NEW YORK (JTA) – Students at Jewish day schools across the United States offered prayers, lit candles and demanded change as part of a nationwide student walkout calling for gun reform in the wake of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida. [Read more…]
(JTA) – The Conservative movement has launched a hotline for reporting sexual impropriety in response to an allegation by a former member of its youth movement that he was inappropriately touched by a staff member.
Last week, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) launched an investigation into the allegation made by the former United Synagogue Youth (USY) member, who in a Facebook post named a male former senior staff member in the 1980s as the perpetrator. [Read more…]
NEW YORK (JTA) – Last month, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research made an astonishing announcement: the discovery of 170,000 Jewish documents thought to have been destroyed during the Holocaust.
The papers, which date from the mid-18th century through World War II, survived destruction attempts by both the Nazis and the Soviets.
In 1941, as part of program to loot Jewish museums and institutions, the Nazis raided YIVO, which is now based in New York but then was headquartered in Vilna. A group of Jewish slave labourers called the “Paper Brigade” smuggled some books, papers and artwork into the Vilna ghetto – risking their lives in the process. After World War II, a non-Jewish Lithuanian librarian, Antanas Ulpis, hid the collection in the basement of a church amid a campaign by the Soviet government to rid the country of religion. [Read more…]
(JTA) – The University of Florida, home to the largest Jewish student body in the United States, is bracing for an upcoming speech on campus by white supremacist leader Richard Spencer.
Only six weeks after Hurricane Irma wrought destruction in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott declared another state of emergency, this time ahead of Spencer’s speech in Gainesville on Thursday afternoon. [Read more…]
(JTA) – Jews in the Swedish city of Gothenburg expressed relief on Monday after a neo-Nazi march on Yom Kippur bypassed the city’s main synagogue and the community received hundreds of messages of support from groups and individuals.
On Saturday, 30 members of the far-right nationalist Nordic Resistance Movement, or NRM, were arrested when they did not follow their assigned route, clashed with counter-protesters and tried to walk toward the Scandinavia Book Fair, the largest literary festival in Scandinavia. Among those arrested was the group’s leader, Simon Lindberg. [Read more…]
(JTA) – As executive director of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA), Elana Sztokman was a big name in liberal Orthodox circles.
But this week the 47-year-old, who has published widely on gender in Judaism, turned a new page: She started studying to become a Reform rabbi. [Read more…]
(JTA) – Jews in the Swedish city of Gothenburg are bracing for a neo-Nazi march scheduled to pass near the city’s main synagogue on Yom Kippur.
Community leaders said they will appeal a police decision last week that would allow the Nordic Resistance Movement to march during the Gothenburg Book Fair, when some 100,000 people will gather in the city for the largest literary festival in Scandinavia. [Read more…]
(JTA) – The Jewish community in Houston has seen “devastating” damage from Hurricane Harvey and could take years to recover, a federation official said.
“Recovery like this – it is a disaster larger than Katrina in terms of the amount of water that fell – we’re going to have short- and long-term recovery plans, but this is probably going to take us years to get back to where we were,” said Taryn Baranowski, chief marketing officer for the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. [Read more…]
(JTA) – An Israeli government committee will propose making it easier for non-Jews who have Jewish ancestry or members of communities following Jewish practices to visit and study in Israel.
The Diaspora Affairs Ministry panel will also recommend establishing cultural centres abroad to allow members of these communities to learn more about Judaism and Israel and creating a new visa category for such people to stay in the country for longer than allowed on a tourist visa, Haaretz reported Monday. [Read more…]
(JTA) – Over the course of just a few days, the tiny Jewish community in Nicaragua more than doubled when 114 people converted to Judaism.
Last month, community members answered questions before a beit din, or religious court, of three Orthodox rabbis from Israel and the United States and immersed in a newly built mikvah in Managua, the Central American country’s capital. Male converts underwent circumcisions or symbolic circumcisions if already circumcised. [Read more…]