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  • European Day of Jewish Culture to have record 35 countries participating

    AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Thirty years after its initiation, the European Day of Jewish Culture will have a record number of countries participating. Azerbaijan for the first time will be a participant in the intergovernmental project on Sept. 4 highlighting Europe’s Jewish heritage. From the Azeri capital of Baku to Belem in Portugal, hundreds of cities…

  • ‘Fun day’ marking 1991 Crown Heights riots irks slain Jewish student’s family

    (JTA) — The family of the Jewish student killed in the 1991 Crown Heights riots condemned as “shameful” a street festival jointly planned by black and Jewish leaders to commemorate that racial unrest in Brooklyn. Norman Rosenbaum, whose brother Yankel was killed by attackers on Aug. 20, 1991, used the term in a statement sent…

  • Jared Kushner once broke up with Ivanka Trump over ‘religion issue’

    (JTA) — Prior to Ivanka Trump’s conversion to Judaism in 2010, she and her then-boyfriend Jared Kushner broke up briefly over their religious differences before marrying a year later, The New Yorker reported. Kushner and Trump, the daughter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, split in 2008, prompting a common friend, Wendi Deng Murdoch —…

  • Turkey bankrolling Hamas, German officials say

    (JTA) — German government officials accused Turkey’s regime of financing terrorist groups in the Middle East, including Hamas. The report Tuesday by the German radio station ARD cited a classified document sent from the Germany’s Interior Ministry to the Left Party saying that members of the government consider the Turkish regime under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan…

  • Jerusalem rabbinical court seeks to end alimony ‘inflation’ in ketubah

    (JTA) — Jerusalem’s regional rabbinical court asked Israel’s Chief Rabbinate to set a 1 million shekel limit on the compensation that Jewish grooms may prenuptially pledge to pay their wives in case of a divorce. The unusual request earlier this month follows a divorce in which a man’s ex-wife demanded he pay her 555,555 shekels…

  • Ukraine’s honoring of war criminals leaves its Jews uneasy — and divided

    (JTA) — When Vladimir Putin grabbed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, the Russian president claimed it was to protect minorities from anti-Semitic fascists whom Putin maintained were behind the revolution that year that ousted his ally in Kiev, former President Viktor Yanukovych. But a physicist named Josef Zissels, who heads one of the groups representing Ukraine’s fractured…

  • Polish president pens passionate eulogy for survivor of Sobibor death camp

    (JTA) – In an unusual gesture, the president of Poland published a long statement eulogizing a Holocaust survivor who was among a handful of people to have escaped the Nazi death camp at Sobibor in the country’s east. Andrzej Duda published his 650-word eulogy of Filip Białowicz on the president’s official website on Friday. Białowicz, who died…

  • Reform Jews, black groups aim to protect voting rights

    (JTA) — Reform Jews are preparing to kick off a nationwide initiative aimed at facilitating voter participation in the black community and beyond in the 2016 presidential election. The voting rights initiative of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is scheduled to begin Thursday in Raleigh, North Carolina, in cooperation with the NAACP and…

  • Trump volunteers court US voters in Israel, especially from swing states

    (JTA) — In an unusual move, volunteers for Donald Trump have launched a campaign appealing specifically to U.S. voters living in Israel, notably those from swing states. Under the slogan “The Israeli Interest,” Trump supporters in the past few weeks have launched a website and a Facebook page before heading out with banners to shopping malls across the country, The…

  • Bar Refaeli’s dad arrested for allegedly assaulting police officers

    (JTA) — The father of top Israeli model Bar Refaeli was placed under house arrest for allegedly assaulting police officers who came to his home to investigate a neighbor’s noise complaint. Rafi Refaeli was arrested Saturday at his home north of Tel Aviv, Ynet reported Monday. He and a friend are accused of assaulting the officers outside…