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  • Pope Francis appeals for ‘moderation and dialogue’ over Temple Mount violence

    ROME (JTA) –Expressing trepidation and urging prayers for peace, Pope Francis appealed for “moderation and dialogue” in the wake of recent violence in Jerusalem centering on the Temple Mount. Addressing crowds who braved fierce heat to gather for his Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square, the pope said he was “following with trepidation the grave tensions…

  • Venice police investigate beach club owner over fascist messages

    (JTA) – Police are investigating the owner of a beach club south of Venice for promoting fascism. According to local media, Venice police authorities also ordered Gianni Scarpa to immediately remove “any reference to fascism in notices, signs or any other written form” at the club and to halt spreading “messages critical of democracy.” Special…

  • Jewish community donates soccer field to Italian town devastated by earthquakes

    (JTA) – A central Italian town devastated last year by earthquakes has a new sports field provided by the Italian Jewish community. On Sunday, a soccer field donated by the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, or UCEI, was formally opened at Amatrice with a friendly match between Maccabi Italia and a local team. Amatrice was…

  • Italian congregation joins Reconstructionist movement

    ROME (JTA) – The Reconstructionist movement has formally approved the affiliation of an independent congregation in southern Italy. The Sinagoga Ner Tamid del Sud in Serrastretta, a small town in Calabria, became the movement’s third congregation outside North America. In a statement on its website, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College said the board of governors of…

  • Vatican, Israel closer to resolving property, tax issues

    (JTA) — The Vatican and Israel may finally be ready to resolve outstanding bilateral issues and fully finalize the Fundamental Agreement governing relations between the two states. A joint statement issued Wednesday following a meeting the previous day at the Vatican of the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel expressed…

  • Nikos Stavroulakis, activist promoting Jewish life and heritage in Greece, dies

    (JTA) – Nikos Stavroulakis, an artist, scholar and prominent activist promoting Jewish life and heritage in Greece, has died. Stavroulakis died Friday in Chania, on the island of Crete. He was in his mid-80s. “The world of Greek Jewry owes Nikos so much,” Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos, museum director of the Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and…

  • These stunning menorah depictions are on display in the Vatican and Rome

    (JTA) — An unprecedented exhibit centered on the image, history and symbolism of the seven-branched menorah has opened in Rome. Titled “Menorah: Cult, History and Myth,” the exhibition is a joint project of the Vatican Museum and the Rome Jewish Museum — the first time the two museums have cooperated in this way. It will run…

  • Israeli, Italian cyclists pay tribute to champ who saved Jews during the Holocaust

    ROME (JTA) – Italian and Israeli cyclists are paying tribute this week to Gino Bartali, an Italian cycling champion who saved hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust and in 2013 was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations. Bartali, who died in 2000, smuggled in his bicycle frame Resistance messages and false documents for Jews…

  • Teens identified as vandals of Jewish, Catholic headstones in main Rome cemetery

    ROME (JTA) – Police identified four young teenagers as the vandals who smashed or toppled scores of Catholic and Jewish gravestones in Rome’s Verano cemetery. According to the Italian news agency ANSA, the four were aged 13 and 14 and came from “good families.” Surveillance videos filmed them smashing headstones, tombs, and memorials in four…

  • Jewish, Catholic headstones damaged in main Rome cemetery

    ROME (JTA) — Unidentified individuals damaged dozens of gravestones and memorials in both the Catholic and Jewish sections of one of Rome’s main cemeteries. According to the Italian media, the damage was discovered Friday morning during an inspection before the Verano cemetery opened. The culprits smashed or toppled crosses as well as Stars of David and damaged…