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  • Killing of Paris Jewish woman was anti-Semitic hate crime, prosecutors acknowledge

    PARIS (JTA) — Prosecutors investigating the April slaying of a Jewish woman by her neighbor said for the first time that her killing was an anti-Semitic hate crime. The characterization by prosecutors Wednesday in the death of Sarah Halimi followed months of lobbying and protest by French Jews, who were outraged by the absence of…

  • Russian Jews and Israeli agency address gap in services for children with disabilities

    (JTA) — Local Jewish leaders and an Israeli social services agency are teaming up  to address the growing plight of disabled Jewish children in Russia. The Sept. 14 signing of a cooperation agreement between Shalva and the Russian Jewish Congress follows a s2015 health reform in Russia that discontinued services for hundreds of thousands of…

  • In Belarus, some Jews don’t mind a dictator

    MINSK, Belarus (JTA) — At the age of 36, Yishai Malkin and his family are leading what millions of people in the former Soviet Union would consider a charmed life. A web designer, Malkin and his wife, an event manager, earn a combined monthly salary of $2,000. That’s comfortable enough to allow them to travel…

  • Poland’s right-wing party leader calls Israel a ‘modern-day miracle’

    (JTA) — The person widely regarded as the most powerful politician in Poland called Israel a “great country” whose establishment is a “modern-day miracle.” In a speech Monday, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a founder of Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice Party, also condemned anti-Semitism and attempts to boycott the Jewish state. Kaczynski spoke at an event organized…

  • Liberal Jews picket Paris synagogue hosting Jerusalem chief rabbi

    Liberal Jews picket Paris synagogue hosting Jerusalem chief rabbi (JTA) — In a move that underlined growing divisions among French Jews, several dozen attended a demonstration protesting communal leaders’ welcoming of a deeply conservative rabbi from Israel. Approximately 40 Jewish protesters, some of them affiliated with Liberal congregations, showed up at the rally last week…

  • Balfour Declaration was ‘humanitarian’ gesture, descendant of British foreign secretary says

    (JTA) – A descendant of Lord Arthur Balfour said during a visit to Israel that his ancestor’s 1917 declaration about favoring a Jewish state was “humanitarian” in nature. Roderick Balfour, the 5th Earl of Balfour, said Thursday at an event in Jerusalem celebrating British-Israeli ties and the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, in which the British government…

  • Kiev’s new JCC celebrates marriage of elderly couple who met there

    KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — Less than a year after it opened, this city’s American-style Jewish community center celebrated the first wedding by a couple who met here: a 68-year-old woman and a 72-year-old man who fell in love during dancing class. Maya Serebryanaya and Valeriy Utvenko registered at City Hall as husband and wife earlier…

  • A Hasidic dynasty began in this Romanian town. Now the Jewish community is barely surviving.

    SATU MARE, Romania (JTA) —  The small congregation in this northern city consists of only 110 members. Yet the Satu Mare Jewish community owns an impressive 129 cemeteries and four synagogues. Among the heritage sites in its care is the Decebal Street Synagogue, an ornate behemoth of a building erected in 1892. It was designed…

  • Israeli defense officials reportedly oppose changing Iran deal

    (JTA) — Israel’s intelligence community opposes the drastic changes sought by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, according to a report. Several sources, who were not named, told the Haaretz daily that the defense establishment in Israel does not agree with the demand articulated by Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman…

  • 4 synagogues open in former Soviet Union ahead of Rosh Hashanah

    (JTA) — Ahead of the Jewish New Year, four Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union celebrated the opening of synagogues in an effort to boost cultural and spiritual activities for congregants or commemorate Jewish heritage. Of the synagogues that were opened in recent weeks in Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania, the most unusual was the…