Seattle's Jewish Population Soars

Apr 3, 2015
Remaining edifice of the old Temple De Hirsch, Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.
Flickr Photo/brewbooks (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Matt Boxer, a researcher at Brandeis University's Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, about the increase in Seattle's Jewish population. Boxer is part of a team commissioned by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle to study the Jewish population.

Karen Shiveley, 67, waits to meet the pastor of a Baptist church in Everett. Shiveley has been checking out several churches around the Seattle area, hoping to find the right fit.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

 At Greater Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Everett, Karen Shiveley sat alone in a pew, waiting to meet the pastor. The 67-year-old was smartly dressed, with orange-framed glasses, and she wondered if this could be her church home.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Ross Reynolds talks with Leah Libresco, news writer at FiveThirtyEight, about the boycott issued by Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of government travel to Indiana after it passed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, described by opponents as a license to discriminate against gays and lesbians. 

In Israel, religious law governs family matters.

For a Jewish divorce, an Orthodox rabbi oversees a ritual that begins with the husband placing a folded decree, called a get or gett, into the wife's cupped hands. But that paper can be hard to obtain, because the husband can refuse to grant the divorce.

A new Israeli film playing in the U.S. shows how patriarchal Jewish divorce laws can trap even secular women for years.

The film is a drama called Gett: The Trial of Viviane Ansalem. Viviane wants a divorce but needs her husband's permission.

At the U.S. Supreme Court, you know that it's going to be a hot argument when the usually straight-faced Justice Samuel Alito begins a question this way: "Let's say four people show up for a job interview ... this is going to sound like a joke, but it's not."

The issue before the court on Wednesday was whether retailer Abercrombie & Fitch violated the federal law banning religious discrimination when it rejected a highly rated job applicant because she wore a Muslim headscarf.

Vandalism at Bothell Hindu Temple and Cultural Center.
Courtesy of HTCC/Nitya Niranjan

Marcie Sillman talks to Kami Simmons, professor of law at Wake Forest University Law school in North Carolina, about the challenges of proving a hate crime.

Last week the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in Bothell and Skyview Junior High School were vandalized by graffiti that read "get out" with a swastika symbol and "get out Muslims." Now leaders of the Hindu temple and local interfaith leaders in the community are calling for a federal investigation of the incident.  

Vandalism at Bothell Hindu Temple and Cultural Center.
Courtesy of HTCC/Nitya Niranjan

Leaders of a Hindu temple in Bothell have fast-tracked a plan to add some extra security cameras. This comes after the temple was tagged with racist graffiti over the weekend. The incident has gotten some international media attention and is still under investigation.  

A highly contagious disease was sweeping across the United States. Thousands of children were sick and some were dying. In the midst of this outbreak, health officials did something that experts say had never been done before and hasn't been done since: They forced parents to vaccinate their children.

It sounds like something that would have happened 100 years ago. But this was 1991 — and the disease was measles.

Ross Reynolds talks to Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun columnist, about the comments made by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the niqab, a face veil some Muslim women wear.

This week officials are gathering in Washington to discuss how to counter extremist messages, particularly those from the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

ISIS has been luring thousands of Westerners to the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. The number of Americans who have traveled to Syria is still relatively small — in the neighborhood of 150 people — and a thin slice of that group, perhaps as many as two dozen Americans, are thought to have joined ISIS.

The organization United4Iran displayed this billboard in Washington, D.C., in 2012 to protest the treatment of Baha'is in Iran.
Flickr Photo/United4Iran (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Mitra Zarakani, an employment specialist at Jewish Family Service's Eastside location, about her immigration to the U.S. and attending a secret university in Iran.

Pope Francis over the weekend became the first pontiff to hold a private meeting with a transgender person. It’s one of many firsts for Pope Francis that have been seen as promoting greater inclusiveness in the church.

But what about women in the church? According to a Georgetown University study, 72 percent of nuns in the U.S. have left the church in the last five decades, compared with 35 percent of priests.

Just six years ago, the Vatican’s launch of an investigation into American nuns sparked outrage, but the release of the report in December was more warmly received.

All Pilgrims Christian Church on Seattle's Capitol Hill.
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Don Jensen, executive director of Community Lunch, and Greg Turk, pastor of All Pilgrims Christian Church on Seattle's Capitol Hill, about community controversy over the church's plans to expand a meal program for people in need.

Jews Face New Fears In Europe

Jan 13, 2015

The killing of four French Jews in last week’s hostage standoff at a Paris kosher market has deepened the fears among European Jewish communities shaken by rising anti-Semitism and feeling vulnerable due to poor security and a large number of undefended potential targets.

The hostage situation followed the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead. Experts say European Jews have not felt this threatened since World War II, when some 6 million Jews were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust.

(This post was last updated at 6:50 p.m. ET.)

A nationwide manhunt for the suspects of France's deadliest terrorist attack in more than 50 years ended in a hail of gunfire on Friday.

After hours of tension in two separate standoffs that shut down parts of the Paris metro area, the two main suspects in the attack on a satirical magazine and a man who took hostages at a kosher grocery are dead, President François Hollande said in a speech to the nation.