhood home to pay their respects, following the Israeli leader’s death.

 

In the second televised presidential debate, Republican nominee Donald Trump says the U.S. focus in Syria should on the Islamic State terrorist group – not the Assad regime, because its allies, Russia and Iran, already control the country.

 

Oliver Hart, a Jewish-American professor of economics at Harvard University, shared the Nobel Prize in economics.

 

news-bob-dylanSinger/songwriter Bob Dylan becomes the first person considered primarily a musician to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

 

news-united-nationsThe United Nations’ agency UNESCO votes to ignore Jewish ties to holy sites in Jerusalem. Only six countries oppose the U.S. and five European Union members vote to oppose the resolution; 26 abstain, 19 vote in favor.

 

MFA Director General Dr. Dore GoldConnecticut native Dore Gold, the director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and a former Israel Ambassador to the UN, announces that he will resign his post due to personal reasons.

 

news-lieberman-with-florida-jewsConnecticut’s former U.S. Senator Senator Joe Lieberman leads outreach for the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to Florida Jews.

 

news-curt-schillingFormer All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling presses CNN anchor Jake Tapper to explain why so many of Tapper’s fellow Jews support the Democratic Party.

 

news-mel-gibsonActor and filmmaker Mel Gibson says its time the world moved on from his 2006 antisemitic tirade.

 

news-ari-shavitIsrael journalist Ari Shavit resigns from his positions at Haaretz and Israel’s Channel 10 after a second woman accuses him of sexual harassment.

 

 

NOVEMBER

 

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) (R) speak to members of the media during a news conference about private prisons September 17, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The legislators announced that they will introduce bills to ban private prisons. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)News that Senator Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is positioned to lead the Democratic Party draws vehement criticism from some Jewish groups, and approval from others.

 

Sen. Bernie Sanders is named chair of outreach for the Democratic Party.

 

 

DECEMBER

 

news-friedman-and-trumpPresident-elect Donald Trump nominates bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman to be ambassador to Israel, saying Friedman will serve from Jerusalem and describing the city as “Israel’s eternal capital.” Along with attorney Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, Friedman was one of the President-elect’s main emissaries to the Jewish community.

 

In hopes of offering a blueprint for ramping up constructive Israeli and Jewish relations with the Islamic world, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week made historic visits to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, two Muslim-majority nations in Central Asia.

 

Protesters denounce Donald Trump outside the the Trump International Hotel, Washington, DC USAA mix of centrist and liberal Jewish groups boycott the Chanukah party co-hosted by the Embassy of Azerbaijan and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations because it is held at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Presidents Conference, says the Azerbaijani Embassy had rented the location because of its proximity to the White House, where President Barack Obama’s final Chanukah party would be taking place the same evening. Some 200 people joined a protest of the event outside the hotel organized by IfNotNow, a Jewish group that opposes Trump and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

 

news-kirkKirk Douglas, the son of poor, illiterate Russian-Jewish immigrants, celebrates his 100th birthday in high style.

 

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend the second Hanukkah reception of the day with the grand-daughter and son of Simon Perez, Mika Almog (2L) and Chemi Perez (L) in the East Room of the White House on December 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. The President and First Lady lit the White House Menorah, the last such lighting ceremony for the Obamas. (Photo by Aude Guerrucci-pool/Getty Images)The son and granddaughter of the late Israeli President Shimon Peres lit the candles at President Obama’s last White House Chanukah reception hosted by President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.

 

ethel-rosenbergThe sons of convicted spy Ethel Rosenberg urge President Barack Obama to exonerate their mother more than six decades after her execution.

 

signThe iron gate greeting Dachau prisoners with a sign saying “Work Makes You Free” in German is found in Norway two years after it was stolen from the former German concentration camp.

 

The Ohio House of Representatives approves a bill targeting the BDS movement against Israel.

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