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  • Burkini ban is great for business, says Israeli-French maker of modest swimsuits

    AMSTERDAM (JTA) — According to the latest tally, at least 30 French municipalities have banned the product that the Paris-born businesswoman Yardena G. sells for a living. Yardena, a haredi Orthodox mother of nine from Jerusalem, owns the Sea Secret fashion label of modest swimwear for devoutly religious women. And she regards the bans on…

  • How my JTA reporting about an anti-Semitic cartoon changed my views of Belgium — for the worse

    AMSTERDAM (JTA) — I used to think I had a pretty good understanding of what it means to be Jewish in Belgium. A longtime observer of that polarized binational country, whose dysfunctions and successes often reflect those of the European Union headquartered in its capital, Brussels, I have family ties there and am fluent in the…

  • Portugal pulls out of law enforcement project led by Israeli university

    (JTA) — Portugal’s government denied reports that its pullout from a law enforcement project led by Israel’s Bar-Ilan University owed to pressure by pro-Palestinian activists. The departure of Portugal, a main entry point of illegal drugs into Europe, from the LAW-TRAIN project was reported earlier this week by the Lisbon-based Diario de Noticias daily. Founded last year, the…

  • Spanish municipality to rescind BDS resolution following legal action

    (JTA) — The Spanish municipality of Velez Malaga said it will rescind a City Council resolution in support of boycotting Israel following legal action. Wednesday’s decision to cancel the resolution, which labeled Israel an apartheid state, came one day after a court in Malaga issued an injunction ruling that the motion was illegal on the grounds…

  • Russian Jews posthumously honor Elie Wiesel, who fought to free them

    (JTA) — A Jewish organization working in the former Soviet Union inaugurated an exhibition in Moscow on the life of Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. Also in the Russian capital, some 500 Chabad rabbis from across Europe gathered this week for a conference that may be the largest rabbinical gathering ever held there, according to the Chabad…

  • Russian TV reruns documentary claiming Jewish conspiracy in Titanic sinking

    (JTA) — A privately owned Russian television channel reran a documentary from 2012 that claimed the Titanic was sunk partly due to a conspiracy by Jews. REN-TV aired the anti-Semitic documentary last month, according to the Coordination Forum for Countering anti-Semitism. The documentary suggested a “group of 300” Jews, freemasons and “illluminati” had sunk the…

  • British Jewish leaders condemn reports of French police harassing Muslim women in burkinis

    (JTA) — The Board of Deputies of British Jews condemned what it called police harassment in France of Muslim women wearing the full-body bathing suit known as the burkini in defiance of a municipal ban. The reaction by the main Jewish group in Britain was to reports describing how four police officers on Tuesday ordered and compelled…

  • How Paris public schools became no-go zones for Jews

    PARIS (JTA) — Twenty-five years after he graduated from a public high school in the French capital, Stephane Tayar recalls favorably his time in one of the world’s most thorough education systems. As for many other French Jews his age, the state-subsidized upbringing has worked out well for Tayar, a 43-year-old communications and computers specialist. Eloquent but…

  • Senior Paris rabbi defends controversial burkini ban

    (JTA) — A senior Paris rabbi defended a string of controversial municipal bans in France on wearing the full-body swimsuit known as a burkini in public. Moshe Sebbag of the Grand Synagogue told JTA on Tuesday that he supported in principle the regulations adopted earlier this month in 15 French municipalities, including the famed beach resort…

  • Macedonia’s tiny Jewish community, JDC help flood victims

    (JTA) – Members of the tiny Jewish community of Macedonia and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee distributed hundreds of aid packages to victims of deadly floods that forced thousands from their homes in the Balkan nation. The JDC, along with the Jewish Community of the Republic of Macedonia and the Holocaust Fund of the…