Tag Archive for Jewish

Palestinian from Dubai attains Spanish citizenship after discovering Jewish roots

After finding her great-grandmother’s old identity cards in Beirut, Heba was able to seek Spanish citizenship following a 2015 law that allowed naturalization to anyone whose Jewish ancestors ‘fled’ the Spanish Inquisition.



As a UK-based academic who was born in Dubai to a Palestinian father and Lebanese mother, Heba Nabil Iskandarani had plenty of potential national identities.

What she lacked, however, was a passport.

A 26-year-old lecturer in architecture at Birmingham City University, Iskandarani has been stateless for most of her life, possessing only a Lebanese travel document that defines her as a Palestinian refugee.

Heba Nabil Iskandarani’s newly acquired Spanish Passport and her Lebanese refugee Passport.-

Continue Reading »

Life Changing Stories: Discovering You’re Jewish on Parent’s Deathbed

Story #1: 20 years ago, Mariusz Robert Opałko from Krakow, Poland, discovered from his mother Halina in the hospital, just days before she died, that she and his father were both Holocaust survivors, revealing that his father is a Cohen and that their real last name is Lederman.

By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA,


In a few months, Simone Azoubel will realize a lifelong dream and move to Israel with her husband.

A 56-year-old Jewish woman from Recife in northern Brazil, Azoubel is brushing up on her Israeli slang as she prepares for her aliyah, the Hebrew word for immigration by Jews to Israel. Continue Reading »

Genetic testing now can assist rabbinical courts with ‘Who is a Jew’ disputes

Due to the suppression of religious activity by the former Soviet regime, descendants of those who immigrated to Israel that have had trouble proving their Jewish lineage when getting married, can now find relief in proving their Jewish identity.



A new ruling in Jewish law permitting a specific genetic test to be used as proof of Jewish descent for certain Ashkenazi Jews is being promoted as a possible solution for potentially hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens from the former Soviet Union (FSU) having difficulty proving their Jewish status.

The ruling comes from Rabbi Yosef Carmel, who is both co-head of the Eretz Hemdah Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies and a senior rabbinical judge on the private Eretz Hemdah rabbinical court in south Jerusalem. Continue Reading »

From Uzbekistan, the twins Fatima and Zukra join the IDF as Yael and Noga


After discovering their Jewish roots, 19yr-old twin sisters Fatima and Zukra from Uzbekistan, began an extraordinary journey of becoming IDF soldiers, Jewish, ‘Yael’ & ‘Noga’ and then finally Israeli.


They were born 19 years ago in Uzbekistan and have attended a Muslim school. When they learned of their father’s roots, they decided to come to Israel with their families. Today,  Islambakov serve in the Israel Defense Forces. One of them has converted to Judaism and the other will soon finish the conversion process. They have both changed their names. Yael and Noga’s spectacular story.

Fatima and Zukra Islambakov, twins to a Muslim mother, were born 19 years ago in Uzbekistan. Continue Reading »

Popular Egyptian movistar revealed he’s Jewish in Egyptian TV interview


Despite his Jewish pride, Egyptian film & television actor Karim Kassem was careful to point out to the TV audience, that his Jewish ancestors were not Zionists, as his Jewish grandfather chose not to immigrate to Israel in the Jewish State’s early days.

By Gabe Friedman


JTA – If an actor talked about his Jewishness in an interview in the United States, he wouldn’t make headlines. But in Egypt — where levels of anti-Semitism are high and Jews are often ridiculed on TV shows and in other aspects of popular culture — that kind of revelation is a big deal. Continue Reading »

Jewish woman escapes Iraq before Muslim husband sold her to ISIS


Iraqi Jewish woman reunites with her family in Israel after previously-secular husband threatened to sell her to Islamic terror group if she doesn’t convert.

Arutz Sheva Staff,


Liza – Israel TV2 Screenshot

A Jewish woman was reunited this week with her family in the town of Patish in southern Israel after she fled northern Iraq, following threats by her husband to sell her into slavery with the ISIS terror organization.

According to a report by Channel 2, the woman, a member of the Avrahami family, was married to a previously secular Muslim man, who had recently embraced a radical form of Islam – and demanded she do the same. Continue Reading »

Meet Holland’s Red Light District 71 yr-old Jewish Twin Prostitutes

Martine & Louise Fokkens, now retired after 50 years working in the trade, are local celebrities in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

By Cnaan Liphshiz


JTA – Like many Jewish grandmothers, Martine and Louise Fokkens enjoy talking about their grandchildren in language laced with Yiddish.

Martine, left, and Louise Fokkens in Amsterdam in 2010.

Martine, left, and Louise Fokkens in Amsterdam in 2010. – Photo: Aspekt Publishers

At 71, the twins from Amsterdam also paint, think often about the Holocaust and attend synagogue on Jewish holidays.

But the Fokkens are not like most Jewish grandmothers.

