A highly subjective roundup of news and cultural moments from the past 10 years
The decade that was

A highly subjective roundup of news and cultural moments from the past 10 years

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images


Rabbi Sholom Rubashkin is sentenced to 27 months in prison in connection with multiple charges at the now-defunct Agriprocessors kosher slaughtering plant.

The expanded National Museum of American Jewish History opens in Philadelphia.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz completes his massive translation of the Babylonian Talmud into modern Hebrew.

Elana Kagan becomes the third Jewish justice on the current Supreme Court.


Lieby Kletzky, an 8-year-old chasidic boy, is murdered by an emotionally disturbed Orthodox man in Borough Park.

Debbie Friedman, Jewish singing superstar, dies at 59.

Singer Debbie Friedman. Photo by Michael Fox Photography


Matisyahu, onetime chasidic reggae singer and rapper, posts a beardless picture of himself, igniting discussions about his religious metamorphosis.

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav begins a prison sentence for rape.


Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey mergers with United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ to create Jewish Federation of Greater Metro-West NJ for Union, Essex, Morris, and Sussex counties and parts of Somerset.

Gymnast Aly Raisman wins two gold medals at the Summer Olympics in London.

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Superstorm Sandy floods the tristate area, inflicting countless damage on institutions in the Jewish community.

Major fighting breaks out in Gaza between Israel and Hamas forces.

The 12th Siyum HaShas completion of the Talmud-reading cycle takes place throughout the world.



Gal Mekel becomes the second Israeli basketball player signed by an NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks, but his pro career in the States is short.

Production starts at the massive Tamar natural gas field off of Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

A Pew Research Center study finds that a growing number of Jews in this country define themselves as “nones,” without a religious belief or affiliation.

U.S. and other world powers reach an interim deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

Photo by BRIAN SNYDER/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis declares that a true Christian “cannot be anti-Semitic.”



Following the kidnap-murder of three Israel teenagers, serious fighting flares up between Israel and Hamas forces in Gaza.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Six men — including five Jewish worshippers and a Druze officer — are killed during a terrorist attack at a synagogue in the Har Nof section of Jerusalem.

David Blatt, a veteran of pro basketball in Israel, is named head coach of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is sentenced to prison on bribery charges.


Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard is released from federal prison.

Benjamin Netanyahu is re-elected prime minister of Israel.

A revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” takes place on Broadway, with Danny Burstein starring as Tevye.

A biography of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cements her reputation as “The Notorious R.B.G.”

The controversial Iran nuclear deal goes into effect, widening the divide between the Obama administration and parts of the U.S. Jewish community.

Abe Foxman ends a 50-year run at the Anti-Defamation League, 27 of which were as national director.



Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel dies at 87.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Israeli elder statesman Shimon Peres dies at 93.

Vermont Sen. (a native Brooklynite) Bernie Sanders becomes the first Jewish candidate in history to win a presidential primary when he won in New Hampshire.

The political chasm among Jews in the U.S. widens when Donald Trump is elected president. Seven-in-10 Jews vote for Hillary Clinton.

Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ hands over reigns of NJJN to The Jewish Week Media Group.



Film producer Harvey Weinstein becomes the public face of the #MeToo sex abuse movement.

Israeli actress Gal Gadot achieves superstardom when she headlines the role of “Wonder Woman.”

Yona Metzger, former chief Ashkenazic rabbi of Israel, enters prison on a corruption charge.

Bowing to Orthodox pressure, Netanyahu freezes an agreement to allow non-Orthodox worship at the Western Wall.

Shouting “Jews will not replace us,” white nationalists rally in Charlottesville, Va.


The Orthodox Union announces that it will enforce its ban against women rabbis in member congregations.

Leonard Robinson, long-time executive director of NJY Camps, resigns after multiple allegations of sexual harassment surface.

Eleven people are killed during a terrorist shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The Mossad steals a half-ton of nuclear files from an Iran nuclear facility.

Keeping a campaign promise, President Trump moves the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Actress Natalie Portman declines to attend the Genesis Prize award ceremony in Jerusalem, as a protest against Israeli political actions.

Serious fighting between Israel and Hamas forces flares up in Gaza.

Israeli singer Netta Barzilai wins the Eurovision Song Contest.



“Shtisel,” the Netflix series about a charedi family in Israel, becomes a hit in the United States.

A Yiddish revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” opens Off Broadway.

National elections in Israel twice fail to elect a party that can form a government coalition. Another vote is set for March 2020.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted on corruption charges.

After a decade in the National Basketball Association, Omri Casspi, the NBA’s first Israeli player, returns to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Four people are murdered when two shooters storm the JC Kosher Supermarket in Jersey City.

Steve Lipman is a staff writer for The New York Jewish Week,
NJJN’s sister publication. steve@jewishweek.org

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