Established in 1937 as “a force for constructive communal consciousness,” the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin communicates the messages of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa and its agencies, and, as the city’s only Jewish newspaper, aims to inform, inspire and enrich the lives of all members of this diverse community.

Opinion: 11 former White House Jewish liaisons say Trump doesn’t understand anti-Semitism

By Matt Nosanchuk, Noam Neusner, Jarrod Bernstein, Adam Goldman, Jay S. Zeidman, Scott Arogeti, Deborah Mohile Goldberg, Jay K. Footlik, Jeanne Ellinport, Amy Zisook, and Marshall J. Breger

President Donald Trump shown before making a statement on the violence in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 14, 2017. (Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump shown before making a statement on the violence in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 14, 2017. (Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

(JTA) – As Jewish liaisons to four different U.S. presidents, we had the responsibility inside the White House to give voice to the perspectives and priorities of the American Jewish community. While our community may not be unified in matters of policy and politics, our spiritual practice, cultural traditions and history have instilled in American Jews a shared commitment to protecting those targeted by bigots, racists and others spewing hate and division.

The presidents we served repeatedly used their bully pulpit to condemn hatred and bigotry when it appeared, whether in America or overseas. A video of president Ronald Reagan’s speech at the 1981 NAACP Convention following the lynching of an African-American man in Alabama has gone viral in recent days. President Bill Clinton led the nation’s mourning following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and we all vividly recall president George W. Bush’s eloquent remarks standing on the rubble of the World Trade Center in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and president Barack Obama’s eulogy and rendition of “Amazing Grace” following the murder of nine African-American worshippers at a historically African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina.

President Donald Trump, in his reaction to the violence in Charlottesville and to other examples of anti-Semitism, shows that he neither understands his responsibilities nor the nature of the ancient hatred of anti-Semitism and other forms of hate. [Read more…]

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Hidden blueprint leads diggers to ancient ritual baths of Vilnius synagogue

(JTA) – A newly discovered blueprint of the destroyed great synagogue in Vilnius led a team of archaeologists to unearth the remains of two ritual baths that were used by congregants of one of Europe’s largest and most prominent Jewish communities before its annihilation.

The synagogue, which was at the heart of the large Jewish community in Vilnius for hundreds of years, was destroyed in the Holocaust. But the baths, or mikvahs, and underground spaces discovered in a study carried out last year led to the excavation of the site by Israeli, Lithuanian and American archaeologists and the exposure of the ritual baths, the Heritage Daily reported Thursday. [Read more…]

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Charlottesville says it provided protection to synagogue, refuting initial account

Police blocking off the street after a car rammed into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12, 2017. (Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Police blocking off the street after a car rammed into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12, 2017. (Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Local officials said police provided protection to a synagogue during a far-right rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia refuting a claim by a Jewish community leader that they had refused to do so.

On Friday, Charlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones said it “is simply not the case that Congregation Beth Israel was left unguarded” during Saturday’s event, when neo-Nazis and white supremacists gathered in the city. The synagogue’s senior rabbi also seemed to confirm the police statement. [Read more…]

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Palestinian ex-terrorist deported from U.S. for lying on citizenship application

(JTA) – A Palestinian who lied about her involvement in terrorist attacks was ordered to be deported for illegally obtaining her citizenship from the United States, where she has lived for 22 years.

On Thursday, a U.S. federal court in Detroit ordered Rasmea Odeh’s deportation, citing her admission to lying on her citizenship application, the news site Click on Detroit reported. [Read more…]

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Windows smashed at Northern California synagogue

SAN FRANCISCO (J. The Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) – Police  are investigating what appears to be vandalism at Temple Israel in the Bay Area city of Alameda.

On Aug. 17, congregational president Genevieve Pastor-Cohen sent an email to the congregation stating, “in the morning, it was discovered that two classroom windows had been smashed,” and noting that police and Harbor Bay Security had been notified. [Read more…]

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