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  • 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…

  • Italy grants $29 million to enable completion of national Jewish museum

    ROME (JTA) – Italy’s national Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah, or MEIS, under fitful development in the northeast city of Ferrara for more than a decade, has received a $29 million government grant in order to enable its completion. Italian Culture and Tourism Minister Dario Franceschini announced the grant Monday as part of…

  • Italian prosecutors: Suspects planned attacks on Israeli embassy, Vatican

    ROME (JTA) – Suspects arrested in northern Italy on terrorism charges wanted to strike the Vatican and the Israeli Embassy in Rome, prosecutors said. Police on Thursday arrested four people, all born in Morocco but long resident in Italy. They included a Moroccan-born Italian citizen identified as a kick-boxer named Abderrahim Moutahrrick, 24, and his…

  • Milan rabbi arrested in alleged domestic violence case

    ROME (JTA) — Police in Milan have arrested a rabbi for domestic violence after he allegedly hit and verbally abused one of his eight children. Police arrested the man, identified as 42-year-old M.E., a rabbi at the Chabad center at Piazza Castello, on Sunday night after being alerted by his wife, Italian media reported. The…

  • Venice Haggadah gets facelift for 500th anniversary

    ROME (JTA) –  The Beit Venezia Jewish culture center unveiled a series of 24 etchings created by eight international artists that will form part of a new, illustrated Venice Haggadah. The ceremony took place Sunday at the Venice Jewish Museum, where the prints will be exhibited until July 31 as part of initiatives kicked off at the end…

  • Italian Jewish umbrella group prepares 500 Passover packages for low-income Jews

    ROME (JTA) — The Italian Jewish community is making available low-cost Passover care packages to aid struggling families. In cooperation with several kosher food producers, the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, or UCEI, is putting together 500 cartons containing seder fixings and other kosher-for-Passover products — among them matzah, wine, cold cuts and sweets. The packages will…