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Coimbra, Portugal – How This Pristine 15th-century Abravanel Hebrew Bible Survived The Inquisition

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 Coimbra, Portugal - From its mountaintop perch, the University of Coimbra towers majestically over the downtown square that used to be the regional headquarters of the Portuguese Inquisition. It’s a fitting location for the 737-year-old university, the seventh oldest in the world, which outsmarted and outlived the campaign of persecution against Jews and freethinkers unleashed by the...

London – Is It Islamophobic To Oppose The Mosque Next Door? London Jews Debate The Question

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 London - A plan to open a mosque in a heavily Jewish area of London is dividing British Jews, with some calling the development worrisome and others accusing its opponents of racism. The Islamic center is slated to open next month at the Hippodrome, a former concert hall in the heart of the north London neighborhood of Golders Green. The area is home to thousands of Jewish families of all...

Brussels – Belgian Jews Laud Government’s Freezing Of Aid Following Palestinian Honor For Terrorist

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 Brussels - Belgian Jewish groups welcomed the decision by their country’s foreign ministry to freeze funding for Palestinian schools following the renaming of a recipient institution for a terrorist who killed Jewish civilians. Tuesday’s move, which the Forum of Jewish Organizations of Belgium’s Flemish Region said was “the right thing to do,” was announced in a government statement...

Washington – Trump Retweets Praise From A Charedi Pro-Israel Account

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 Washington - President Donald Trump retweeted praise from a pro-Israel Twitter account run by a haredi Orthodox journalist. The Twitter account, named Israel & USA Forever, posted a photo of Trump flanked by two American flags and the Statue of Liberty, one hand raised in a V for Victory sign and saying “President Trump, thank you for fighting for us.” The composite photo, which is...

Washington – Schumer Renews Call For Embassy Move After Trump Puts Idea On Hold

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 Washington - Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer renewed his call for President Donald Trump to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem after the president said he wanted to wait to give his relaunched peace push a chance. “President Trump’s recent comments suggest his indecisiveness on the embassy’s relocation,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday in an email to JTA. “As someone who...

Chicago – Meet The Orthodox Firearms Instructor Who Wants Jews To Own Guns

Monday, October 9th, 2017 Chicago -  Three days after a gunman killed 58 people in Las Vegas, a post in a Facebook group for Chicago Jews displayed a blurry photo of survivors fleeing the bullets. Next to it was a flier advertising ChiDefense Firearm Training with a Hebrew phrase underneath denoting that the company is closed for Shabbat. The post got a few “likes” -- and plenty of hate. One commenter called it...

Kobe, Japan – In Japan, Observing Sukkot Requires Creativity_ And Sometimes A Bit Of Smuggling

Sunday, October 8th, 2017 Kobe, Japan - Like many international smugglers, the one servicing the Jewish community of this port city 300 miles east of Tokyo has perfected his poker face to avoid customs inspections. But unlike other smugglers, the one from Kobe, who spoke to JTA last month on condition of anonymity, carries no cash, drugs or any of the contraband favored by his counterparts. Instead, he brings in...

New York – Can Cyber Technology Solve The Anne Frank And Raoul Wallenberg Mysteries?

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 New York - After 70 years of studying the Holocaust, historians still don’t know the exact circumstances of the tragic fate that befell two of the best-known victims of the Holocaust era: Anne Frank and Raoul Wallenberg. Frank, the teenager whose journal of her days in hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam has sensitized millions to the suffering of 6 million victims, died in 1945 in...

Gateshead, England – Why Orthodox Jews Are Flocking To This Gritty English Town

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 Gateshead, England -  It's lunchtime, and as they wait for their sandwiches at a kosher deli, five young haredi Orthodox men have a lively discussion in Yiddish about Jewish texts. Such a scene may be mundane in Jerusalem or New York, or even Antwerp or London. But it's not a sight that many outside Britain would associate with Gateshead, a gritty miners' town in northern England -- a...

New York – Schumer: Don’t Return Trove Of Jewish Artifacts To Iraq

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 New York - Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer exhorted the State Department not to send back to Iraq a trove of artifacts that belonged to its now exiled Jewish community. In a letter shared with JTA, the New York Democrat on Tuesday urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to work with Jewish groups and the Iraqi Jewish community in the United States and abroad to find a place for the Iraqi...

Terre Haute, Indiana – Video Of Holocaust Survivor Who Forgave Mengele Goes Viral

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 Terre Haute, Indiana - A video of a Holocaust survivor explaining why she forgave the infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele for experimenting on her has gone viral over the past few weeks. Eva Mozes Kor, 83, and her twin sister Miriam were sent to Auschwitz from Romania in 1944. Mengele, known as the “Angel of Death” for his cruel experiments on concentration camp prisoners, added the Kors to...

Las Vegas – An Israeli Trauma Expert Predicted A Las Vegas Attack Three Years Ago

Monday, October 2nd, 2017 Las Vegas - When Dr. Avi Rivkind landed in Las Vegas three years ago to lecture as a trauma care expert, he saw something that troubled him. The airport, McCarran International, felt too open, almost exposed. He felt no less comfortable on the city’s Strip while watching crowds flow from hotels to casinos to shops to the street -- with little security in sight. “I felt there was a...

Boston – School Project To Remember Holocaust Victims Surpasses Goal Of 11 Million Stamps

Monday, October 2nd, 2017 Boston - A 9-year-old school project to commemorate Holocaust victims surpassed its unlikely goal to collect 11 million stamps – representing the lives of 6 million Jews and 5 million other victims of intolerance who perished. On Friday, the eve of Yom Kippur, a community volunteer for the Holocaust Stamp Project at the Foxborough Regional Charter School delivered some 7,000 canceled stamps...

Spain – Barcelona Chaos Had This Israeli Reporter-turned-lawmaker Dodging Bullets

Monday, October 2nd, 2017 Spain - Seeing armed police in riot gear outside a school in Barcelona, the Israeli lawmaker Ksenia Svetlova felt the instincts kick in from her days as a Middle East reporter for Russian-language media. “One look was enough to see these officers were preparing for something bad,” said Svetlova, a Zionist Union lawmaker who was in the Catalan capital Sunday at the invitation of the local...

Washington – MO Orthodox Rabbi Venue To Spend Yom Kippur In A Beer Garden Raises Eyebrows

Friday, September 29th, 2017 Washington - On Saturday, when Jews around the world will fast and gather in synagogues to pray on Yom Kippur, some young Jews will be coming together in the U.S. capital at a more unconventional venue: a beer garden. Aaron Potek, the 31-year-old rabbi for GatherDC, a nondenominational group that does outreach to young Jewish professionals, is hoping to reach young Jews who otherwise would not...
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