Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Michael A. Helfand

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  • An Indiana court ruled that Jews have a religious liberty right to abortion

    Michael A. Helfand|Apr 19, 2024

    (JTA) — Since the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the right to abortion is no longer protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. But that seismic constitutional change has triggered a new legal debate: In the absence of federal constitutional protection, does state law provide Jews with a religious liberty right to abortion? Last week an Indiana state appellate court answered yes to the question — invoking variations on the word “Jew” more than 70 times in the process. As the first state appellate c...

  • Groff v. DeJoy is the rare Supreme Court decision that every Jew can celebrate

    Michael A. Helfand|Jul 21, 2023

    (JTA) — In one of its most anticipated cases of the year, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Groff v. DeJoy last month, significantly expanding the federal protections afforded religious employees in the workplace. The decision itself was unanimous, reflecting a broad consensus that employers should be doing more than previously required when it comes to accommodating religious employees. Jewish organizations from across the ideological spectrum — from Agudath Israel and the Orthodox Union to the Anti-Defamation League and the Ame...

  • The Supreme Court just made sure religious institutions won't be left out of government funding

    Michael A. Helfand|Jul 1, 2022

    (JTA) — On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision prohibiting government from excluding religion and religious institutions from government funding programs. This decision in Carson v. Makin follows on the heels of two other high court decisions in the last five years emphasizing that such exclusions constitute religious discrimination prohibited under the First Amendment. But what makes this decision important is its rejection of the so-called “status-use” distinction: government may not discriminate based on the mere relig...