Tag Archive for Jewish Diaspora

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 »

Dramatic Video Released: Footage of stabbing attack at Chabad yeshiva in Brooklyn



Reason for the attack is still unknown, but some claim it was a hate crime.



Dramatic footage of Monday’s stabbing attack against an Israeli yeshiva student outside of Chabad’s international headquarters in Brooklyn was released Tuesday.

Stabbing attack

Stabbing attack against an Israeli yeshiva student – Screenshot

The attacker, an unidentified African-American described as a homeless man by the Daily News, entered the building and, according to witnesses, asked for a book. He subsequently left but then returned and took out a switchblade, menacing a group of students before stabbing 22-year-old Levi Yitzchok ben Raizel of  Betar Illit, Israel. Continue Reading »

U.K. synagogue cancels Dr. Mordechai Kedar as invited speaker

Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar Ilan University served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse but his opponents say his opinion is “toxic for interfaith relations”.




A leading London synagogue has cancelled a talk by an Israeli academic who said earlier this year that the only way to deter terrorists is by raping their female relatives.

Mordechai Kedar

Mordechai Kedar – Photo: Michal Fattal

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, of Bar-Ilan University, was due to speak at the Finchley United Synagogue on Monday night as part of a speaking tour in the United Kingdom organized by the local Zionist Federation, the Jewish Chronicle reported. Continue Reading »

Pro-Palestinian activists girding to demonstrate Maccabi TA playing NBA preseason games

As a result of Israel’s defensive operation in Gaza, pro-Hamas demonstrations may greet the team’s preseason matches in both Brooklyn & Cleveland.

The prospect that pro-Palestinian demonstrations will greet Israel’s champion basketball team during a visit to the U.S. isn’t a slam dunk, but it’s still a possibility, a media report says.

Euroleague Final Four final match, May 18, 2014

Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Yogev Ohayon goes for the basket during the Euroleague Final Four final match between Real Madrid and Maccabi Tel Aviv, in Milan, Italy, Sunday, May 18, 2014 – Photo: AP

In October, Maccabi Tel Aviv will play two preseason games, against the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

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American Jews divided if right to bear arms is ‘Kosher’

Gun group & club affirm the`importance of armed self-defense,’ and the Rabbinical Council of America “condones” people learning to use weapons.


A Jewish gun-rights advocate and a gun club, affirming the right of law-abiding citizens to own weapons, have taken argument with the stances of two rabbinical groups, which they said called for greater gun control.

Itamar Gelbman helps Lea Rosenfeld take aim

A shooting class for Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors in Los Angeles. – Photo: Anthony Weiss/JTA Photo Service

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership said it joined with the Golani Rifle & Pistol Club to oppose the rabbinical groups’ positions and “affirm the importance of armed self-defense by Jews and all Americans.”

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Numerous anti-Semitic assaults plague Parisian Jews over weekend

Jewish girl cursed & shoved, Jewish man taunted & beaten, synagogue guards threatened and synagogue hit by garbage by its neighbors.



Two men pointed what looked like firearms at police stationed outside a Paris synagogue in part of a weekend string of anti-Semitic incidents in and near the French capital.

Ilan Halimi, France, Paris AP

Tens of thousands march in Paris against anti-Semitism after brutal killing of Ilan Halimi, Feb. 26, 2006. – Photo: AP

The incident involving the police officers occurred on June 14 outside the synagogue on Julien Lacroix Street in eastern Paris’ 20th arrondissement, according to a report posted on Sunday on the website of the National League for Vigilance Against anti-Semitism, or BVCA.

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Hitler & mufti of Jerusalem featured in anti-Muslim ads on Washington buses


Following the anti-Israel adds on buses in the US capital by American Muslim group, Pamela Geller strikes back with her new adds on 20 Washington D.C. buses headlined: ‘Islamic Jew-hatred: It’s in the Quran’



Pamela Geller, the popular American anti-Muslim blogger, has escalated her public advertising campaign against Islam by plastering a 15-foot-long message in that spirit on many Washington D.C. buses.

Pamela Geller ad

Pamela Geller’s new ad running on 20 Washington D.C. buses.- Screenshot from Washington Post

Her new offering stars Adolf Hitler and the mufti of Jerusalem, spiritual leader of Palestinian Muslims in the first half of the 20th century, the Washington Post reported.

Continue Reading »

California school asks students: Was Holocaust real?


8th-graders were asked to write for a homework assignment, an essay on if the Holocaust was an actual historical event or a political scheme designed to influence public emotion.

By Reuters


A California school district is under fire after eighth-graders were given an assignment to write an essay explaining whether they believed the Holocaust was a real historical event or a political scheme to influence public emotion and gain.

