Frankfurt Jewish group severs ties with German city’s Chabad over ‘disrespect’ and ‘insults’

BERLIN (JTA) – The umbrella group representing the Jewish community of Frankfurt is distancing itself from the city’s Chabad-Lubavitch chapter following a series of alleged instances of “disrespect” shown against local non-Chabad rabbis.

In an open letter published March 20, the Jewish Community of Frankfurt am Main group wrote that the city’s synagogues will no longer provide rooms for Chabad events. The letter cites “increasingly aggressive behaviour” and “insults” from Chabad rabbis aimed at two local rabbis, Avichai Apel and Julian Chaim-Soussan. [Read more…]


U.S. Holocaust Museum to award Angela Merkel with top honour named for Elie Wiesel

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will bestow its highest honour, the Elie Wiesel Award, on German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her work advancing Holocaust awareness.

“Chancellor Merkel has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to making the preservation of Holocaust memory a priority for Germany,” said Tom Bernstein, who chairs the council governing the museum, in a release Thursday. “The Museum has partnered with the German government and institutions on many initiatives and those partnerships have only grown deeper and more fruitful under Chancellor Merkel.” [Read more…]


Heirs of Jewish art collector join with German university to recover lost works

BERLIN (JTA) – Heirs of legendary Jewish art collector Rudolf Mosse joined with a German university to track down works he once owned.

Mosse’s heirs joined with researchers at the Freie Universität Berlin to form the Mosse Art Research Initiative, or MARI. Details of the partnership, reportedly the first in which state entities and heirs have joined together to recover works from a private collection, were presented to the press in Berlin on Tuesday. [Read more…]


Anti-Semitic incidents rise 16 per cent in Berlin

BERLIN (JTA) – With a new report noting a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin, Jewish leaders in the German capital renewed their call for a federal commissioner to deal with the problem.

The Berlin-based Research and Information Office on Anti-Semitism, founded in 2015, reported Monday that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the city has risen by 16 per cent in 2016 over the previous year. Most incidents were nonviolent but nonetheless threatening. [Read more…]


German Chancellor Angela Merkel cancels joint Cabinet meeting with Israel

BERLIN (JTA) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has canceled a planned top-level joint Cabinet meeting with Israeli leaders, reportedly out of frustration over Israel’s controversial new settlements law.

The binational consultation was set for May 10 in Jerusalem. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported Monday that Merkel’s office offered the September national elections in Germany as the reason for the cancellation, but the chancellor appears to be taking a more critical stand toward Israel in order to improve her chances of winning a fourth term.  [Read more…]


Populist party in Germany set to oust member for denigrating Berlin Holocaust memorial

BERLIN (JTA) – Germany’s rising right-wing populist party voted to begin proceedings to oust a prominent member for calling Berlin’s Holocaust memorial a “monument of shame.”

Bjoern Hoecke, leader of the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, in the former East German state of Thuringia aroused ire nationwide with remarks in January denigrating the memorial and suggesting that more attention be paid to German victims of World War II.  [Read more…]


Jewish teen kicked out of German school denies making Hitler salute

MUNICH (JTA) – A Jewish teenager has been kicked out of a vocational school in Germany for allegedly raising his arm in the Hitler salute in the classroom.

But Maksym M., 18, insists he was just raising his hand when attendance was taken at the Blindow-Schule in Leipzig, according to the Bild newspaper, which also reported that he has been doing well in the program. The state prosecutor declined to bring charges against him. [Read more…]


German police raid homes of extremists allegedly planning attacks on Jews, refugees

BERLIN (JTA) – Police have raided the homes of right-wing extremists across Germany on suspicion of planning attacks on Jews, refugees and police.

Police searched 12 apartments and other sites across the country early on Wednesday, gathering information for an investigation. Seven suspects come from the states of Baden-Württemberg and Baden. Some 200 police officers from the states of Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt were involved in the operation, which was initiated by the federal Prosecutor General. [Read more…]