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  • Italy’s Jewish community pledges aid to areas hit by earthquake

    ROME (JTA) – Italy’s umbrella Jewish organization and the Rome Jewish community have set up a blood donation center to aid victims of the deadly earthquake that hit central Italy early Wednesday morning. Noemi Di Segni, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, or UCEI, issued a statement saying Italy’s Jews expressed full…

  • U.S. Holocaust museum slams Hungarian award to ‘racist’ journalist

    (JTA) – The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum slammed the decision by the Hungarian state to grant a prestigious award to Zsolt Bayer, a journalist long criticized for articles deemed racist and anti-Semitic. The state awarded Bayer the Knights Cross of the Order of Merit last week. “This award is intended to recognize individuals who demonstrate…

  • Hungarian Jewish leader returns state award in protest

    (JTA) – The president of Hungary’s main Jewish umbrella organization, Mazsihisz, has returned a high state award to protest the same award being presented to a nationalist journalist described as racist and anti-Semitic. In a Facebook post, Andras Heisler, who is also a vice president of the World Jewish Congress, said he was returning the…

  • Official at Islamic university in Italy calls for ‘final solution’ for Zionists

    ROME (JTA) – A Facebook post by an administrator at an Islamic university in Italy calling for the “final solution” and “complete extermination” of Zionists was taken down after the Italian Jewish community and the Israeli Embassy in Rome protested to authorities. The post was published in early August by Raffello Villani, the administrative secretary…

  • Arthur Hiller, Jewish director of ‘Love Story,’ dies at 92

    (JTA) – Arthur Hiller, the Canadian-born Jewish director most famous for the hit movie “Love Story,” has died. Hiller, had been in failing health for some time, died Wednesday. He was 92. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved friend Arthur Hiller,” the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said…

  • Pope: I felt the presence of the souls of murdered at Auschwitz

    ROME (JTA) – Pope Francis said during his silent visit last week to the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau that he felt the souls of those murdered there. “The great silence of the visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau was more eloquent than any word spoken could have been,” he said Wednesday during his weekly public audience…

  • Venice welcomes back Shylock in marking its Jewish history

    VENICE, Italy (JTA) – Last week, an international, multilingual cast performed Shakespeare’s controversial play, “The Merchant of Venice,” in the secluded main plaza of the city’s historic Jewish Ghetto. It was the first time the play was performed in the iconic location. Enclosed by tall tenements and the arched windows of 16th-century synagogues, audiences — U.S. Supreme Court Justice…

  • Pope Francis becomes newest Krakow JCC member

    (JTA) – Pope Francis is the newest member of the Krakow Jewish Community Center. JCC Executive Director Jonathan Ornstein presented the pontiff with a JCC membership card and an acid-green JCC T-shirt during a reception Sunday at the residence of the archbishop in Krakow. Francis was concluding a four-day visit to Poland to mark the Roman Catholic…

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg attends premiere of ‘Merchant of Venice’ in city’s ghetto

    VENICE, Italy (JTA) – Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice” for the first time is being performed on the spot where some of the action takes place – the main square of the historic Venice Ghetto. The production, which opened Tuesday night and runs for a week, is staged as part of yearlong events marking the 500th…

  • In Krakow, Night of the Synagogues bolsters Jewish pride

    KRAKOW, Poland (JTA) – For the sixth year in a row, the seven synagogues in Krakow’s historic Jewish district, Kazimierz, opened their doors for 7@Nite – or the Night of the Synagogues, a one-night mini-festival aimed at bolstering Jewish pride and promoting Jewish awareness among the public. Each synagogue – from the Gothic Old Synagogue, now…