Auschwitz: Essay on whether it really happened.

A new program for Holocaust studies at the University of Haifa is allowing students to shine a light on their families’ own personal histories. – Photo: AP

“It was an error,” Syeda Jafri, spokesperson of the Rialto Unified School District near Los Angeles, said on Monday.

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Major American Jewish Org. Rejects J Street’s Admission

51 American Jewish organizations rejected the admission of the far left-wing lobby into the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.



The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a non-profit U.S. group comprised of 51 national Jewish organizations, voted Wednesday at 6:00 P.M. EST to reject the dovish lobby J Street’s request for admission.

J Street supporters holding a rally in Boston for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

J Street supporters holding a rally in Boston for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. – Photo: Bob Nesson

The self-declared “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization was founded in 2008 and presents itself as an alternative to AIPAC, the powerful, veteran pro-Israel lobby.

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A small Jewish community splits over conversion in rural Uganda

Even with support from the Diaspora, the community remains poor. All the members are farmers, including Sizomu, who despite his rabbinical degree, grows plantains to support himself.


Enosh Keki Maniah, the head of the breakaway Orthodox faction of Uganda's Abayudaya Jewish community, hopes to move to Israel. (Ben Sales)Enosh Keki Maniah, the head of the breakaway Orthodox faction of Uganda’s Abayudaya Jewish community, says, “We didn’t  have a grudge with anyone.” (Ben Sales)


The room is bare, the light is dim and the Conservative prayer books are worn.

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At FIDF gala, Israeli army’s media machine helps rake in $20 million


With the spotlight on Iranian munitions seizure and suave Israeli pilots, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces’ fundraiser in NY, brings in a hefty $20 million in donations.



The Waldorf ballroom – all three of its gilded tiers – was packed this past Tuesday night, as one of New York’s more visible and popular Jewish charities, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, celebrated its annual gala dinner.

Chief of Staff Lieut. Gen. Benny Gantz speaks at FIDF gala, New York, 2014

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz speaks at Friends of Israel Defense Forces gala, New York, 2014. – Photo: Shahar Azran

After the recent IDF seizure of an Iranian missile shipment bound for Gaza, the evening morale was high, and so was the socialite buzz.

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Video: Wounded Ukrainian protesters airlifted for medical treatment in Israel

This project faced initial obstacles in terms of both hospital access within Israel & funding.

Dr. Valeriya Babchik, a physician at Kaplan, helped to organize the project, along with Arieli & Marina Lysak, Kiev residents.


TEL AVIV (JTA) – For 17-year-old Bolodimir Bedyuk, a Ukrainian who was severely wounded in clashes with Ukrainian police on Feb. 18, Israeli medical care may be his only hope.

A wounded individual is transported to a waiting plane, where he will be flown to Israel to receive medical care. (Shimon Briman)A wounded individual is transported to a waiting plane, where he will be flown to Israel to receive medical care. (Shimon Briman)

After a pitched battle with Ukrainian police forces on Institutskaya Street in Kiev, Bedyuk suffered chest wounds and extensive liver damage — his brother Aleksei said Bolodimir’s liver “was torn practically in half.”

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In Kiev, a Jewish IDF veteran leads a ‘street-fighting’ unit

The ‘Blue Helmets’ comprising of 40 men & women who are not all Jewish & that include 5 ex-Israeli soldiers, says Delta the leader, an Orthodox Jew in his late 30s who wears a kippah under his helmet.


JTA – He calls his troops “the Blue Helmets of Maidan,” but brown is the color of the headgear worn by Delta — the nom de guerre of the commander of a Jewish-led militia force that participated in the Ukrainian revolution.

Delta, the nom de guerre of the Jewish commander of a Ukrainian street-fighting unit, is pictured in Kiev earlier this month. (Courtesy of 'Delta')

Delta, the nom de guerre of the Jewish commander of a Ukrainian street-fighting unit, is pictured in Kiev earlier this month.

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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 »

The 1st marathon runner was Jewish…not Greek

In honor of Friday’s Tel Aviv Marathon, we note that a run described in the bible predates the Greek myth on which modern marathons are based.

Plus: A note from Jewish Runner Hall of Fame.


Tomorrow, Friday morning, thousands of runners will be taking to the streets. Yes, it’s the Tel Aviv Marathon, and the perfect time to debunk some myths about Jews and sports, specifically – running.

Pheidippides (Wikimedia)

Pheidippides delivering the message of victory after the Battle of Marathon, Luc-Olivier Merson, 1869.- Photo: Wikimedia

The first modern marathon was at the first latter-day Olympics, held in Athens in 1896.

Continue Reading »