Tag Archive for Jewish Diaspora

American Conservative Rabbis Threaten Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu

About 600 American Rabbis and Jewish leaders threaten PM Netanyahu in a signed letter: ‘If you do not implement the Kotel Agreement, as promised, the tone about Israel during High Holy Days’ sermons will change for the worse.’

By Amihai Attali

 

Conservative leaders in the United States sent a scathing letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, in which they pressed him to unfreeze the Kotel egalitarian area plan, threatening to turn their represented community of 2 million Jews worldwide against him and Israel if he does not.

Senior members of the Conservative movement met with Israel’s Consul-General in New York, Dani Dayan, and handed him the threatening letter—signed by hundreds of leaders, rabbis, and presidents of Conservative Jewish communities from North America and around the world—to give to the prime minister personally. Continue Reading »

The Vatican and Rome’s Jewish community host Menorah exhibition

 

The artifacts depicting Judaism’s sacred seven branched candelabra used in the Temple in Jerusalem, are being loaned by nearly 20 museums around the world, including Paris’ Louvre & London’s National Gallery.

By AFP

 

The Vatican and Rome’s Jewish community on Monday presented an ambitious exhibition on the menorah which will bring together 130 works featuring the iconic Jewish candelabrum, an ancient symbol of the faith.

The show on the seven-candle Hebrew lamp will run simultaneously from May 15 to July 23 at the Vatican museums and the synagogue complex in a city which once housed one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. 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 »

BDS, more smoke that fire, US Jews still maintain connection to Israel

 

REPORT: Contrary to Israeli perception, two professors asserted that BDS is only present on certain campuses & does not deter Jewish students from engaging with Israel.

By LIDAR GRAVÉ-LAZI

 

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement is not widespread and is only a major issue on some campuses in the US, according to prof. Theodore Sasson and prof. Leonard Saxe from Brandeis University.

BDS logo – Photo: BDS

Speaking about the changing demographics and politics of American Jewry during a session at the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee, the two professors aimed to dispel common perceptions about US Jews and their relationship with Israel. Continue Reading »

REBIRTH: Madagascar community chooses to return to their Jewish heritage

 

Last month 121 men, women & children underwent Orthodox conversions on the remote Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar, in an effort to secure their beliefs that they are of Jewish or Israelite descent, and that their founders were seafaring members of the Lost Tribes.

By DEBORAH JOSEFSON/JTA

 

Antananarivo – A nascent Jewish community was officially born in Madagascar last month when 121 men, women and children underwent Orthodox conversions on the remote Indian Ocean island nation better known for lemurs, chameleons, dense rain forests and vanilla.

Madagascar Jews

Madagascar Jews – Photo : US-BASED KULANU NON-PROFIT

The conversions, which took place over a 10-day period, were the climax of a process that arose organically five to six years ago when followers of various messianic Christian sects became disillusioned with their churches and began to study Torah. Continue Reading »

Knesset to facilitate ‘returning’ Sephardic Jews forcibly converted to Christianity

 

MKs launched a new Knesset lobby to assist the increasing numbers of descendants of Jews around the world who have become interested in exploring their heritage, & reconnecting to their Jewish faith.

By SAM SOKOL

 

A new Knesset lobby intended to push for greater outreach toward the descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jews forcibly converted to Christianity, known in Hebrew as B’nai Anusim, was launched on Tuesday.

Continue Reading »

Jewish community from Italian town of Biella uses world’s oldest Torah scroll

 

The Biella Torah, written 8 centuries ago and is still in use by a Jewish congregation in northern Italy, has been identified as the oldest Torah scroll in use.

By Shoshana Miskin

 

A synagogue in the Italian town of Biella stores what has been identified as the world’s oldest Torah scroll still currently in use.

Carbon-14 dating conducted by the Geo-chronology laboratory of the University of Illinois dated the scroll to around the year 1250 CE.

“This is exciting news that is of extraordinary importance for Italian Judaism,” said Dario Disegni, President of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Italy. Continue Reading »

Rabbi Boteach silenced at Kings College by Jewish students for mentioning Israel

 

Rabbi Shmuely Boteach responds to his lecture at the Union of Jewish Students in London when his mention of Israel caused the abrupt end of the discussion.

By Raphael Poch

 

 

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach – Photo: Eliran Aharon

Last week the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) at Kings College in London silenced questions about Israel and cut off renowned author Rabbi Shmuel Boteach’s lecture. The moderators for the event offered the explanation that Israel, which Rabbi Boteach had spoken about during his lecture, was not to be discussed, as part of the UJS policy of having only topics relating to Judaism being allowed for discussion at the lecture.

Continue Reading »

WATCH LIVE: WOW- NYC comes alive with 51st Celebrate Israel parade

Watch: Netanyahu address parade participants. View Twitter feed as the parade features former Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball stars David Blu & Derrick Sharp, Grammy Award-winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari, Golem, SHI 360, 12 marching bands and 29 floats.

