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Articles written by Andrew Tobin

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 By Andrew Tobin    Features    March 17, 2017 

Why former US envoy Dan Shapiro keeps staying in Israel

RAANANA, Israel (JTA)-Dan Shapiro can't seem to leave Israel. Before stepping down as the U.S. ambassador to the country in January, he said he would stay long enough for his daughters to finish...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    March 10, 2017

Women's sport you've never heard of is taking Israel by storm

TEL AVIV (JTA)-Every week, thousands of women across Israel gather to play a sport almost no one outside the country has heard of. For that matter, few Israelis knew about catchball, or "cadur-reshet"...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    February 24, 2017

Evangelicals are ready to speak for Israel in Trump's Washington

TEL AVIV (JTA)-Evangelicals, who have been advocating for Israel for years, have historically let the Jews take the lead. Laurie Cardoza-Moore, for one, is excited that they are poised to take on a...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    Features    January 20, 2017

Israel's chief rabbis embrace friendlier approach to marriage, but is it enough?

JERUSALEM (JTA)-Many Israelis feel alienated by the marriage process in their country, fed up with the bureaucracy and strict religious requirements. Some seek to reform the haredi...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    January 13, 2017

Hundreds of Jews respond to John Kerry's speech with West Bank solidarity tour

JERUSALEM (JTA)-About 200 Jews from around the world toured the West Bank in response to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's recent speech warning of the dangers of settlement expansion. The group,...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    January 13, 2017

What Netanyahu and his rivals expect from a 'new era'

JERUSALEM (JTA)—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expects a “new era” when U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month. He said as much at a Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony Saturday, where he addressed the United Nations...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    January 13, 2017

Israel's top security experts redraw West Bank map for the Trump era

TEL AVIV (JTA)-Israel's leading security think tank has published a plan to redraw the map of the West Bank in a bid to consolidate major settlements and prevent the spread of others. The plan,...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    January 6, 2017

How the Israeli army wages war on waistlines

NETANYA, Israel (JTA)-One fit young soldier scales a rope. Two others practice hand-to-hand combat. A large group marches across the sand. But those were just the inspirational photographs on the...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    Features    December 23, 2016

Israel's Junior Mr. Universe credits Orthodox upbringing for success

ZICHRON YAAKOV, Israel (JTA)-Kobi Ifrach stood on a stage in England wearing nothing but gold body paint, a Speedo and an Israeli flag. He had just become the first Israeli to win the Junior Mr....

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    December 23, 2016

Jerusalem mayor sees a bright future for city in the Trump era

JERUSALEM (JTA)-It's been nearly 50 years since Israel captured eastern Jerusalem, including the Old City, from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War. For the past eight years, Nir Barkat has been this...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    December 9, 2016

Top U.S. firefighters 'dropped everything' to help Israel battle the blazes

TEL AVIV (JTA)-Call them Israel's American volunteer fire brigade. Dozens of firefighters from across the United States put their lives on hold-leaving behind jobs and families-to help subdue the...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    December 9, 2016

Breitbart's Jerusalem chief explains site's 'nationalist' appeal

TEL AVIV (JTA)-Stephen Bannon recently called Breitbart News "the most pro-Israel site in the United States of America." That will not change with Bannon leaving the far-right news website for the...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    Features    November 11, 2016

How one popular Palestinian cafe puts women first and men in the corner

NABLUS, West Bank (JTA)-The "Mountain of Fire." The "terror capital" of the West Bank. This city has earned its militant nicknames with generations of violent resistance, whether aimed at the...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    Features    November 11, 2016

World Series ignites old passions in American Jews living in the West Bank

KARNEI SHOMRON, Judea and Samaria (JTA)-The Chicago Cubs are facing the Cleveland Indians in a historic World Series, and most of Israel could not care less. This Jewish settlement is different. The N...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    October 7, 2016

Saying goodbye to Shimon Peres, world leaders talk peace and love

JERUSALEM (JTA)-Israeli and world leaders gathered atop Mount Herzl on Friday to say goodbye to Shimon Peres, Israel's last founding father. In addition to fond personal recollections, many of those...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    September 16, 2016

Poll: Israeli Jews favor Hillary, but say Trump is better for Israel 'policy'

JERUSALEM (JTA)-Most Israeli Jews would prefer Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump as the next president of the United States, even though more of them think Trump would be better for the "Israeli...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    September 9, 2016

Israel and Turkey should stick together

JERUSALEM (JTA)-Israel and Turkey ought to be friends, geopolitically speaking. As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put it in January: "Israel needs a country like Turkey in this region. We,...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    September 2, 2016

How Israeli women are gaining in the fight for Jewish divorce

JERUSALEM (JTA)-In this case, the sins of the son are the sins of the father. Israel's Supreme Rabbinical Court this month sentenced a haredi Orthodox man to 30 days in jail for pressuring his son...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    Features    August 26, 2016

The third Jewish Temple is coming to your Facebook feed

JERUSALEM (JTA)-"It's time to build," reads the tagline of the Temple Institute's latest YouTube video. The phrase encapsulates the group's controversial mission to rally Jews to reconstruct the Templ...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    News    August 12, 2016

How Israel's had success against 'lone wolf' terrorists

JERUSALEM (JTA)-"Lone wolf" terrorism in Europe is making headlines around the world. But in Israel, the phenomenon of angry or troubled individuals taking up arms is old news. Since October, Israelis...

 
 By Andrew Tobin    Features    August 7, 2015

Actor Jason Segel opens up about childhood as Jewish outsider

(JTA)—Actor Jason Segel—best known as the star of  “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “How I Met Your Mother”—opened up on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast this week about growing up with one Jewish parent and as a complete outsider....

 
 By Andrew Tobin    Features    July 31, 2015

Instagram star The Fat Jew is now a top model

(JTA)-Josh Ostrovsky, aka The Fat Jew, is reportedly making an improbable transition from pudgy social media comic to fashion model. Self-avowedly rotund, The Fat Jew, 30, recently signed a deal...