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Articles:

Demographics and decisions: projecting the Jewish vote in 2016: When it comes to projecting the Jewish vote in 2016, understanding demographics might lend some semblance of sanity to an election that most observers would compare to a roller coaster ride. As America’s primary election season is inching closer to its conclusion, five candidates remain in the race. Against the backdrop of the unpredictable primary stretch and the possibility of a contested Republican convention, JNS.org surveyed Jewish demographic experts for their take on how American Jews might vote in the remaining primaries and in November’s general election. Many voters nationwide appear to feel torn about both parties’ candidates, a sentiment that echoes in the Jewish electorate.

How Israel survived the Mediterranean’s worst drought in 900 years: Israeli water experts say that a combination of water from rainfall, recycling of wastewater, desalination of seawater, and a large-scare water conservation campaign has made Israel nearly drought-proof. That assessment might be more regionally relevant than ever amid a new National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) study showing that a drought from 1998-2012 in the eastern Mediterranean was the area’s worst drought in 900 years. Today, more than half of the water supplied in Israel for all uses is self-generated.

As its own turmoil rages, Israel wages lesser-known fight to save Kenyan wildlife: The fact that Israel is dealing with Palestinian terrorism within its own borders, as well as monitoring regional threats like the Iranian nuclear program, hasn’t stopped the Jewish state from helping Kenya with wildlife preservation. Israeli-American conservationist Dr. Bill Clark has been working with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to combat animal poaching for decades, while the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) has provided equipment and training to KWS rangers. This Israeli-Kenyan collaboration has become a shining example of religious and cultural cooperation.

The improbable romance between Israel and Azerbaijan: Since its founding in 1948, Israel has found Muslim-majority allies hard to come by. Yet an improbable romance continues to develop between the Jewish state and Azerbaijan. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon took a surprise trip to Azerbaijan, marking the first-ever visit by the holder of his position to a Muslim-majority nation in the Southern Caucasus region. Though it is most often attributed to a shared interest in combating the threat posed by Iran, experts say the blooming Israeli-Azeri friendship goes much deeper.

Jewish group supports German breast cancer detection tool employing blind women, published in the Los Angeles Times, South African Jewish Report, Juedische Allgemeine (Germany), J-Wire (Australia & New Zealand and the Seattle Jewish Times: In 2005, German gynecologist Dr. Frank Hoffmann came up with an idea to train blind women to conduct breast examinations. With his innovative program, Discovering Hands, Hoffmann hoped to give blind women an opportunity for a life-changing career and to turn their sense of touch into a breast tumor detection tool. With 17 Medical Tactile Examiners already trained and working across Germany, Hoffman's initiative has connected with a foundation dedicated to supporting people with disabilities in the Jewish community, forming a partnership that may enable Discovering Hands to branch out to Israel and the U.S.

As Israeli pharmaceutical giant rethinks strategy, a recap of its rise: Teva Pharmaceuticals catapulted itself to global success by entering the generic drug market and aggressively pursuing mergers and acquisitions, overcoming the Arab League’s boycott of Israeli-manufactured products along the way. Now, the company braces for a new era under incoming CEO Jeremy Levin.

Israel-EU tension: The view from Europe, published in the Jerusalem Post Magazine, The Jerusalem Post French Edition: What do European Jews think of the EU’s recent heavy focus on Israel? What are the reasons behind that focus, and what are its implications for Israel’s relationships with European nations? JNS.org reports on the Jewish perspective from Germany, Britain and France.

Syria sizzles, Lebanon stinks: another complex day in Israel’s neighborhood: As untouched mounds of trash piled up on the streets of Beirut, Lebanon, in recent months, with no one coming to clean it up, a social movement began protesting under the motto “You Stink.” This “garbage crisis” has led to violent clashes between protesters and police and has showcased the broader dysfunction of the Lebanese government. Operating on a parallel track with domestic unrest, fighters from the Lebanese Shi’a Muslim terror group Hezbollah—a longtime enemy of Israel—are reportedly joining Iranian forces in providing ground support to complement Russian airstrikes in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the civil-war torn country. Besides its involvement in Syria, Hezbollah has been a domestic political force in Lebanon. How has Lebanon’s internal strife affected Hezbollah and the terror group's approach to Israel?

The Ukrainian protests from a Jewish perspective, published in the Algemeiner, the Long Island Jewish Star, the San Diego Jewish World and the Canadian Jewish News: In a country engulfed by anti-government protests, Ukrainian Jews find themselves facing the same existential choice as the rest of the country. “Ukraine is now caught between a rock and a hard place,” Sam Kliger, the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) director of Russian Jewish community affairs, told JNS.org. “On the one hand they wanted to go West and to join the European Union; on the other hand they are pressured by Russia… to join the so-called customs union.”

A Web of hate: European, U.S. laws clash on defining and policing online anti-Semitism, published in the Heritage Florida Jewish News, the American Israelite, the Algemeiner, the Cleveland Jewish Ledger and the J. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California: When a French court ruled that Twitter must reveal the identities of users who sent out a series of anti-Semitic tweets associated with the hashtag #unbonjuif (#agoodjew), a cross-continental debate ensued on the difficulty of defining and policing anti-Semitism online.

The 50 shades of Jews practicing BDSM: Since hitting theaters on Valentine’s Day, the blockbuster film “Fifty Shades of Grey”—part 1 of a big-screen trilogy based on E.L. James’s wildly successful book series of the same name—has cast an international spotlight on the sexual practices known as BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism). Some BDSM practitioners have said both the film and the book do not accurately depict their lifestyle. But what does it actually mean to practice BDSM, and more specifically, what does that lifestyle mean for Jews who choose it?

Tales of terror: Israelis share their stories on Gaza rockets, published in the the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, the Cleveland Jewish News, the Algemeiner and the South African Jewish Report: Amid a barrage of hundreds of rockets from Gaza, JNS.org interviewed residents of some of the hardest-hit areas in southern Israel who have been enduring such attacks for years, as well those living in or near Jerusalem and Tel Aviv—cities not accustomed to rocket fire prior to this latest conflict.

The business of hiring and getting hired at Jewish non-profits, published in j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California and eJewishPhilanthropy: It has been six years since the economy crashed in 2008, and while finding employment has been a challenge, the tide may be taking a turn for the better—particularly in the non-profit sector. But where do Jewish non-profits fall within the current landscape, from the perspective of both job-seekers and employers?

Additional reporting for JNS.org is available here.