 

Tens of thousands of people are set to march in solidarity with Israel in the 51st annual Celebrate Israel Parade in New York on Sunday.

A sea of orange, the RAJE float is marching #TogetherOnFifth - Twitter

A sea of orange, the RAJE float is marching #TogetherOnFifth – Twitter

 

This year’s Parade features Grammy Award-winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari, Golem, SHI 360, Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball stars Derrick Sharp and David Blu, 29 floats, 12 marching bands and hundreds of thousands of spectators. Continue Reading »

Pew Survey: Hindus & Jews are most highly-educated in US

The Pew survey revels a 6.7% increase in the amount of Americans who do not affiliate with any religion, but having Islam as the fastest-growing religion, with a 0.5% growth.

By MICHELLE MALKA GROSSMAN

 

The Pew Research Center on Tuesday released its annual report on religion in the United States which showed that Hindus and Jews were the most highly-educated people in the country, as well as those with the highest incomes on average.

Young Jews rally in support of Israel in New York, July 20. – Photo: EDUARDO MUNOZ/REUTERS

According to the 2014 US Religious Landscape Study, 59 percent of Jews in the US said they were college graduates, while 77% of Hindus also said they were holders of academic degrees. Continue Reading »

Stolen Torah Returned to Jewish Community by Iranian Police

Jewish Iranian MP thanks police for the return of an ‘invaluable’ Torah scroll that was among several ancient manuscripts that ‘disappeared’ from a Shiraz synagogue.

By Hillel Fendel

 

Iran’s FARS news agency reports that an ancient hand-written Torah that had been stolen from a synagogue in southern Iran was found and returned by Iran’s paramilitary Basij police force to the Jewish community.

An Iranian Jew prays at a synagogue in Tehran, Iran (file) – Reuters

The report has not as yet been confirmed by other sources.

A number of ancient Torah manuscripts were reported lost about two weeks ago from a synagogue in Shiraz, the capital city of Iran’s Southern Fars province.

Continue Reading »

Following Spain’s moral conscience, Portugal grants citizenship to descendants of exiled Jews

 

Like Spain, Portugal says its sole reason for granting citizenship to descendants of its expelled Sephardi Jews, is to right a historic wrong.
• A local Jewish leader says, “We regard this as an act of justice.

By Erez Linn, The Associated Press & Israel Hayom Staff

 

Five centuries after it burned thousands of Jews at the stake, forced thousands of others to convert to Christianity and expelled the rest, Portugal is granting citizenship rights to their descendants as part of an attempt to make amends.
Continue Reading »

Australia judge sentences anti-Semitic youth to visit Holocaust Museum & a Shabbat dinner

A youth who terrorized a school bus full of young Jewish children in Sydney was ordered by a New South Wales Judge to learn about Judaism and the Holocaust.

By Cynthia Blank

 

One of the five youths arrested for terrorizing Jewish children on a school bus in Australia earlier this year consented to visit the Sydney Jewish Museum as well as attend a tolerance program as part of his agreed punishment.

Holocaust museum (illustrative)

Holocaust museum (illustrative) – Reuters

The offender was with a gang of eight drunken youths when they boarded a bus in Sydney carrying Jewish students from Moriah College, Mount Sinai College, and Emanual School on August 6.

Continue Reading »

Poland’s Constitutional Court overturns ban on kosher slaughter

 

Constitutional court’s decision in favor of an EJA-led petition against the ban, that would have been implemented in 2015, came just in time.

European Jewish Association director: ‘This is an important day for all European Jews.’

ByYnet

Poland’s constitutional court on Wednesday allowed the resumption of kosher slaughter in the country, ruling in favor of a petition to overturn a ban implemented last year.

Kosher slaughter will remain lawful in Poland. (Photo: EPA)

Kosher slaughter will remain lawful in Poland. – Photo: EPA

“Jewish communities all over Europe can sigh in relief,” said a statement by the European Jewish Association (EJA), which led the drive to reallow kosher slaughter in Poland. Continue Reading »

Jewish Damascus Bibles could spark ownership challenge

Decades after the Mossad smuggled the ancient Hebrew Bibles out of Syria, Israel’s national library asks court to grant it custodianship to enshrine them as “owned by the Jewish people.”

By The Associated Press & Israel Hayom Staff

 

Two decades after Israeli spies helped Syrian Jews whisk ancient Hebrew Bibles from Damascus to Jerusalem, Israel’s national library asked an Israeli court on Monday to grant it custodianship over the manuscripts — a move that could spark an ownership battle over some of the Syrian Jewish community’s most important treasures.

A library official shows a Jewish manuscript smuggled into Israel from Damascus in a Mossad operation in the early 1990s, in Jerusalem – Photo: AP

Known as the Crowns of Damascus, the nine leather-bound parchment books — some featuring microscopic calligraphy and gold-leaf illuminations — were written mostly in Spain and Italy between 700 and 1,000 years ago. Continue Reading »