For one thing, they recently retired after 50 years of working as prostitutes in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

Continue Reading »

MK Rina Frenkel tells PM: ‘Bring Ukraine’s Jews to Israel’


Rina Frenkel, the Yesh Atid MK who once lived in Kiev, lobbied to Netanyahu for “a formulated, budgeted gov’t plan to bring the Jews of Ukraine to Israel on aliya.”




The government must prepare an emergency plan to bring Ukrainian Jews to Israel, MK Rina Frenkel (Yesh Atid) wrote to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Thursday.

Yesh Atid MK Rina Frenkel.

Yesh Atid MK Rina Frenkel

Following recent anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine, including the firebombing of a synagogue Monday, Frenkel, said she felt a responsibility to get involved, since she made Aliya from Kiev in 1990.

In her letter to Netanyahu, Frenkel warned that the events in Ukraine may turn into a civil war and that, at the same time, anti-Semitism is on the rise. Continue Reading »

U.S. media watchdog protests NY Times’ anti-Israel media coverage


CAMERA places billboard across The New York Times’ offices in downtown N.Y.C. calling on the paper to stop its bias reporting & slanted commentary against Israel.



Boston-based American media watchdog group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) launched a campaign against The New York Times for what it claims is the paper’s biased coverage of Israel, the PRNewswire reported.


Photo courtesy: CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) website

The billboard headline reads: “Would A Great Newspaper Slant The News Against Israel? The New York Times Does.” A short list enumerates criticism. Continue Reading »

Schwarzenegger Seeks Assistance from Simon Wiesenthal Center

Arnold Schwarzenegger, former California Governor, has gained the assistance of a prominent Jewish group upon hearing news of name added to ‘Hitler poster.’

By Rachel Hirshfeld


Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has sought the assistance of the Jewish rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center after the organization had alerted the acclaimed celebrity that his name is being displayed on a poster of historical figures and celebrities at a prominent mall in Istanbul, Turkey, that also prominently displays Adolf Hitler.

Arnold SchwarzeneggerThe poster, titled “Who Would You Like to Meet if You Could?” can be seen at the Sapphire Mall, an upscale mall in Istanbul. Continue Reading »

Poland Investigates Artist’s Claims of Holocaust Victims’ Ashes in Paint

Polish prosecutors have launched a probe into a Swedish artist’s claims that he used ashes of Holocaust victims mixed into the paint in his artwork.

By Rachel Hirshfeld


Polish prosecutors have launched an investigation into a Swedish artist’s claims that he used the ashes of Holocaust victims in his artwork, an official said Tuesday.

The artist, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, claims he stole ashes from a crematorium at Nazi Germany’s Majdanek concentration camp in Poland in 1989 then used them in one of his paintings by mixing them with water.

“The prosecution opened an investigation into this matter Monday,” Beata Syk-Jankowska, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office in Lublin, told AFP. Continue Reading »

Israel’s Newspaper Haaretz, resurrects the erroneous Khazar Jews theory

The advocates of the theory tying the origins of European Jewry to the Khazar kingdom are motivated mainly by a hostile political agenda that aims to advance the delegitimization of the Jewish State of Israel.


By Dore Gold

Every number of years the theory is advanced that the Jews of Europe are actually descendants of the Khazar kingdom, a mostly Turkic people whose king and nobility converted to Judaism in the early eighth century, allowing them to become a buffer state between Islam and Christendom.

When the Khazar kingdom collapsed in the 13th century, according to the believers in the Khazar theory, its population fled into Eastern Europe and served as the core of European Jewry. Continue Reading »

Police Drop Charges of Artist Using Stolen Holocaust Victims’ Ashes


Swedish police commissioner said they dropped the investigation into an artist who claimed to use paint mixed from taken ashes of Holocaust victims.

By Rachel Hirshfeld


Swedish police said Tuesday they have dropped an investigation into an artist who used paint mixed from the ashes of Holocaust victims in a watercolor.

“The enquiry was closed on Monday,” police commissioner Stefan Soederholm told AFP, citing lack of evidence.

Swedish painter Carl Michael von Hausswolff, whose contentious work is on display in the town of Lund, said he visited the Majdanek concentration camp during a trip to Poland in 1989 and accumulated ashes of Jewish victims to use for his “art.” Continue Reading »

The 11th Plague: No Kosher for Passover Coca-Cola in California

California Jews will have to get through Passover without kosher Coke, while different Pepsi kosher symbols are confusing Illinois Jews.


California Jews will have to get through Passover without kosher Coca-Cola due to a quirk in a law, while varied kosher symbols are confusing Illinois Jews, according to the Kosher Today newsletter.

Israel's Coca-Cola products - Photo: IsraelandStuff/PP

Israel’s Coca-Cola products – Photo: IsraelandStuff/PP

The reputable industry website reported that Coca-Cola issued a statement saying, “We will not be able to offer Kosher for Passover products in California this year.  We expect to offer Kosher for Passover products in 2013.”

The company explained, “The new alternative process caramel required to meet the State of California’s guidelines related to Proposition 65 does not meet the Kosher for Passover requirements.  Continue Reading »