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  • Polish artist finds 19th-century Jewish scripture in garbage heap

    (JTA) – An artist from southern Poland found a cache of priceless Jewish scripture books, including volumes from the 19th century, in a pile of garbage. Vladimir Pietal of Rzeszow, a city 90 miles east of Krakow, recently discovered the leather-bound books waiting to be picked up with the trash near the Lubomirski Palace, the…

  • As Chabad grows in Africa, hardy rabbis encounter crime and spirituality

    (JTA) — Rabbi Shmuel Notik was on his way to blow the shofar on a Friday evening in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi when six men armed with knives intercepted him on a dark street. Notik — a follower of the Chabad-Lubavitch stream of Judaism who had moved to Kenya to serve local Jews just…

  • Dutch lawmaker accused of anti-Semitism after refusing to shake Netanyahu’s hand

    (JTA) – A Dutch-Turkish lawmaker who refused to shake hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel rejected claims from the local media that his behavior was anti-Semitic. Tunahan Kuzu, an Istanbul-born former Labour Party politician who represents the far-left and pro-immigration DENK party, staged the incident in The Hague on Wednesday, the second and…

  • Belgian government official who called Israel ‘identical twin’ of ISIS resigns

    (JTA) — A Belgian official who compared Israel to Nazi Germany and the Islamic State is no longer employed as a minister’s adviser on tolerance. Youssef Kobo, the adviser on diversity for the minister in charge of equal opportunity in the regional government of Brussels, offered to resign after finding he could no longer fulfill…

  • Ex-Dutch PM: ‘War criminal’ Netanyahu should be tried in Hague

    (JTA) — A former Dutch prime minister said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is a “war criminal” who should be prosecuted during his visit this week to the Netherlands. Dries van Agt, a longtime Palestinian activist, made the remarks on Monday during an interview with the NPO 1 public television channel. “There’s a war…

  • French Jewry’s president appears to back burkini ban

    (JTA) – Ending a long and conspicuous silence on the burkini ban in France, the president of the umbrella group of French Jews appeared to support the ban, saying he favored limiting “political-religious” symbols. In an interview published Monday on the Actualite Juive Jewish news website, Francis Kalifat of CRIF for the first time directly addressed the ban…

  • Lviv opens Jewish memorial on former historic synagogue

    MOSCOW (JTA) — The city of Lviv in western Ukraine inaugurated a controversial memorial monument on part of the former Golden Rose Synagogue complex. On Sunday, designated the European Day of Jewish Culture, hundreds attended the unveiling of the Space of Synagogues led by Mayor Andriy Sadovy, despite legal action against the monument by Meylakh…

  • Uzbek chief rabbi: No worries for Jewish community after death of country’s president

    (JTA) — Uzbekistan’s Jews are not worried for their future after the death of the country’s longtime president, Islam Karimov, the country’s chief rabbi said. The Uzbek strongman, who ruled his Central Asian Muslim nation with an iron fist until he died last week at 78, “prepared the country well and its security forces are drilled…

  • Israeli war hero orphaned in Holocaust remembered in Russia

    KAZAN, Russia (JTA) — Russia’s chief rabbi and several Israel Defense Forces generals commemorated a late war hero in a city he passed through while fleeing Europe during the Holocaust. Avigdor Ben-Gal, better known as Yanush, died in February in Israel, a country he reached in 1943 at the age of 6 together with hundreds…

  • Russian court dissolves Jewish community group

    KAZAN, Russia (JTA) — A Russian court dissolved a Jewish community association, in a move critics said was part of a crackdown on foreign NGOs but others said was procedural. The Cherepovets City Court on Aug. 25 scrapped the association known as The Jewish Community of Cherepovets from the national register of nonprofit organizations, citing its…