NBC report on Peter Deutsch’s JTA interview on Ben Gamla schools

The controversy heats up in Hollywood, Fla., over comments ex-Congressman Peter Deutsch made to JTA in an interview over the summer about the Ben Gamla Hebrew charter schools.

Deutsch told me the schools are cultivators of Jewish identity. Critics are questioning whether the schools, which are publicly funded, violate the separation of church and state. School administrators say Ben Gamla teaches Hebrew and love of Israel, but not religion.

Watch NBC’s report:

Uriel Heilman is JTA’s managing editor, responsible for coordinating JTA’s editorial team. He re-joined JTA in 2007 after a stint doing independent reporting in Israel and the Arab world. Before that, he served as New York bureau chief of the Jerusalem Post. An award-winning journalist, he has served as JTA’s news editor and worked as a reporter for a variety of publications in the United States and in Israel.